Picks and Pans Review: 21 Jump Street
Well, of course, you can't start a new network without a police show. When Fox wanted cops 'n' cruds in fast cars, naturally they went to Stephen Cannell, the man we have to thank for The A-Team, Riptide and Stingray. But because this cop show appears on family night, Sundays at 7, it has to appeal to kids. So Cannell created Hill Street Babes. Johnny (Platoon) Depp plays a rookie cop who looks so young he ought to have training wheels on his squad car. Criminals only laugh at Johnny, so he joins a secret squad of kiddie crime-busters who infiltrate high schools under the command of Frederic (Apocalypse Now) Forrest, who plays a pathetic parody of an aging hippie. Hippies aren't the only maligned stereotype here. In the premiere, the criminals are mostly black. And the young Asian cop (who learned English watching Dragnet) can't drive. Racial clichés are shocking in any show, but especially in a show for kids.