on December 8, 2005
This is the first full season where Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz are teamed together. NYPD picks up where it left off the previous season, breaking new ground in police drama.
There are some standout episodes which I consider "must see's" for any NYPD Blue fans. The first episode is "Backboard Jungle"; an episode where Sipowicz is removed from a case after exchanging racial epithets with an African American civil rights leader, who is being uncooperative with police. Another great episode is "A Tushfull of Dollars" in which one of Simone's CI's life is put in danger because of other cops more concerned with getting credit on cases. And towards the end of the season, "A Death in the Family" has Sipowicz suffer an immeasurable loss and has his old demons resurface, and could cost him his job, his marriage, and his life.
The bond between the two detectives really evolves over this season, and is totally solidified at the end of the season, when Simone does everything possible to save Sipowicz from losing everything.
It is unfortunate that it took over two years for this season to be released. But hopefully, this will be just the beginning of the other seasons being available. Simone was the best fit for Sipowicz. And the 3rd season of NYPD Blue is the springboard.
Here is the list of the epsidoes in Season 3......
TORAH! TORAH! TORAH!
ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY
HEAVIN' CAN WAIT
SORRY, WRONG SUSPECT
THE BACKBOARD JUNGLE
THESE OLD BONES
A TUSHFULL OF DOLLARS
THE NUTTY CONFESSOR
HOLLIE AND THE BLOWFISH
HE WAS ROBBED
A DEATH IN THE FAMILY
HE'S NOT GUILTY, HE'S MY BROTHER
on June 3, 2007
I'll skip the glowing praise for the show in this short review, and instead address something I feel has been largely ignored: the packaging.
Seasons 1 and 2 came in a nice fold-out boxed set and ran at 6 DVDs. They played great on all my DVD players and were as beautiful as the content on them. Unfortunately, someone decided to save money by using 2-sided DVDs and reduce the count to 4 (and smaller packaging as well) with Seasons 3 and 4. For those of you not familiar with dual-sided discs I say this . . . Ordinarily, if they are used it's to have a 1-side is fullscreen (pan and scan) 1-side is widescreen movie disc. This is in itself no great hardship, since the main issues with such discs (there's nowhere to safely touch but the inner ring and outer edge, which is damn difficult putting it in or taking it our of a case) is mitigated by the owner's preference of 4:3 or 16:9; That is, you'll always play one or the other so the inevitable fingerprints are not that big a deal, since you'll touch the 'top' you never play.
Unfortunately, the episodes in NYPD Blue are on both sides of all the discs, so the inevitable fingerprints (and I imagine scratches, sooner or later) prevent you playing episodes. Not to mention that out of the box I had issues playing them on one of my DVD players. I don't know if it's bending the spec on compression, oversized discs, or some exotic new copy-protection mod, but I will say this: I resent buying discs that appear designed to fail and cost me to replace later on. I, for one, would gladly pay extra for the single-sided DVDs and larger packaging they used previously. I'm Extremely unhappy with the new packaging\discs and would advise anyone looking to get the series to think twice if they have problems with newer or dual-sided DVDs.
Short form? Horrible changes I suspect were just to boost a profit margin at the fans' expense. Not only am I unlikely to pick up Season 5 or later if they stick with the format, I'm seriously considering unloading what I already bought.
on April 4, 2006
Fans of NYPD Blue have had to wait a long time between the release of Season Two, a number of years ago, and the recent release of season three. But, if the quality of the episodes in season three is taken in to account, it was well worth the wait.
Season two was the season of change on NYPD Blue, with Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits) taking over as partner to Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz). Season three saw the two actors gel and their characters formed the friendship and the partnership that would last throughout the years.
Season three also saw Franz win his second Emmy award for his portrayal of Sipowicz, the former alchoholic cop, who had been dealt a tough hand in life and often took it out on thugs and perps. In season three, however, things appeared to be turning around for Andy. He got married to DA Sylvia Costas (Sharon Lawrence) at the end of season two, and had struck up a new relationship with his son Andy Jr. (guest star Michael DeLuise), one that continued to blossom in season three. Andy finally appeared happy, with the drinking days behind him and a partner he worked well with. Sylvia became pregnant and gave birth to Theo, making Sipowicz the happiest that any viewer of the show had seen him. It seemed his life was on track.
