T.J. Hooker a blast from past with corny jokes, 1980s cops

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JENNIFER NIXON

What is it? T.J. Hooker, com­plete se­ries, 92 episodes on 20 discs from Shout! Fac­tory

How much? $79.97 When? Tues­day

That sounds kind of risque. It isn’t.

Thomas Jef­fer­son Hooker (Wil­liam Shat­ner) is a po­lice sergeant with the fic­tional LCPD. He was a plain­clothes de­tec­tive, but the death of his part­ner mo­ti­vated him to go back to be­ing a uni­formed pa­trol of­fi­cer, men­tor­ing and train­ing new re­cruits to the force.

His main goal is to rid the streets of crime and to catch as many bad guys as pos­si­ble. He’s tough, hard-nosed, ded­i­cated and de­ter­mined. But he does have a sense of hu­mor. And he can be soft-hearted when it comes to vic­tims and his fam­ily. He’s re­cently di­vorced and ad­just­ing to be­ing back on the play­ing field.

As the se­ries starts, Hooker gets a new part­ner, rookie Vince Ro­mano ( Adrian Zmed). Ro­mano’s green and a bit of a hot-head, but he and Hooker de­velop a strong part­ner­ship.

Af­ter the first sea­son, an­other new re­cruit, Stacy Sheridan (Heather Lock­lear), joins the unit and even­tu­ally teams up with vet­eran cop Jim Cor­ri­gan (James Dar­ren). An­other pair­ing of vet and new­bie, they fre­quently work side-by-side with Hooker and Ro­mano.

Stern Capt. Den­nis Sheridan (Richard Herd), who also hap­pens to be Stacy’s fa­ther, keeps watch over ev­ery­one.

The of­fi­cers pa­trol the streets and some­times even go un­der­cover to catch rapists, mur­der­ers, drug deal­ers and a vast as­sort­ment of lowlifes.

What’s it like? It’s an Aaron Spelling se­ries from the early-mid 1980s. In other words, it’s got more cheese than a truck­load of Velveeta.

That could be a good or a bad thing, de­pend­ing on your point of view.

The act­ing is vary­ing de­grees of bad, oc­ca­sion­ally ris­ing to “OK.” The writ­ing is pedes­trian. The sto­ries are de­riv­a­tive. The jokes are corny. And yet, it’s nos­tal­gic and hi­lar­i­ous ( mostly un­in­ten­tion­ally hi­lar­i­ous, but that’s be­side the point) and the ac­tors do have de­cent chem­istry.

So, if you’re a fan of ear­lymid-1980s cheesy shows, it’s right up your al­ley. If over­the-top act­ing and pre­dictable sto­ries make you dive scream­ing for the re­mote, steer clear.

Are there any bonus fea­tures? Nope

New this week: The 100, Sea­son 4; Ad­ven­ture Time, Sea­son 7; Coronet Blue, com­plete se­ries; The Ex­panse, Sea­son 2; Fa­ther Knows Best, Sea­son 6; Grantch­ester, Sea­son 3; Teen Wolf, Sea­son 6, Part 1; The Un­touch­ables, The Scar­face Mob

Next week: Diff ’ rent Strokes, Sea­son 6; Do­min­ion Creek, Sea­son 2; Duck Dy­nasty, Sea­son 11; Emer­ald City, Sea­son 1; Girls, Sea­son 6; Pretty Lit­tle Liars, Sea­son 7 and com­plete se­ries

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