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Hill Street Blues - Season 2

4.8 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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(May 16, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Created by Steven Bochco (?Murder One,? ?NYPD Blue?) and Michael Kozoll, and featuring an ensemble cast including Daniel J. Travanti, Veronica Hamel, Bruce Weitz, Charles Haid, Betty Thomas and James Sikking, each episode chronicled a day-in-the-life of the cops on the beat, starting with the infamous morning roll call and ending with a recap of the day?s events. The first hard-hitting series of its kind, ?Hill Street Blues? garnered 26 Emmy® Awards ? including four for Outstanding Drama ? won two Golden Globes®, and is credited with inspiring beloved dramas such as ?St. Elsewhere,? ?Law & Order? and ?NYPD Blue.?

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Despite critical acclaim, Hill Street Blues could not get arrested ratings-wise its first season. Far from being careful out there, the superb second season did nothing to tinker with the integrity of this groundbreaking series to make it more audience friendly. Multiple storylines, overlapping dialogue, gritty language, and a pseudo-documentary style capture the palpable chaos and tension of what one character calls "the rat-infested, poverty-stricken urban reality." From the precinct-house shooting rampage that opens the season to a hijacked hearse in the season-ending episode, Hill Street Blues deftly walks the line between police procedural and personal drama, further fleshing out its gallery of compelling and colorful characters. Belker (Bruce Weitz) is still a growling mad dog who takes bites out of perps. But in one of the series' most memorable story arcs, he forms a surprising bond with the delusional costumed citizen Captain Freedom (Dennis Dugan), Public defender Joyce (Victoria Hamel)'s steamroller persona breaks down when a colleague is murdered and the case is thrown out because of a technicality.

Other dramatic developments: LaRue (Keil Martin) falls off the wagon and endangers his partner, Washington (Taurean Blacque), during a drug bust ("Zen and the Art of Law Enforcement"); Goldblume (Joe Spano) gets personally involved in the case of an abusive slumlord ("Of Mouse and Man," featuring future Miami Vice star Edward James Olmos as a threatened tenant); Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) is still bedeviled by sexual siren Grace Gardner (Barbara Babcock); and Precinct Capt. Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti, who earned his second Emmy for Best Actor) and Joyce bring their clandestine affair out into the open. Other ongoing storylines involve realistic depictions of police corruption and inter-partner race relations. Hill Street's second season fulfilled the promise of its auspicious first, and repeated as TV's Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards. No roll call of classic, trendsetting TV series would be complete without it. --Donald Liebenson


Special Features

  • Commentary on 2 episodes
  • "The Hill Street Blues Story" featurette
  • "Belker Unleashed" featurette
  • "Confessions of Captain Freedom" featurette
  • "A Cowboy on the Hill" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Conrad, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz, James Sikking
  • Directors: Arnold Laven, David Anspaugh, Georg Stanford Brown, Gregory Hoblit, Jeff Bleckner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 850 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EHSVC8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,986 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hill Street Blues - Season 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Aubry on June 16, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Please, please release season 3 and the other seasons of Hill Street Blues. The first two season were excellent and I want more!

Other fans, please click on my review as helpful so the powers that be can see we want more HSB.
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Hill Street Blues is not a happy show per se. Sure, it is frequently funny, but it is a MASH brand of gallows humor. The show is also tragic, violent, gritty, at times it is even emotionally overwhelming. So why do I call it feel good television? Because watching it makes me feel good. I can't describe it exactly, all I can say is that I have turned into a Hill Street Blues addict. It has reached a point where I can't sit down and watch a single episode, I have to watch two, three, even four. God help me, Hill Street Blues is wrecking my social life! But I'm loving every minute of it.

Needless to say, I consider Stephen Bochco's series to be one of the hallmarks of television. It is a brilliant, groundbreaking, highly ambitious program that isn't without its flaws, but then how many great works of art are truly flawless? Strangely enough, it reminds me of the original Star Trek, ahead of its time but also very much a product of its time. Sure, the acting isn't always the greatest, but every actor embodies his or her character so thoroughly that it is impossible to imagine these roles being played by anybody else. Sure, the show can be overly melodramatic, or didactic, or dated, or cliched, or juvenile, or even corny...again, so what? Watching Hill Street Blues is like watching the whole art form of TV undergoing an incubation process, gradually evolving into adulthood. Besides, each episode is so varied due to the ensemble cast and the multilayered style of storytelling that even if you're groaning one minute, you know that you are going to be laughing or crying or simply sitting back and admiring the incredible artistry of the whole thing the next. There may be bad moments, but no bad episodes. Even the opening credits are brilliant.
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Format: DVD
Half way through season one discs and season two will be a must have. Great characters Capt. Furillo, Sgt. Esterhaus, LaRue, Washington, Hunter, Goldblume, et al. If you're not familiar with these names buy season one and then join me in ordering number two. Entertaining story lines mixed with part grit, humor and lots of pathos. Quality TV that stands up well about an inner city police precint. One of the best TV series ever, winner of multiple Emmeys and highly recommended.
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The only reason I can see for Fox to drag their feet in releasing Season 3 is that Season 1 sold great and Season 2's sales fell way below the studio's expectations based on Season 1's sales. Having said this, if this is the case, I would hope that Fox would consider continuing to release seasons of this show and just manufacture far fewer units so that at least the true blue fans of the show can get it in it's entirety. I know Fox did this with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, so they can do it with Hill Street Blues as well.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hill Street Blues was one of the most inovative shows of it's time. The writer of the show did an excellent job at looking into the daily life of urban america and the troubles of the times. Even though the show did not base the show in one city, it reflected many cities throughout the country. I showed this show to my students at school on our free friday and they loved it. I try to expose them to different things and try to relate things to their time of hip hop.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I just finished watching the complete season 2. It is shocking

just how much better this series was than anything on the major

networks in recent years. First, and foremost, is the quality of

the writing. The cast has a diversity of behavior that simply

would not be permitted today. Some of the great scenes are just

too politically incorreect for today's TV. This show is gritty,

funny, and always entertaining.
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Format: DVD
Watching the first season on DVD, I was surprised at how well this great show has withstood the test of time, Belker's epithets withstanding ("Hairball", "Dogbreath", and all the variations of the two the writers could come up with). The secret to Hill Street Blues' greatness? It's the writing! (Okay, and the acting by a hugely talented ensemble of then-unknown actor..and the photography, shot with a film-like eye for detail...and Mike Post's music...okay, it's everything) But the writing is outstanding, even dealing with the restrictions the network censors put in their way (thus, "hairball" and "dogbreath"). If you have seen the first season, who could forget the moment at the end of the last episode of LaRue, finally confronting his alcoholism, attending an AA meeting, and finding Furillo there. What series in 1981 would have had its stalwart, heroic lead be a recovering alcoholic in AA? Today, of course, but then? Of course not. So I'm looking foward to season two, assured that great writing and acting will still entertain, shock, and move me, even after twenty three years.
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Let all the folks at Fox know how you feel. They claim support was soft for the series' release on DVD. Cannot believe that we will not get to see the addition of Buntz, Sid, and more.
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