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Homicide Life on the Street - The Complete Season 7

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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(May 31, 2005)
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$119.98 $77.99

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Richard Belzer, Yaphet Kotto. One of the grittiest and most authentic-feeling cop shows ever aired wraps up its memorable run with this seventh and final season. Includes the last 22 episodes from the Emmy Award-winning series. 6 DVDs. 1998-99/color/17 hrs., 30 min/NR.

Homicide's seventh season was surely its riskiest. Could they go on without Andre Braugher--should they even try? Fortunately, the answer is yes. As good as Braugher was, Homicide wasn't a star vehicle and the ensemble remained strong. Of course, there were a few cast changes, but that was nothing unusual. In season premiere "Famiglia," two new characters are introduced: Det. Renée Sheppard (Michael Michele, Ali) and Sgt. Giardello's FBI agent son, Mike (Giancarlo Esposito, Do the Right Thing), visiting from Arizona. In the follow-up "Brotherly Love," Mike decides to stay and becomes special liaison to the Baltimore PD. In addition, Austin Pendleton (Oz) would appear frequently as Chief ME George Griscom.

As ever, a variety of charismatic performers dropped by during 1998-1999. They include Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU), Jena Malone (Donnie Darko), Wallace Shawn (My Dinner With André), and Reed Diamond (Judging Amy), reprising his role as Mike Kellerman. In addition, a crossover with Law & Order ("Sideshow") brought Benjamin Bratt, Jerry Orbach, and Sam Waterston into the fold. Notable seventh season directors include Lisa Cholodenko (High Art), Miguel Arteta (Chuck and Buck), Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost), and Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark).

The general consensus is that Homicide's seventh season was its weakest. Even at its worst, however, it was still the smartest crime drama on network television. Although year seven would turn out to be the last, the show didn't really end until broadcast of Homicide: The Movie the following year. In it, the surviving cast members reunite to solve the attempted assassination of mayoral candidate Giardello. The TV movie also ties up loose ends from series finale "Forgive Us Our Trespasses" (like whether Kyle Secor’s Tim Bayliss killed a murder suspect). Unfortunately, it isn't included with this 22-episode set. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • 22 episodes on six discs, in the order intended by the series producers
  • Live panel discussion with Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson, James Yoshimura, and David Simon
  • Barry Levinson's acceptance speech for the 2004 Video Software Dealers Association Career Achievement Award
  • Cast biographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Belzer, Giancarlo Esposito, Peter Gerety, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto
  • Directors: Clark Johnson, Adam Bernstein, Alan Taylor, Barbara Kopple, Brad Anderson
  • Format: Box set, Color, 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: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 1056 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007XG4GE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,568 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Homicide Life on the Street - The Complete Season 7" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

There is nothing worse for a diehard fan of a truly great television series than to see their favorite work spiral from top quality to bottom-of-the-barrel. Many reviewers have already said it and it is very true; Homicide's final season was, by far, its weakest. The most obvious reason was, of course, due to the departure of Emmy winner Andre Braugher as the moralistic and intense centerpiece of the show, Frank Pembleton, but one also can't overlook the damage done by Reed Diamond's exit as the turbulent Mike Kellerman. The absence of these two genuine characters, succeeding the departures of other greats like Kay Howard, Stan Bolander, Juliana Cox, Beau Felton and Megan Russert, was just too much for the series to take.

But its not only the lack of decent characters that hurt the show; bad writing and gimmicky plots further drove Homicide downward. There is no better evidence of this than the introduction of Lt. Al Giardello's son Mike (Giancarlo Esposito) as an FBI liaison to the Baltimore police department. The conflict between father and son is supposed to be compelling, but the two actors and characters are so different and share so little chemistry that its impossible to regard their ongoing struggle to reconnect as little more than a bad soap opera subplot, not worthy of Homicide's past creative achievements. The other new face is Det. Renee Sheppard (Michael Michele.) She is little more than just a new face. She has no personality and adds nothing to the group dynamic of the show. Other players from the previous year (Gharty, Falsone and Ballard) take center stage in this season. They were tolerable before, but their personal relationships and watery portrayals only show why a good ensemble drama needs good actors and authentic characters to be successful.
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Many fans and critics derided season seven of "Homicide" for one reason: the loss of Andre Braugher, who had felt that the character of Pembelton had been taken as far as possible. While it is disappointing to have "Homicide" without him, season seven is capable of standing on its own. Standout episodes include the two-part "Kellerman: PI," "," "La Famiglia," and the final episode, "Forgive Us Our Tresspasses." The twenty-two episodes are available on six discs and include:

La Famiglia

Brotherly Love

Just an Old Fashioned Love Song

The Twenty Percent Solution

Red, Red Wine

Wanted Dead or Alive: Parts One & Two

Kellerman, P.I.: Parts One & Two

Shades of Gray

Bones of Contention

The Same Coin

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While I normally don't deride others comments on these boards, I have to thoroughly disagree with the earlier writer who said that seasons six and seven were the only ones worth watching. NBC made an attempt to make the show more accessible to fans of shows such as NYPD Blue and Law and Order, it doesn't hold a candle to the earlier seasons. However, everyone is entitled to an opinion and here is mine.

While season six had a decent mix of the long standing characters (Pembleton, Bayliss, Munch, Louis) combined with Kellerman (who in my opinion was harder to replace than Pembleton in some ways) and bits of the new characters, season seven relies almost entirely on the "new and improved" NBC version of Homicide.

That means more Falsone, more Ballard, more Gharty combined with Sheppard. While Ballard and Gharty aren't bad characters, Falsone is pretty hard to swallow and Sheppard doesn't ever fit the show's image. It seems as if each character is attempting to replay a former character. Falsone resembles a less sympathetic Felton, Ballard is attempting to play a "sexy" Howard, and Gharty a more blue collar Bolander. None is as good as the original. Also, the long standing partnerships of characters drove the show in many ways (Pembleton/Bayliss, Bolander/Munch). It was almost a novelty to see the original cast team up with someone else such as when Louis was searching for partner to bridge the time between Crosetti and Kellerman. Now they sort of freelance with various partners, killing some of the strength of the dialogue of earlier seasons.

The reason to watch this season is the writing as well as the catharsis experienced by the Bayliss character.
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