"Fastlane" is ridiculous, over-the-top, style over substance, a little silly and altogether a music video of a series. Yet, it was terrific guilty pleasure entertainment when it aired for a season in 2002 and it still remains as much of a guilty pleasure today. Produced by McG ("Charlie's Angels") and John McNamara, the series plays like "Fast and the Furious", combined with a bit of "Miami Vice" and the "Angels" update. While a few similarly trashy action shows were attempted around the same time - "She Spies" comes to mind - none of them pulled it off quite as well as "Fastlane" did.
The series stars Peter Facinelli as Van Ray, an arrogant LAPD undercover cop whose partner is gunned down when a deal goes South. Shortly after, Van is teamed up with partner's brother, NYPD detective Deaqon Hayes (Bill Bellamy) and the two go undercover on various cases - although with the overall goal of finding who killed Deaquon's brother.
Helping them out is the secretive Billie Chambers (Tiffani Thiessen), who runs the Candy Store - a top secret storage of seized goodies that can be put to use. She also grants both of them a new identity to go along with their new role. The series puts to use all the visual trickery of "Fast and the Furious" and "Charlie's Angels", but also manages to add in the absurd humor of the latter - "Fastlane" can go from being utterly serious to utterly hysterical within the span of a couple of scenes. The series also pulls off some surprisingly enjoyable action scenes (the stuntwork did get an
While the adrenaline rush of style is a large part of the series, the performances are also a lot of fun. Facinelli always seemed to want to be Tom Cruise - and he both acts (and sounds) like Tom Cruise here - but he's entertaining in the role, as is Bellamy. The two have terrific chemistry and once the two characters start getting along a few episodes in. Thiessen also offers an enjoyable supporting effort, as well. Overall, I was expecting the series to seem dated after all these years, but it still entertains just as much.
1. 1- 2 FAS-101 18 Sep 02 Pilot
2. 1- 3 FAS-103 25 Sep 02 Girls Own Juice
3. 1- 4 FAS-105 30 Oct 02 Gone Native
4. 1- 5 FAS-106 6 Nov 02 Things Done Changed
5. 1- 6 FAS-104 13 Nov 02 Ryde or Die
6. 1- 7 FAS-107 20 Nov 02 Ray Ray
7. 1- 8 FAS-108 27 Nov 02 Wet
8. 1- 9 FAS-109 4 Dec 02 Mighty Blue
9. 1-10 FAS-102 11 Dec 02 Get Your Mack On
10. 1-11 FAS-111 10 Jan 03 Dogtown
11. 1-12 FAS-113 17 Jan 03 Strap On
12. 1-13 FAS-112 24 Jan 03 101
13. 1-14 FAS-114 31 Jan 03 Defense (1)
14. 1-15 FAS-115 7 Feb 03 Offense (2)
15. 1-16 FAS-116 14 Feb 03 Popdukes
16. 1-17 FAS-118 7 Mar 03 Slippery Slope
17. 1-18 FAS-117 14 Mar 03 Simone Says
18. 1-19 FAS-110 21 Mar 03 Monster
19. 1-20 FAS-119 28 Mar 03 Overkill
20. 1-21 FAS-120 4 Apr 03 Asslane
21. 1-22 FAS-121 18 Apr 03 Dosed (1)
22. 1-23 FAS-122 25 Apr 03 Iced (2)
VIDEO: "Fastlane" is presented by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in 1.33:1 full-frame. Presentation quality varies throughout the show, with some scenes looking better than others. Sharpness and detail are usually fine, but other scenes can look a bit iffy, appearing noticably softer. Some mild grain was spotted, but was most likely an intentional element of the stylish cinematography. However, of concern were some minor instances of wear on the elements, as well as some instances of artifacting. The show's hot, over-the-top color palette is intentional and looks terrific here, with spot-on saturation and no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack features a blaring soundtrack and most of the tunes certainly have some substantial bass behind them. Audio quality is fine, with crisp dialogue, effects and music.
EXTRAS: Unaired/Extended scenes from the pilot, "Hot Stuff: Inside the Candy Store - Evolution of a Series" featurette, "Stunning Rides" featurette, "Smoking Stars" featurette, "Sizzling Action" featurette and outtakes/bloopers.
Final Thoughts: "Fastlane" tried to offer an hour-long action movie each week and succeeded - the series was an entertaining, frequently funny ride and it's too bad that it just never caught on. I was impressed to find that the series still holds up pretty well. The DVD set offers fine audio/video quality and an assortment of minor extras. Recommended.