Poochinski is a Failed Pilot Episode that aired on NBC on July 9th, 1990. Directed by Will MacKenzie and written by Brian Levant, Lon Diamond and David Kirschner, the Buddy Cop Show stars Peter Boyle as seasoned Chicago police officer Stanley Poochinski who rescues and befriends a stray bulldog while also becoming the reluctant partner of rookie officer Robert McKay, played by George Newbern. During a heist gone bad, Officer Poochinski is fatally wounded by the criminals and seemingly dies with his adopted pet by his side. That is until he emerges alive and well, this time in the body of the bulldog. Now a talking dog, he and McKay team up once more to bring his killers to justice.
Originally released as a double feature upon its debut alongside Turner & Hooch starring Tom Hanks, NBC ultimately chose not to greenlight the series and it has since become notorious for its unusual premise.
This show provides examples of:
- Baleful Polymorph: Poochinski's soul transfers into the body of the bulldog upon his death, thus forcing him to live as a dog for the rest of his life.
- Butt-Monkey: Sergeant Shriver, who is regularly on the receiving end of Poochinski's cheap shots.
- Canine Companion: The bulldog is this to Poochinski before he himself becomes Poochinski upon the latter's death.
- Deadpan Snarker: Poochinski has his moments of this.
- Despair Event Horizon: Poochinski goes a remarkably long time seemingly unconcerned with his transformation. But once it hits him, he realizes he can never be the man he was again.
- Dirty Old Man: Stanley Poochinski, who is not above flirting with the police dispatcher while on duty. He actually becomes more of one when he's a dog...
- Gasshole: McKay mentions Poochinski to be this in passing when talking to Captain Martin.
- Groin Attack: Poochinski inflicts one upon his killer with his teeth when the bandit wrestles McKay.
- Interspecies Romance: Stanley has a......disturbingly intimate moment with one of his female coworkers, who is unaware that he is the supposedly dead Poochinski as he is licking her.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Poochinski is this, not showing much respect to his superiors or to McKay but is shown to care about them and his adoptive pet when trouble strikes.
- Jump Scare: Poochinski gets in one when he turns up at his own funeral, scaring the crap out of a disbelieving McKay the moment he starts talking.
- Not Quite Dead: Poochinski's soul leaves his body and goes on to occupy that of the dog's. His former human self though is still dead however.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: Poochinski is the Old Cop to McKay's Young Cop.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Poochinski loses his life to save the dog from getting run over by the bandit, only for his personality to completely override that of the dog's once his soul comes to inhabit the dog's body, possibly into nonexistence.
- Sinister Shades: Poochinski's killer dons a pair of these when he comes back to strike again.
- Talking Animal: Poochinski upon his transformation into a dog.
- Toilet Humor: Poochinski (As a dog) takes it upon himself to urinate on Shriver's uniform at the police precinct.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: With Poochinski's soul having entered the dog's body, what became of the dog's soul once the two joined as one?
- That said, we get no mention on what became of Stanley's girlfriend, who was only mentioned once while he was showing off her picture to McKay.
- Would Hurt a Child: Played with, as Poochinski actually uses this to intimidate a bunch of delinquents abusing the bulldog when the two first meet after their leader pulls a knife on him. He does this by brandishing his gun to them, and they immediately run for the hills.