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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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The ending of the Captain Freedom saga is right out of a well filmed movie. Quite memorable.
As is becoming the standard around the HILL STREET neighborhood, violence strikes a nerve close to home when Joyce Davenport (Veronica Hamel) approaches the end of her career rope when a lawyer colleague is murdered.
Renko (Charles Haid) is having a difficult time coming to grips with his estranged father who is stricken with cancer.
And Grace Gardener (the always "in heat" Barbara Babcock) continues her sexual torment of Esterhaus (Michael Conrad). I personally almost tire of her schtick but I keep watching. She is radiant, to put it somewhat mildly.
I mention some of the lighter fare, here, which is probably the worse part of the show for some, but the drama and police work are truly gritty and real.
I recently saw POLICE Story Season 1 and HILL STREET BLUES SEASON 2 overall is consistently better. Like the 1st season of HILL STREET I continue to have no problem watching 3 episodes in a row.
Greatest show of the 80's -- and then some!?
By the way this is the season policeman Coffey (Ed Marinaro) eventually appears.
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon movies) has a big part as Hudson a local product who does community work in the neighborhood. Is he for real?
The xtras are two commentaries by actors Haid, Dugan, and Weitz as part of the Capt freedom saga with the writers also commenting on a 2nd Capt Freedom episode. Pretty good. The featurettes are about Belker and that Freedom dude; and there is the HILL STREET BLUES (back)STORY.
Too bad there are not more Gag Reels because one is a laugh riot with (you guessed it) Capt Freedom.
I will gladly Buy the rest of the seasons. Just Make It Available !!!!
Large ensemble casts such as this show had make demands on an audience that often result in a shorter lifespan than this one’s seven years. Kudos to the network for sticking by it, such loyalties are rare these days. It’s still hard to believe that Mick Belker--the Animal--had a mother. Pairing him with a simian was a stroke of pure genius. All these officers had lives that were intertwined with their service on the force. It preserved a folksiness that belied the real police work and dangers the officers faced. This show was never formulaic, if you expect a neat wrap up at the end of each episode you will be sorely disappointed. What isn’t missing is real humanity and an often cutting sense of humour. These officers aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves. There are the requisite chase scenes and more than enough gun play but they do not define what this series was about.
Whatever its innovations the show is a reflection of its era. The officer’s leather jackets would be too warm for most US Cities today and bullet-proof vests are still a point of discussion. Their hairstyles and casual clothing definitely date the show. Their patrol cars and crossbucks are from another era. The precinct phones are touch tone but the show predates desktop computers and cell phones. Pay phones are on every street corner and reports are typed on clunky old mechanical typewriters. Reports are filed in cabinets. What hasn’t changed are the courts and justice system that favours those who can afford to buy ‘justice’. Rare is the public defender who will go to bat for the little guy. With courts over-crowded most cases are plea-bargained. The young law student for whom Joyce Davenport goes the extra mile is a refreshing change. The types of crime may have changed but human nature hasn’t and in the end it is the show’s humanity that makes it worth watching. The kitten in the forager hat that mews at the end of each show is priceless.
Classic and, based on 20 years experience in Law Enforcement, the day to day experiences of the officers are right on although they do take certain dramatic liberties (doesn't Hollywood always do that) with exaggerated frequency.
Still though the best of bread in what it's really like to be a cop, with all the humor, drama, tragedy and politics that go with the job.