‘Turner & Hooch’ Season 1, Episode 1 ‘Forever and a Dog’ Review

The Disney+ revival of beloved Tom Hanks classic, Turner and Hooch, has made its debut, so what did we think of the pilot?

We are introduced to U.S. Marshall rookie, Scott Turner Jr (Josh Peck), son of the late Scott Turner (Tom Hanks). At first, Scott is a compulsive neat freak, eager to make advancements within his career before he is unceremoniously lumped with the responsibility of a slobbery companion, Hooch. Sound familiar?

It doesn’t take long for hijinks to ensue and it’s every bit as reminiscent of the original than we could have imagined. The buddy-cop slapstick trope remains present and persistent, creating a lighthearted, mellow tone that can be enjoyed by new audiences and fans of the movie alike. The theme isn’t overly nostalgic, however, and doesn’t rely on specific references or nods to the 1989 feature; those foreign to the source material will easily find enjoyment here without worrying that they may be missing some integral piece of the plot.

Josh Peck makes for a promising lead; he shares Hanks’ charisma, maintains a humorous beat, and fits into the role. There is an obvious connection between Turner and K9 trainer, Erica (Vanessa Lengies), which can be assumed to mark the beginning of a ‘will they/won’t they’ romance. Again, history repeats itself and the narrative explores familiar territory.

The show appears to undertake a ‘case of the week’ format with Turner allocated to and completing an assignment with the help of Hooch. This isn’t the most ideal method of story-telling as weekly arcs can sometimes be tedious and repetitive and fail to provide much development to the characters or the plot. The structure is here to stay but by the end of the pilot, Turner and his sister, Laura (Lyndsey Fonceca), discover the investigation their father was working on prior to his death, ideally setting up an intriguing season-long mystery.

The only issue that I had with the pilot was the hastened characterisation, particularly Turner’s; he goes from having zero interest in bonding with the unruly pooch to “you’re my forever dog” all within the 45 minute runtime. Hopefully, it won’t all be smooth sailing for the duo from here on out and we’ll still get to watch a heartwarming, comical journey between them as they learn to co-depend on one another – that’s really what we loved about the original after all.

Turner & Hooch has the potential to be an entertaining family friendly weekly viewing. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but instills elements of drama amongst the overall silliness of the story. The show does its best at replicating the magic of the film but at its own pace, serving as a fine introduction to the premise for newcomers.

Turner & Hooch is available to stream on Disney+ every Wednesday

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