3 Buddy Cop Callbacks to Look Out for in The CW’s ‘Bulletproof’
Why mess with success? The buddy-cop genre blossomed on TV back in the ’70s with Starsky & Hutch — and U.K. import Bulletproof enthusiastically follows that always entertaining formula.
In this 2018 drama, undercover officers Aaron Bishop and Ronnie Pike (Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, above) hunt down London’s toughest criminals. From radically different backgrounds, the partners find their policing styles often clash, they bicker a lot — and car chases just keep happening.
Check out a few specific callbacks.
Clarke and Walters, also Bulletproof‘s cocreators, were inspired by this action-movie franchise that began in 1995 with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as narcotics detectives. According to Walters, he and Clarke wanted their take to be “about brotherhood, with two black leads being good role models.”
The four popcorn flicks, released between 1987 and 1998, as well as Fox’s TV spinoff (2016–19), featured the gold standard of mismatched partners: cautious family man Murtaugh and impetuous daredevil Riggs — characters that are strikingly similar to, respectively, Pike and Bishop. In both series, natch, the pair grudgingly grow to respect each other.
Bro chemistry (in London parlance, “bruv” equals “bro”) is key, especially during ride-along “carguments.” On CBS’s Five-0, that trope has kept Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) around for a decade. British fans enjoyed Bulletproof‘s boy talk enough to win the show a renewal.
Bulletproof, Series Premiere, Wednesday, August 7, 8/7c, The CW