Then came the brutal murder of Andy Jr. The younger Sipowicz was killed while trying to stop a robbery and assault, just days before he started his job as a police officer, a job that he had been learning from his father. The death of Andy Jr. sent his father over the edge, as he reverted to drinking again and got in fights and was kicked out of his home and the precinct. As the season came to an end, he had found his way back into both after being beaten badly while in a drunk stupor.
Without a question, Sipowicz was one of the best television characters ever created and nobody could've played him better than Franz. He deserved all the acclaim and honors that he received for bringing this character, flaws and all, to life.
For Simone, the year was a better one, at least in many regards. He began a relationship with fellow detective Diane Russell (new series regular Kim Delaney), one that would last until Simone's death a number of years later. Simone made it his personal mission to track down the killers of his partner's son and eventually ended up shooting the suspects in a street shoot out. Delaney's Diane also began the year coming out of the bottle, but was tempted back in when her mother killed her father after a domestic dispute. She stayed away, for the most part, and kept her relationship with Simone intact.
Greg Medavoy (Gordon Clapp) and James Martinez (Nicholas Turturro) began to work a lot more together in the third season, eventually leading up to the pair being partners. Medavoy's clumsy, stuttering ways and Martinez's cool, hip style were complete opposites, but the pair clicked and their partnership was settled. Medavoy saved Martinez's life when he was shot in the season opener and the two helped to provide some small comic relief in many of the episodes throughout the season.
Lieutenant Arthur Fancy (James McDaniel) is in charge of the 15th precinct and has his hands full with his unique group of detectives. A big moment for him is his argument with Sipowicz over a racial matter. While the two characters basically have made up by the end of the season, there is always tension between the two.
Donna Abondondo (Gail O'Grady) the precinct's PAA, left the series with two episodes to go in the year. O'Grady was becoming a star and creator Steven Bocho knew they were going to lose her, so he created a job at Apple Computer in California, where the lovely Ms. Abondono headed. Her character was eventually replaced by John Irving (Bill Brotchrup), who makes a number of guest appearances in this season.
The final main character was Detective Adrienne Lesniak (Justine Miceli). This was her only credited season on the show, though she had appeared in many episodes as a guest star in season two. She battles thoughts of homosexuality early in the season, but eventually enters a relationship with Martinez, but her jealousy rears its ugly head, breaking up the relationship as the season draws to a close.
This set has two solid commentary tracks, as well as three featurettes, one on the season in general, one on the relationship between Andy and Andy Jr. and one on the women of NYPD Blue.
The only drawback to this set is the packaging. The first two seasons had great packaging, with six discs and a great case to hold them. This season has four double-sided discs with slim cases. I imagine this was a cost issue and quite possibly, if this change hadn't been made, we may never have seen Season Three at all, so really, I can't complain too much about that.
All told, this is a fantastic set and I blazed through the whole thing in a weekend. The stories are riveting, the characters are engaging and the show is addictive, just as it was when it was on network television every Tuesday at 10 p.m.
on February 24, 2006
Yes, Series 3 has been finally released albeit in a cheaper, more budget friendly, package and it is critical that fans support this show by buying the sets as they appear. Fox is releasing Season 4 in June, but thereafter will only release Season 5 if dvd sales warrant new sets. In other words, they are giving this series a second chance after the low sales for Seasons 1 & 2.
Fox has slashed the number of extra features and even though the set for Season 3 has all the episodes, the whole thing does not feel as important or 'weighty' as the sets for Season 1 & 2. The featurettes are not specially produced but are older promos from Bochco Productions updated with newer segments by the creator himself. The number of episode commentaries has dropped from six each for Seasons 1 & 2 to just two for Season 3. It is clear that Fox has dropped the budget for the sets due to the poor sales of the fully featured Season 1 & 2 boxsets. However, this also means that the sets are cheaper and as such perhaps more fans will purchase the forthcoming seasons.
on June 21, 2006
Season 3 of "NYPD Blue" was my favorite season of my favorite TV show of all time. That was where "Blue" hooked me - throwing me into a drama I had never seen the likes of before on TV - especially network TV. I suppose there were similar plot elements and storylines explored in past shows or done more graphically in feature films, but even having seen some of this before, I had never seen it done so well and so effectively. Credit the writing, the performances and a sense of in-your-face real world authenticity - we feel we know these characters - they ARE real.
