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The Journal Gazette

Monday, May 13, 2019 1:00 am

'Bad Boys' spinoff now on demand

George Dickie | Zap2it

Fans of the “Bad Boys” movie franchise will surely want to take note of a new action/comedy series dropping on Spectrum On Demand platform this week.

In “L.A.'s Finest,” which premieres the first three of its 13 episodes today, Gabrielle Union reprises her “Bad Boys II” role of Syd Burnett, sister of Martin Lawrence's Detective Marcus Burnett and secretive girlfriend of Will Smith's Detective Mike Lowrey, who was last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel for the DEA and is now relocated to Los Angeles and the LAPD, where she's presumably put her complicated past behind her.

Paired with her is LAPD detective Nancy McKenna (Jessica Alba, “Fantastic Four,” “Dark Angel”), a working wife and mother with an involved backstory of her own. But like her new partner, she's also an outside-the-box thinker and smack talker who isn't afraid to bend a few rules to catch a perp.

The series, which is the first to be produced under the Spectrum Originals banner, is the brainchild of Union, who was interested in creating a world around Syd and what her life might be like following the events of the movie.

“The blessing and the curse of Syd in 'Bad Boys II,' ” explains Union, who is also an executive producer here, “is that we have no idea what her life was like before she arrived in Miami, we have no idea her motivation for what she was doing in Miami and we have no clue what she did after. All we know is that her brother and her lover had to save her. So that left us a lot to play with.”

“So we wanted to create her own mythology,” she continues, “that was separate from the 'Bad Boys' universe but at the same time acknowledge that Syd is Marcus' sister ... So we were able to kind of create this whole mythology separate from Miami and set it in Los Angeles and we finally get to see what her backstory is and how she got to Miami and what happened after she left.”

In McKenna, Alba (also an executive producer) takes on a role that's right in her wheelhouse, of a tough, sarcastic, street-smart woman who can take out an adversary with a roundhouse kick if the situation requires it.

“I just felt like it was a great opportunity to play really my dream role,” she says. “I love action, I love comedy and to be able to partner up with Gab and do it really with having authority and a voice, not just on screen but behind the camera as executive producers and really help shape the characters in the show, really just felt like an awesome opportunity.”