21 Jump Street - The Complete Third Season is one of those shows that really epitomizes the phrase, “It’s so bad it’s good.” Watching this show about young cops dealing with drug dealers, gangs, racism, etc..., it was hard not to chuckle a bit at the way that a lot of these issues are portrayed. The gang members wear brand new clothes and each are separated by colors that they always seem to be wearing. The dialogue is really weak and overall the show lacks a general authenticity. It’s as if the creators of the show were sitting in these large palaces, bathed in money and were creating something based on cursory research. Sure, the look and feel of that time period was captured, but that seems to be as deep as this show went.
Now, as I said before, 21 Jump Street - The Complete Third Season, is bad but it is in it’s badness that the really good qualities come out. My favorite characters are Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise). I just found that I really was able to connect with their chemistry. I bought their relationship, even though the dialogue exchanged between them was often as banal is you could get. It is a classic dynamic of Depp’s character wanting to do things, and DeLuise’s character trying to be the voice of reason. Yet, as usually happens, Depp’s character is the one who ends up being right.
While not the greatest piece of TV on DVD to ever hit the market, 21 Jump Street - The Complete Third Season is certainly something worth checking out.
No extras came with this DVD set. This is surprising simply because you would think with all the hoopla around Johnny Depp, that there would be some kind of retrospective piece looking at his career and the way it has evolved. That said, maybe they will include something like this on later disc sets? Or, perhaps it has already been included in earlier ones?
Full-Frame Presentation. This lovely timepiece from the late 80’s to the early 90s is really something you can watch just for that alone. The look as the decades started to blend into one another is really interesting, because there is such a hybrid from the old styles to the new ones. In fact, while there certainly was a style, it seems almost formless in how it expresses itself. I say this, because how much of that time has carried over into today’s climate? It’s as if the look and style have been purposely forgotten. The 1990s almost seems as if they were a joke, or maybe that’s just how they are treated. One way or another, the look of this show is injected with what were the hip looks of that time. There’s a lot of spraynet, rolled up pants and early rap music before it totally lost itself in the “hip-hop” realm.
Dolby Digital Stereo. I am sure if the sound were less good it probably wouldn’t matter. I like the audio on these disks, simply because they are so steeped in the rap music from that time. This isn’t to say that I am not a fan of today’s current artists, but I as this is when I grew up, I do have an affinity for this brand of rap music. I have a remembrance of when I heard these songs. I can recall being in high school and seeing people having the look that is on display in this show. There was a simpleness to the music back then that for me at least made it a lot more listenable. I also liked how Johnny Depp played the role of a sarcastic cop. As someone who wasn’t buying into anything, he chose his words carefully and as a result the soundtrack of 21 Jump Street allows itself to settle over you with you realizing it is happening.
This 6 disk set comes very nicely stored in those slim cases that I love so much. They are housed in a vinyl, cardboard cover with a lot of blue on it. Johnny Depp, Richard Grieco, Peter DeLuise and the other cast members are surrounded above and below them by a brick wall. The back cover features some awful quality shots from the show, a description of 21 Jump Street - The Complete Third Season, and an almost miniscule tech spec listing. Each plastic cover that holds the disks have different (and for the most part better quality) pictures from the various episodes splashed across them. The back of the plastic covers has episode listings and descriptions of each episode. All in all, Anchor Bay has packaged this box set very nicely.
Why does Johnny Depp try and distance himself so much from this role? It actually doesn’t seem all that different then most of the character’s he plays. Most namely, that of Captain Jack in those Pirate movies. The Hanson character seems to be capable of anything, yet wants to do nothing but ultimately ends up doing the right thing when the situation calls for it. For example, when Ioki is shot, Depp goes undercover not as a police officer, but as a man on a mission. I have heard stories that Depp wanted off the show really badly, so he did things like out rubber bands on his tongue during scenes or something?
I go back and forth about how I feel about Johnny Depp. I think he is very talented and I can see why both men and women like him. This said, I sometimes wish he would keep his personal opinions about the world to himself. I really enjoyed seeing him in the role of Tom Hanson and I wish he would return a little bit to the freewheeling style on display here, instead of taking himself as seriously as he seems to nowadays.
21 Jump Street was released .