21 Jump Street: The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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The landmark television series which catapulted the success of the FOX TV network and the career of Johnny Depp is now available in for the first time its entirety! All 103 episodes from the 5 season run of this groundbreaking drama are now available in this 18 DVD collection.
Co-created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell (THE A-TEAM, THE ROCKFORD FILES) not only dealt with timely social issues, but also featured a cavalcade of guest stars including:
Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn, Jason Priestley, Josh Brolin, Christina Applegate, Bridget Fonda, Dom DeLuise, Rosie Perez, John Waters, Shannen Doherty, Thomas Haden Church, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Don Rickles and many more!
Officer Tom Hanson (Depp) leads his band of agents in the special Jump Street division by going undercover to infiltrate local schools to put a stop to crime and keep students safe from corrupt influences. The 21 Jump Street team is a mixed group including the wise cracking Officer HT Ioki (Dustin Nguyen), the brilliant Officer Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson Peete), the streetwise Officer Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise) and, in latter episodes, the renegade Officer Dennis Booker (Richard Grieco).
Bonus Episode: "Deals and Wheels: Part 1" which is a cross-over episode from the series Booker.
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First, the DVD set Pros...
-The set is decently affordable at about sixty to seventy bucks (especially compared to the season by season box set cost.)
-The quality of the transfer is pretty close to the original Anchor Bay DVDs. The original source material was rough to begin with though, and there's only so much you can do to pretty it up. It's not the nest looking show on film.
As far as the cons go...
-The packaging is medium to subpar. Mill Creek is the king of budget DVD releases, and over the past year or so they've changed the style with which they box their DVD sets. Though the sets are packaged in clamshell-style cases, the DVDs themselves aren't housed on individual pegs or spindles. Instead they're individually wrapped in plain black paper sleeves which stack together and sort of snap into a frame on one side of the case. That means that when you want to pull out DVD #17, you have to pull them all out and sift through the sleeves, which can be a pain. With a smaller set it's not that big of a deal, but with these complete series sets it really gets to be a pain.
-There are no liner notes and no DVD booklet. You want to know which episode guest star's Brad Pitt? Go to IMDB and find it that way. Again, with a smaller or season set this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but with a complete series set it's really a pain.
-Also, and this was a problem with the original DVD releases as well, most if not all of the original music has been removed from the show. It's a sad fact of TV on DVD production that music rights are just too expensive and were never negotiated since there was no market at the time. It's nothing Mill Creek did wrong per-se, but it's also something they did not remedy from the Anchor Bay DVDs...
As far as the show itself goes, this is an example of Stephen J. Cannell at his most playful. Starring Peter and Michael Deluise, Holly Robinson (Peete), Dustin Nguyen, Steven Williams (the X-Files), Richard Grieco, and of course a young Johnny Depp in his break-out role as Officer Tom Hanson, 21 Jump Street was like the older brother of Saturday Morning cartoons in the 80s. Usually centered on some hot-button topic of the day, the series was a fun spin on detective shows that gave the actors a lot of range to play all sorts of undercover roles.
Though the episodes do stray more toward a lighter tone, they're usually fun and always entertaining. The series is a snapshot of what the Fox Network was like during it's inception as well, and helped to define a slightly hipper alternative to the normal programming on the main three networks. It works best as a time capsule of 80s television and features a plethora of guest stars like Brad Pitt, Pauley Shore, Mario Van Peebles, Kurtwood Smith, Jason Priestley, Mindy Cohn, Bridget Fonda, Sherilynn Fenn, Josh Brolin, Christina Applegate, Vince Vaughn, John Waters, Shannon Doherty, and Thomas Haden Church.
All in all, for the price, the set is probably worth picking up if you're a fan and don't already own the series, though I would wait for a sale.
Non-sense talk from here on out:
I only have one complaint. Stop picking on Penhall. He is one of the most endearing characters I've ever seen(I own over 2500 movies, and 200 different complete TV shows) and they always give him the short end of the stick. Sometimes they even ignore continuity to give him an extra kick.
For Example(SPOILERS AHEAD):
The did an episode about suicide, and it comes out that Doug's mother committed suicide. That's terrible enough, but then later on in the series(less than 12 episodes), it comes out that his mother and father basically didn't care about him and that his father died when he was young too, and that he was raised from the age of 12 by his uncle. It's just mean. I could literally go on forever, but it really is said. Peter DeLuise did a great job with the character, and easily stole the show for me. I'm hoping something good happens for him before the end of the series.
Second, the quality is atrocious. Jumpstreet was in the 80's and 90's yet you swear it was made in the 50's with the horrid quality of this set. It looks like someone dubbed these straight from old VHS tapes recorded from a snowy TV! I could've dubbed my own DVDs from old VHS tapes of the show myself.
Jumpstreet fans and this show deserve a lot more! If you can't produce sets of good quality then don't produce them at all! I wasted my money because the full episodes on Youtube are of better quality than this mess!
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