With all the TV shows that have come out in recent years, one might think there isn't much left to do as far as subject matter goes. But then along comes Amazon's Jean-Claude Van Johnson with its self-aware and slightly parodical look at what would happen if Jean-Claude Van Damme was actually an undercover operative during his film career, and our faith in original TV was born anew. Check out the new series' first trailer, which is a splendidly perfect blending of high-octane action and slapstick comedy.
There have been a ton of great comedies (and great action shows) on TV in 2017, but I'll be damned if Jean-Claude Van Johnson doesn't already look like it'll end up being one of my favorite shows of the year. It's the perfect trailer to get potential fans into the show, as it takes zero time in laying out the central plot and the overall tone. "Van Damme" is not only going to be making a new movie, but he's also getting back into the costume-utilizing personality that has a kill list that needs to be handled. How could this go wrong?
Plus, it's got Cosby Show vet Phylicia Rashad as his quasi-agent/handler, and while I never would have predicted such an onscreen pairing, it's pretty damned excellent. Throw in Kings of Summer standout Moises Arais as his supplier for all things weaponized and tech-ready, and we've got a solid TV trio that stands up with the best of them. "I don't...think that applies to vision...when driving," is one of the best line readings I'll hear this year.
Jean-Claude Van Johnson came to life at Amazon through the studio's pilot program (along with fellow release The Tick), and it was already clear why the concept would and should become a full-blown series. Watching an action movie hero like Van Damme poking fun at himself, while also offering up legitimate thrills and kills, is something that should have been around ages ago. And he's the perfect actor to do it, since it might not work so well with other genre heavies like Steven Seagall or Arnold Schwarzenegger. (I would love to see a Beverly Hills Cop-esque version of this with Eddie Murphy, though.)
I mean, who knew that Jean-Claude Van Damme would offer up comedic stylings that could feasibly compare with Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau?
Strangely enough, this isn't even the first time that Jean-Claude Van Damme will be starring in a project in which he plays a slightly heightened version of himself, with 2008's JCVD being the first to offer up a reality-massaging tale about the action star. But it was nothing like Jean-Claude Van Johnson is going to be, which can be said about most movies and TV shows.