The Forgotten Action Series That Ripped Off The Fast And The Furious, Watch Without Netflix

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Looking back now at the early 2000s, I finally understand why my parents were embarrassed over growing up in the 70s. While there are always the cool parts of every decade for every Frampton Comes Alive! there’s a Partridge Family, and for every The Fast and The Furious, there’s a Fastlane. Before the franchise became about family and superheroes in cars, the first movie was legitimately cool (even if it is a Point Break rip-off), which resulted in a flood of imitations.

On the big screen, we had Torque, but FOX took it to broadcast television with an even more blatant knock-off, the forgotten Fastlane.

Fastlane Is The Closest We’ll Get To A Fast And Furious Series

Arriving in 2002, one year after The Fast and The Furious, Fastlane followed a pair of cops, Donovan “Van” Ray” (Nurse Jackie’s Peter Facinalli) and Deaqon “Deaq” Hayes (MTV VJ Bill Bellamy), working under Wilhemina “Billie” Chambers (Saved By The Bell’s own Tiffani Thiessen) as part of a secretive unit that doesn’t play by the rules. If all of that sounds like it’s the result of a 90s marketing meeting to develop an extreme series, you’re completely correct.

Aggressively Marketed By Fox

The team operated out of The Candy Store, which earned its name because it housed everything the LAPD seized from major drug lords and traffickers, including top-end cars, clothes, weapons, and even drugs. If you were subject to the advertising campaign for Fastlane, the phrase “Everything we seize, we keep. Everything we keep, we use” has been burned into your brain. As FOX demonstrated over the years when they wanted to push a new series, they were relentless with the marketing, and they really wanted to make Fastlane a hit.

A Very Expensive Series

Every episode of Fastlane was shot like The Fast and The Furious, with cars that looked cool, attractive models everywhere you looked, and production values that were top of the line for broadcast television. At the time, this was FOX’s most expensive series, with a price tag of over $2 million per episode ($3.5 million in today’s money), which is partly what led to its cancelation. Taking over the same timeslot as Firefly halfway through its run and making it so fans struggled to catch airings was the other half of the equation.

Despite what it may sound like, Fastlane didn’t fail because fans didn’t like it, in fact, the series is an amazing guilty pleasure.

Impossible To Watch Without Enjoying Yourself

All of that money spent on each episode shines from the Fastlane pilot to the finale, with some of the coolest action sequences you’ll find on television, even today. While the plots are “case of the week,” the talented cast understood the assignment and elevated what should be early-2000’s cringe to something that’s just plain fun. By the third time someone from Billie’s past is coming out for revenge, you’ll be rolling your eyes, but you can’t stop watching.

A 2000’s Time Capsule

Part of the fun today with Fastlane is that it’s a time capsule of a unique time in American culture, and you can tell based on the guest stars. Nothing screams the early 2000s like having Fred Durst, Biz Markie, Ali Landry, Jenny McCarthy, Jaime Pressly, Naomi Campbell, and Mischa Barton appear. Other guest stars that are a little more timeless include Isaac Hayes, George Hamilton, Terence Howard, and, very early in his career, Randall Park, Iggy Pop, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Streaming For Free


It’s goofy, it’s cringy, and it tries far too hard, but I still find Fastlane to be one of the best shows to throw on when there’s nothing else, and you don’t want to waste time scrolling through streaming options. The three leads have done better work elsewhere, but the amount of fun they’re having comes across, and sometimes, all you need is a show that’s mindless enjoyment. Thankfully, it’s easy to watch today, as the series is streaming for free on Tubi.