Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
For the first time ever, the complete series of Steven Bochco& landmark drama Hill Street Blues has arrived on DVD. Originally broadcast on NBC from 1981 to 1987, these 144 episodes represent compelling and groundbreaking television at its finest.
Let s be careful out there, advises Sgt. Esterhaus every morning at roll call. And as the officers and detectives at the Hill Street station house patrol their citys streets, they must indeed maintain a careful balance between serving their citizens and inciting hostility from criminal elements. Yet as dangerous as their precinct is, the men and women of Hill Street often find that their biggest battles involve protecting themselves from the Public Defenders office, self-serving bureaucrats and each other.
An incredible ensemble cast (including Daniel J. Travanti, Veronica Hamel, Bruce Weitz, Dennis Franz and Betty Thomas) and sharp, layered writing helped make Hill Street Blues the most acclaimed and influential series of its day. The winner of 26 Emmy Awards (including four for Outstanding Drama Series) and a mainstay on any roll call of the greatest television shows of all time, Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series is unquestionably a must-have for any fan of engrossing and classic television.
Hill Street Blues transcends its era to remain tremendous TV… Watching the entire series on DVD, available in this form for the first time, its amazing just how easy it is to get lost all over again in the world of the Hill, all of the ways that the show invites viewers to consider its universe of complexity and class struggle, complication, and compassion… Its in the cast of incredible characters that the show continues to resonate to this day. --Todd VanDerWerff, The AV Club
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
SPOILER ALERT: I will discuss most (not all) of the aspects of the new box set here. If you want to be surprised, stop reading until after you open the set. I'm very explicit here as to what is contained in the box.
UPDATE: I now have the 2014 NEW DVD SHOUT FACTORY SET of HILL STREET BLUES: The Complete Series. Without "spoilers," allow me to say that this is THE REAL THING. If you've been waiting for a real presentation of this great series for 20/30 years - look no more. This is a very handsomely housed set of discs comprising all 7 seasons of the great show. The episodes look almost remastered and new - these appear to be struck from new prints or at the very least, the person who did the transferes clearly cared. They eps look like a million dollars and it's jarring to see the show look this good again. The episodes are easy and consise. Everything is outlined and marked beautifuly and it's a very intuitive set. That said - there are 4 commentaries - I've not yet heard them nor compared them to the original DVD set of the first 2 seasons, so I don't know if they are carryovers or not.
BURNING QUESTION: Do these contain "previously on Hill Street Blues?" The answer is YES. In some cases as I did a very quick browse, you also get "and tonight, on Hill Street Blues" - as for me at that point I just hit the NEXT button which takes you into the top of roll call screen. These eps have NEVER looked and sounded this good (picture is original TV ratio and sound is an unusually clear 2.0).
Again, while I don't want to spoil, the extras are mostly contained to one disc (except the commentaries) and are quite great. There are a bunch of interviews with actors, writers and other creatives involved in the show (It's a real bounty of extras although I have yet to sit and watch them. But just to wet your apetite, Dennis Franz does an interview explaining the differences between Buntz and Bennedetto.)
The gag reel is super short and probably could've been included in other material, and I was secretly hoping for commentaries on the final episodes, etc - from the likes of present-day David Milch - there are no later-season commentaries as far as I could tell - just four from the first 2/3 seasons.
At the forefront of the extras is a massive making of HSB documentary (it's in two parts - both run together for over 2 hours I think - all modern (2013) interviews from everyone involved.
To sum up, this is the holy grail and as good as it's going to get. Every episode presented in a stellar manner and in the best audio/video it's ever been in since broadcast, completely UNCUT (a bunch of renegade bootlegs have been making the rounds that are cut for language and violence - these episodes are completely uncut with all the original music and act breaks. The bootlegs look like crap recorded from a VCR situation - these are a studio-quality older series reference point on how to present an older show and make it look great.
Again, this is what we've always wanted. All the "previously ons, all the uncut eps, and perfect audio/video with a whole disc of amazing and fun and current extras.
Bravo, Shout Factory! HILL STREET BLUES is alive and better than ever thanks to you!
