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Homicide Life on the Street - The Complete Season 4

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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(Mar 30, 2004)
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$99.98 $19.90

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Today only, save 72% on "White Collar: The Con-Plete Series." This boxed set contains all 6 seasons and 81 episodes, along with loads of bonus content. This offer ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Saturday, February 6th, 2016. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

6 DVDs. 1995-96/color/17 hrs/NR/fullscreen.

Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor) was the rookie during Homicide’s first season. By the fourth, he's an experienced vet with a bad back (a degenerative disc, to be precise). Stan Bolander (Ned Beatty) and Beau Felton (Daniel Baldwin) are gone, leaving Meldrick Lewis (Clark Johnson) and Kay Howard (Melissa Leo) without partners. Someone needs to come along to shake things up. Enter brash detective Mike Kellerman (Reed Diamond) from the arson unit. After impressing Lieutenant Giardello (Yaphet Kotto) with his sly interrogation of a shifty arson suspect in "Fire (Part One)," he’s invited to join Maryland's finest. The loquacious Lewis, on his own since the third-season departure of Steve Crosetti (Jon Polito), has finally found the perfect sparring partner, while Kellerman would add some redheaded sex appeal to the acclaimed drama (hey, it worked for NYPD Blue).

Another new character, naive crime-scene videographer James Brodie (Max Perlich), makes his (somewhat shambolic) entrance in "Autofocus." All the other old favorites are back: Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher) and wife Mary (Braugher’s real-life spouse Ami Brabson), for instance, are expecting a baby, and the much-married John Munch (Richard Beltzer) is dating the new medical examiner. Interesting developments are in store for the rest of the unit, as well, including a change in location (due to a gas leak) and command (Howard is promoted, but Isabella Hofman's Captain Russert is demoted).

Notable episodes include "A Doll's Eyes," a look at a murder case from the perspective of the victim's family (with Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden); "Heartbeat," inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart"; and "Thrill of the Kill," an eerie tale about a spree killer with a split personality. And keep an eye out for those always-surprising cameos, like Jay Leno in "Sniper (Part One)" and Reverend Horton Heat in "Full Moon." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • 22 episodes in the order intended by the series' producers
  • Commentary by Clark Johnson and writer Anya Epstein on "The Hat"
  • "Homicide: Life in Season 4": an interview with Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, Henry Bromell, David Simon, and James Yoshimura, narrated by Isabella Hoffmann
  • Song listing

