I decided to indulge my Johnny Depp urge, and took advantage of one of the many wonderful collections "In the Stacks" here at the Town Hall Library. I was very much alive when 21 Jumpstreet was on television, but can only assume either my life was too busy or possibly 21 Jumpstreet was on cable? Either way, this was my first time.
Very interesting experience. The 80's were, well, the 80's. Nothing much like it before, and we haven't really had a resurgence since. Big hair, expressive clothing, techno music. I suppose it is hard to know how you would evolve from disco, but the 80's did it in its own unique style.
Watching Johnny Depp so young/raw is almost abrupt. He really doesn't come into his own until well into the second season. Towards the end of the third season, there is a twenty second clip where he is actually channelling Jack Sparrow, right down to the red jacket (I found out that by the third season, Depp really wanted out of his six year contract, so was doing all kinds of things on set to upset the situation).
The truly stark thing for me is the rudimentary writing/filming. There is an evolution from pilot to season four (Town Hall does not have the final fifth season), but television offerings of this nature have come so far in the last thirty years. I think of the wonderful writing and timing and filming on series like Castle, and then I chuckle, because Stephen Cannell actually had numerous guest appearances on Castleand was the originator of 21 Jumpstreet.
I enjoyed getting to know the rest of the cast of 21 Jumpstreet like Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen, Holly Robinson, and Steven Williams. I hadn't been all that familiar with any of their work, but appreciated watching them inhabit and grow in their roles.
There is a special scene in season three where Penhall and Hanson (DeLuise and Depp) do a Honeymooners bit, and DeLuise actually brings a performance that makes you wonder why in the world he didn't see more celluloid work.
21 Jumpstreet is a fun romp, a little hard to hang in at the start, but worth it in the long run. Am tempted to get the fifth season just for closure. But then we'd be in the 90's, and that's a whole 'nother story...