If you are on the fence about buying these - don't be. They are NOTHING for the price - all 7 seasons in pristine form with extras in a beautiful sturdy box? The wait is over, justice has been served - HILL
STREET BLUES in all its original and ragged glory. A perfect A +.
UPDATE: OCTOBER 1, 2014: So after a break, I went ahead and watched seasons 3, 4 & 5. The transfers are terrific. There seems to be a slight difference in transfer quality betwen the first 3 and 4 & 5, (understandable as the first 3 were slated for release while SHOUT FACTORY supervised the new transfers.) Seasons 4 & 5 seem a bit brighter but again - aged terrific for such an old show. Great negatives. As far as the PREVIOUSLY ON debate continues: Season 3 has SOME PREVIOUSLY ON along with a TONIGHT ON - you can also skip directly to roll call. Season 4 has many PREVIOUSLY ON with a FEW TONIGHT ONs, and season 5 has a LOT of PREVIOUSLY ON HILL STREET BLUES (mostly all missing from seasons 1 & 2 and are a welcome return.) Season 2 had a couple of interesting commentaries (Bruce Weitz admitted Belker growled way too much in early seasons) but once season 3 hits, no more commentaries to be found. Still going through - taking a break then on to 6 & 7, when Bochco left and Milch & Lewis took over. I will do a full, season by season mini-review when I'm done, but probably season 5 has some of the best of the series and many episodes that feel like they were marking time - putting Fay in the office I think was a mistake but I will get into fuller review mode once I finish the entire set - but so far, so great - good menus - no glitches - not one disc problem - no need to be careful with these discs. And season 5 season finale was a unexpected bookend to the saeson 1 finale, which might've been Bochco's way of saying GOODBYE to the show - but I'n just guessing. Usually I put one one and end up watching 8 - that's how addicting this show can be.
UPDATE: DEC. 26 - Noticing some things in seasons 6 & 7. Something I had noticed before is becoming a little more prevalent - wondering if some of these transfers were done before final picture "sweetening." Plan to take a more in-depth look but in the season 7 opener, "SUITCASE", there is a shot of kids walking on the street in the last few minutes that should be in the dark but looks like it's the sunny afternoon. This occurs a few times - wondering if that scene was darkened for air and if this version had not had the change done yet. Just some small things - at the end of the season 6 episode 2 - there is a key bit of dialogue that can barely be heard in this mix. In ep two of season 7, Howard Hunter drives listening not to classical music as in the original airing, but - must be due to song rights - is now listening to some Kenny G power-keyboards. Maybe a few more tiny things like that. Also - Buntz has a crazy-high body count for two seasons. Just getting into the extras bonus disc - great docu - Milch conspicuously absent from it. Lots of interviews with Dennis Franz regarding the differences between Benedetto and Buntz. What a great set.
JULY 2015: A few of you have asked if they are double-sided discs like the previous release from FOX - the answer is no - every disc is about 4-5 episodes or so and looks GREAT.
So, I went looking for something comparable in the 'police/crime drama' genre without regard for production age; time and time again, critical reviews and television history blogs yielded the HSB series with uniformly attendant accolades. Then, I went to youtube and watched a couple episodes, which was entirely superfluous because, after the first 10 minutes of the initial installment, I knew I'd want it all!
It's not blue-ray or full screen, but the picture and sound are just fine and, at this point, about 3-4 weeks after purchase, I've raced into season 4 while developing an attachment to the characters that is unrivaled in my viewing experience, but for "The Wire".
Early in season 2, the exceptional writing team turned the corner with protracted plot lines that extend beyond 50 minute episodes and, much like my favorite show, then began to expand the milieu to include the intersection of policework with contingent daily realities like the press and politics. Moreover, actual filming in the dreary, threatening, and run-down streets of Chicago's blighted areas lends a credence to stories that is equaled only by "The Wire's" regular use of Baltimore's slums as a stage.
Quite frankly, on all counts, this antiquated gem stands shoulder-to-shoulder, if not higher in cases, with more contemporary standouts across all genres like The Sopranos; ER; Six Feet; Downton Abbey; Madmen; West Wing; Arrested Development; Game of Thrones; Dexter; and Doc Martin. From one discerning viewer to another: My highest recommendation./peace, kate