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Reed Diamond, Isabella Hofmann, Clark Johnson
  • Directors: Clark Johnson, Alan Taylor, Bruno Kirby, Darnell Martin, Don Scardino
  • Format: Box set, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Run Time: 1034 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018YCJ6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,055 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Homicide Life on the Street - The Complete Season 4" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The fourth season of Homicide is packed with all the things that make it great television; intelligent writing, complex characters, top-flight acting and unique photography. However, the drama is ratcheted up a notch, removing it somewhat from its book-based, slower-moving roots in the first season. It is also the year of the Dynamic Duo (Pembleton and Bayliss, plus Lewis and Kellerman.) Meldrick Lewis has been without a partner since the suicide of his former partner, Crosetti, in the show's third season. Enter Mike Kellerman (Reed Diamond), a hotshot detective from the Arson Squad who impresses Giardello and is transferred into the unit. Lewis and Kellerman find that they are a good fit and their light and breezy chemistry is a breath of fresh air in an often dark atmosphere. The two bring a spark of fun into work, as evidenced by such episodes as, "Full Moon," "I've Got a Secret," and most notably, "The Hat," in which they allow a seemingly harmless suspect to escape from custody over a dish of rice pudding. But the two have their differences as shown in, "Scene of the Crime," when they clash over the role of a Muslim neighborhood patrol group in the murder of a drug-dealer. Lewis and Kellerman would also have their first encounter with ruthless drug lord, Luther Mahoney in, "The Damage Done." Mahoney would turn out to be a major villain and would start a running plot thread that would last throughout the following two seasons. Meanwhile, the more philosophical, serious pair of Frank Pembleton and Tim Bayliss would face their own difficulties throughout the year. Bayliss is haunted by the unsolved Adena Watson case from the first season in, "Requiem for Adena," when he finds himself working on another child murder.Read more ›
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"Homicide" season 4 preserved the show's unique trend of realistic murder mysteries mixed in with a decidedly non-soap-opera look at the lives of its detectives. This year featured the show's first true crossover with "Law & Order", and also featured three other two-part episodes, as well as some surprising guest turns.
Beau Felton and Stan Bolander are gone. That's the bad news. However, Mike Kellerman (Reed Diamond), a hot-shot arson detective, joined the squad in the season-opening two-parter ("FIre) and soon we're introduced to Brodie (Max Pehrlich), the oddball videographer hired by Giardello (Yaphet Kotto) and Russert to document the unit. Bayliss ("Requiem for Adena") and Pembleton ("Work Related") remained the show's signature detectives. Bad news was in store for Russert's (Isabella Hoffmann) rapid career advancement, shortly after Howard (Melissa Leo) got promoted to sergeant.
"Homicide" was also noteworthy for its guest stars. Names you'll recognize this season include Chris Rock, Lily Tomlin (nominated for an Emmy), Stephanie Romanov ("Angel"), Illeana Douglas, J.K. Simmons ("Law & Order"), Dean Winters ("Oz"; reprising a role from the previous season), and surprising glimpses of Mandy Patinkin and Jay Leno. Also appearing are Melissa Leo (doing double-duty playing Howard's sister) and Peter Gerety, as a uniform who'd go on to join the regular cast during the show's final seasons.
This season's episodes are:
* Fire (1 & 2)
* Autofocus
* Thrill of the Kill
* Hate Crimes
* A Doll's Eyes
* Heartbeat
* Sniper (1 & 2)
* The Hat
* I've Got a Secret
* For God and Country
* Justice (1 & 2)
* Stakeout
* Requiem for Adena
* Full Moon
* Scene of the Crime
* Map of the Heart
* The Damage Done
* The Wedding
* Work Related
Comment 26 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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While Homicide would continue for three more seasons, season 4 was the last true great season of this marvelous show. This is thanks to NBC's tampering. This season includes the best episode of any television drama (a bold statement, but watch it and see), "A Doll's Eyes" a heartbreaking tale of a little boy shot in a mall, and the trauma his parents suffer. Other episodes of interest: Thrill of the Kill, Full Moon, and Stakeout. Homicide season 4: Buy it!
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The quality here is almost indescribable. So many great episodes, so much fine acting from the entire cast to match the top-notch writing and production. Fortunately, much of the quality is sustained through Season 5, so I'm waiting for the DVD release of it and Season 6 (which was still better than 99.99% of the other stuff on US TV at the time).
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David Simon, the creator of HBO's "The Wire" and one of the brains behind "Homicide: Life on the Street", was asked recently why the "The Wire" has never had high ratings in the USA, despite getting mad love from the critics. His response was blunt. He put the show's poor ratings down to the fact that "The Wire" has a predominantly black cast, the unglamorous Baltimore setting and the fact that The Wire "requires thought and commitment to watch and absorb complex plotlines and subtleties. Television in America is by and large a vegetative medium."

I believe "Homicide: Life on the Street" was similarly affected. With all due respect to its citizens, the Fells Point district of Baltimore where this series is shot is not a particularly pretty part of the city and, with a sizable black population, it's inevitable that the vast majority of people the Baltimore murder police are likely to come across are going to be African American. I find it sad but can totally understand why that might not be what most people want to tune in on an evening to see - or indeed, later pay money to see on DVD. When you look at "CSI: Miami" for instance, (reportedly the most popular TV series in the world at the moment), you can immediately see the vast disparity between the two. Everything about that show is about glamour: the city settings, the big houses and big fast cars and everyone totally buff and beautiful. It's escapism at its best in that it bears little or no resemblance to reality. But in this age of superficiality and celebrity mania, I'm guessing this is what most folks are up for.

But I believe such folks are missing out. If "Homicide" is anything, it's realistic. This season was the first to have a full 22 episodes. The storylines are tense, gripping and real.
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