21 Jump Street

Like many young women I went through a phase when I was obsessed with Johnny Depp (mine lasted from about the ages of 13-15). In this time period I, of course, binge-watched the first four seasons of 21 jump Street. I still think it’s an excellent (if occasionally dated) TV show, even if I’ve mostly grown out of my Johnny Depp obsession. The show could be light-hearted when it needed to be, but it also dealt with a lot of really serious material in a way that was extremely thoughtful, and still holds up under modern scrutiny. Class-ism, sexism, racism, sexual assault, as well as issues with the education, policing, and prison systems of the time. There were few things the show wasn’t willing to talk about, and it treated the teenaged characters as complex characters in their own right, rather than plot devices to move forward the main cast’s stories.

So when I heard they were going to make a Jump Street movie I was excited at the possibility of seeing the essence of the show updated for the modern age. I was then bitterly disappointed when I heard that the film would star Jonah Hill, and was going to be a straight up comedy. Despite my misgivings,I watched the film when it came out, and was delightfully surprised when it exceeded all of my expectations. It is definitely not the same as the original, but it is also very aware of that, and goes its own path while sprinkling in some genuine emotion and homages to the original, including amusing cameos from the original cast. All in all a surprisingly enjoyable watch, and the sequel wasn’t half bad either, so I will hold out judgement on the crossover with Men in Black until after I have seen it.

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