Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Today's as good a day as any to remember Poochinski, the failed pilot about a talking detective bulldog

Illustration for article titled Todays as good a day as any to remember iPoochinski/i, the failed pilot about a talking detective bulldog
Screenshot: Foywonder

Some entertainment concepts are too strong to ever be made, their potential producers knowing that audiences aren’t ready to handle what they have in mind. Consider Poochinski, a TV show about Peter Boyle as an animatronic bulldog possessed by a dead detective’s spirit that was cancelled after a pilot episode showed it was simply too powerful an idea to continue.

Poochinski has survived only in YouTube uploads of that single, perfect episode. In a clip from the pilot, we hear Boyle’s (still human) detective Poochinski sexually harass a 911 dispatcher before heading to a crime scene where he replies to a child’s insult by threatening to shoot that kid in retaliation. Soon enough, Poochinski (still human) has been killed and, after a few moments of very meaningful human-canine eye contact, his ghost has moved into a bulldog’s body.

The next part of the pilot sees Poochinski grappling with his new existence as a singing, joking dog cop with Peter Boyle’s voice. Now a deeply fucked-up puppet creature, Poochinski initially delights in being a dog-human by pissing on the legs of people he doesn’t like and molesting a secretary at the precinct. It isn’t long, though, before this sitcom Gregor Samsa falls into despair at being trapped in his new body.

Frustrated by his human partner refusing to listen to his desires and understanding now that he will forevermore be a dog, Poochinski becomes outwardly depressed. “I mean, I used to have hair on my back, but this is ridiculous!” he moans. His partner cheers him up, though, telling him that life as a bulldog with a human mind is better than no life at all. The pilot ends with an exciting chase and fight scene. Poochinski bites the suspect’s groin to subdue him. “I’ll have you know I did not enjoy that,” he says to his partner.

It’s hard to tell whether the tears that come at the end of this episode are entirely due to the non-stop laughter or the pain of knowing this is all the Poochinski we’ll ever get.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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