Richard Grieco Says New '21 Jump Street' Is 'Nowhere Near As Dark' as Original

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Richard Grieco's seen the new " 21 Jump Street," and though he said "it's nowhere near as dark" as the late '80s, early '90s sitcom in which he co-starred, he complimented stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill on going "overboard."

"I didn't know what to expect," Grieco told today. "They made it into a real funny comedy. There were two ways to go with it, either make it really dark or go overboard and make it funny, and that's what they did. I think they pulled it off in that respect."

And yet:

"We were the first show that dealt with drug abuse or abortion or addiction or any of these problems that kids couldn't talk to their parents about," he said. "They don't really tackle those problems in the movie, but I guess you can't do that in a feature film."

'21 Jump Street:' Where Are They Now? 

Grieco, who played Detective Dennis Booker on the show, didn't cameo in the film with his former co-stars Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise. There's always next time.

"I would definitely want to be involved in the sequel," he said. "My character would not have lent itself to this one. That character was so dark."

Or how about a feature length version of "Booker," the season-long spinoff of  "21 Jump Street?"

"I definitely want to talk to them about turning that in to a movie," he said. "It would be a great movie."

Not that Grieco's hurting for work. He's the creator and executive producer of Showtime's "Gigolos," which starts filming season three this spring. And he's selling his emotionally charged artwork.

"I've been painting for 25 years, I just made it public three years ago," he said. "It's not a literal point of view, it's more like an unbridled emtion, like catching light in a bottle. It's an emotionally taxing process."

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