Booker and 21 Jump Street

Booker (1989-1990)
21 Jump Street (1987-1990)
Type: Spin Off

   Hey, does anyone remember when Richard Grieco was as big a star as Johnny Depp and when Johnny Depp wasn't a risk taking actor but instead looked to be the latest teenybopper heart throb? Frightening huh? Look away from those memories before they freak you out too much. Those were the days when both these actors got there start on the upstart Fox network on a surprise hit series called 21 Jump Street.

   21 Jump Street was a show about a special unit of the police force housed in an old church. All the cops were extremely young looking so that they could better infiltrate high schools and catch drug dealers and other scum. 21 Jump Street was the address of their church headquarters. You might expect the show to be low on intelligence and heavy on action since it was aimed at a young audience but it actually was a fairly intelligent and well made show.

   In the first season, the officers were Johnny Depp's Tom Hanson as well as Doug Penhall played by Peter Deluise, Judy Hoffs played by Holly Robinson and Harry Truman Ioke played by Dustin Nguyen. For most of the series their captain was Adam Fuller, played by Steven Williams and who later went on to greater fame playing the mysterious X on The X-Files.

   In the show's second season, Richard Grieco joined the show as Officer Dennis Booker. He was the trouble maker loose cannon on the show and after one season was popular enough that Fox decided to try and spin him off into a show of his own.

   Booker (the show) found... Booker (the character)... off the police force and working as an internal investigator for a huge company and also taking some outside cases. He was still the loose cannon only it turns out he was probably better at being a supporting loose cannon on 21 Jump Street than at being a main lead loose cannon on his own show. After a single season, Fox dropped Booker like a virulent raccoon.

   But you have to admit Booker is a great action name. Almost just a sound really. I know you're wondering why I'm babbling about this. But just try reading the following like an overly dramatic network promo:

"Richard Grieco saves a virulent raccoon from certain doom in an all new... Booker!"

It ZINGS baby!

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