Why did season 3 grab hold of me some much more? I don't know. There was a lot of hoopla surrounding this series when it began over its frank depictions of racism, alcoholism, sex, violence and rough language (all this, of course, is what made it feel like something of a docudrama versus just another police serial); and again in its second season with the whole David Caruso, Jimmy Smits thing. Season 1 had plenty of great storylines and season 2 was riveting as a season of change; full of new ideas, different from season 1. It retained the gritty realism of the first season's police stories, but managed to become more involving on a character level. Season 3 is so spectacularly effective because, unlike season 2, this is not a season of change. Where season 2 got much of its drama from everything being shaken up, in season 3 we knew and cared about all the characters on a much deeper level. Sensing this - using this - the writers decided to pull the rug out from under us resulting in some of the best drama I had seen before or since.
At the risk of some of you having not yet seen this season I will be vague in my descriptions, but Russell's family situation and drinking, the basketball game gone bad that exposes Sipowicz race hostilities, Simone's battle with a blowhard cop that shatters his usually cool demeanor, and of course the two-parter involving a tragedy for Andy that effects everyone around him - especially Simone. These two episodes are probably the best two hours of "Blue" ever. You could also make a case for the 5-hour, virtual mini-series that leads up to Simone's exit early in season six. Either way, that is "Blue" at its rawest, most emotionally gut-wrenching. None of it would be effective at all if we didn't care about these characters so much. And it is to this show's awesome credit that we do. Dennis Franz and Jimmy Smits are simply wondrous in their performances. And everyone is great, but always better when interacting with the two extraordinary leads. And David Milch and the rest of his writers have created a cop show with stories and characters unlike any other. "Blue" goes to some dark places. As such, it emerges as so much more than a cop show. It is a fascinating character study of tragic heroes and flawed souls; good people and their problems. In other words: human beings.
"NYPD Blue" may not be just another cop show, but it never forgets it is a cop show. Where the characters and their issues are always front and center the writers never forget to give us compelling cases, interesting mysteries and criminals that range from brilliant, to diabolical to insane, to comical. Sometimes this can be said of the fellow officers as well. In season 3 there are a handful of memorable cases: the guy who stabs women from outside their apartments and calls breasts balls, Simone and Sipowicz try to figure out how an East Indian woman was murdered inside her locked car, which gives way to some hilarious theories on Andy's part, based on his racial ignorance, a guy tries to play insane so Sipowicz must lock himself in a cell with the guy, pretending to be a fellow crazy (a cannibal no less) to get him to drop the act and confess, and while bugging a mob joint Sipowicz and Simone rob the place so the gangsters don't know there were cops there putting in a bug. This season also has a memorable episode in which two babies are shot during a robbery but the mother survives. Sipowicz, already on edge with the combination of Russell's drinking and not telling him, Silvia's pregnancy complications and now this heartbreaking case, clashes with Simone - the two nearly come to blows.
Yes, this and all the other emotional drama is just another day for the tormented cops on "NYPD Blue."
