Before the Wire. Before CSI: Whatever. Before NYPD Blue. Hell, even before Law & Order, there was Hill Street Blues. Maybe not the first police drama, but certainly one of the more interesting. And decorated. Season One alone won 8 Emmy’s. It was also one of the first TV shows in the US to feature members of the African American community as regulars on a series.
I recently watched the first season of the show, and was not disappointed. I’m a sucker for Crime Fiction, so a Police Drama is a natural fit.
I saw some familiar faces. Neidermeyer, from Animal House, playing the same jerk, doesn’t make it to the first season’s end. He dies unceremoniously at the hands of a sex worker. Well, at least someone dressed like one.
And is that Kurt Russell playing an overconfident pencil pusher? I don’t know.
The show made some questionable, and just plain odd choices. Phil, played by Michael Conrad, has an ongoing relationship with two women. One of which varied in age from 15 to 18 in the first season. He was about 54 at the time of the season’s airing. So creepy.
One episode featured a dog the department befriended, another episode featured a stray cat in the department who need’s a home. There’s even an alligator-in-the-sewer episode.
There is poor acting at times but it does not detract from the show’s charm. With the exception of James Sikking.
Not even the angry dog growls of Bruce Weitz could stop me from watching this 1980’s gem.
I suspect it won’t be long until we have a full-blown Hollywood Film on our hands reimagining the series. After all, we’ve already had a Miami Vice film, A Starsky and Hutch Film, and apparently Police Academy is coming back. But frankly we don’t need it. The show is better left alone. Bad remake scripts are far too plentiful right now.
If you’re thinking about trying to cash-in on a remake of this show, I have five words for you:
“Let’s be careful out there”.