It is impossible to over-rate this show. When it first started, it may not have seemed that way. Many may have resisted it based on all the hype. Years later ratings began to decline as the show began to age. Writer changes and network restrictions in the wake of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl BS may have been the beginning of the show's downward slope. A few years later, after 12 seasons, the show aired its series finale. That this once trumpeted series went out with more of a whimper than a bang is unfortunate. Like, say, the Rolling Stone's legacy, "Blue's" was victim of too much time in the spotlight. While it is universally recognized as a classic, people started tuning in to other shows; and TV as of late has developed new "trend" shows that keep us coming back week after week. As the landscape changed, "Blue" hung around, trying to keep its place, playing mostly to the loyalist fans who would watch every week. Yet even then, "Blue" never sold out. The last seasons may not have been as great and revolutionary as the first, say, six or seven (still an impressive run), but the show never stooped or pandered to bring in a bigger audience or compete with whatever other cop shows were doing. The dialog, characters and cases were still laced with a gritty reality and the writers had plenty of good ideas still left in them that gave way to some great story archs. But much of the language was dialed down, the sex was all but eliminated, Sipowicz had mellowed; no longer a fury in the interrogation room; and an over all feeling of 'been there' with these characters began to set in. So, the show ended - sadly, but probably rightly so.
The show deserves more attention as a classic and deserves to be remembered as something much more than just an old cop show. Hopefully with DVD that will be possible. The 2 and a half year wait between releases, and a step down in quality and quantity of this boxset, compared with seasons 1 and 2, doesn't make me optimistic that Fox will be doing "Blue's" legacy proud. But at least they are back to putting them out. For those of us who cherish this great series and want to have these season sets around for the rest our lives, it may just be enough.
And if you have never seen the show or always blew it off. You simply do not know what you are missing. Even now it holds up. FX has followed this mold of gritty, realistic drama with shows like "The Shield" and "Rescue Me." While those shows, being on cable, have gone even further in terms of sex, language, and violence, "Blue" still feels blue. You can have all the shock value you want, but it will always be more effective when it is smartly written and happens to characters you truly care about.
And that is, and has always been, "Blue's" biggest asset.
on April 2, 2015
In re-watching this 20-year-old series, I never realized how powerful it was. It seems to pack so much more of a "punch" today than as I used to watch each weekly episode. The show dealt with current issues like racism, street crime, and politics in a way that probably could not be done in today's PC world. The series has some of the best characters/actors and dialog of any police drama, maybe of any tv drama, and it has the awards and nominations to prove it. As far as I'm concerned, NYPD Blue is the best police drama ever, bar none. If you like this genre, watch NYPD Blue and see for yourself.
on November 6, 2015
From the first episode I enjoyed this series tremendously, The blending of the private lives with their everyday crime solving profession worked so well. Just about any police officer who spent their career in law enforcement can relate to many situations in their lives. Alcoholism, relationships, troublesome cases etc. The actors blended so well together at least as far Dennis Franz and David Caruso and then later Jimmy Smits. In later episodes he continued to be great but his supporting actors ran a little thin. I could not understand why Franz did not continue his career. As a matter of fact most of the actors on that series have stumbled in their careers. I guess they were the victims of type casting.
on February 20, 2015
This season of NYPD Blue is chock full of interesting themes: I like Patsy Ferrara, the ex prize fighter who taught Bobby Simone about birds. There's a very nice dynamic between Patsy and Bobby; there will be others. Another theme of Season three is Bobby working through being set up by his friend, Ray Di Salvo, lots of plot twists, to keep you on your feet. I also like Sgt. Martens, of IAB looking out for Bobby, telling him that "...everything's a situation...". For a member of the so-called Rat Squad, Martens is a pretty stand up guy. Another theme of this season is the dust up between Andy and a Community Organizer named Kwasi Olishula; over a Basketball game being held to honor a neighborhood kid who died in Police custody. Andy throws out the "N" word after he and Kwasi get into it. Plenty of sparks in these episodes.
on April 18, 2016
This Detective and Cops series reminds me of Kojak, Hawaii 5-O and Columbo, Hill Street Blues and other Tv series of the late 80's. There is a lot of action, drama, suspense, some violence,et. but it shows the real thing during those years. Good or bad that was the way it happened and continues with some improvements on the Justice system from that era to these days.
on May 25, 2016
The most explosive yet finest cop series ever in TV history. Great cast, (especially the dynamic duo of Dennis Franz (Andy Sipowicz) and Jimmy Smits (Bobby Simone) great acting but overall a truly great show. Highly recommend for NYPD blue fans and DVD collectors. Happy with this used purchase and both packaging and delivery met with positive expectations.