Homicide: Life on the Street - The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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Considered the most realistic cop drama ever aired, Homicide: Life on the Street gives viewers a unique cops'-eye view of one of the most challenging jobs imaginable.
Created by Writer/Director Tom Fontana (St. Elsewhere, OZ) and Executive Producer Barry Levinson (The Perfect Storm, Oz) and based on David Simon's (The Wire) book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, HOMICIDE features TV's most powerful ensemble cast, including Richard Belzer (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit), Emmy®-winner Andre Braugher (Thief, Frequency), Yaphet Kotto (Alien), and Ned Beatty (Deliverance) with guest appearances from James Earl Jones, Robin Williams, Steve Buscemi, Peter Gallagher, Chris Rock, Wilford Brimley, and other star actors.
HOMICIDE garnered two Emmy® Awards, three Peabody Awards, three Television Critics Awards, two Writers Guild Awards, and was named to TV Guide's "The Greatest Episodes in TV History" and "TV's Greatest Characters" lists.
Now, one of television's crowning achievements is available in its entirety on 35 DVDs and includes all 122 episodes spanning seven critically acclaimed seasons, the three Law & Order crossover episodes, and Homicide: The Movie.
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Top Customer Reviews
Both shows have ensemble casts, and follow the pattern of "Hill Street Blues" rather than the "Law and Order" model, where all four or six principle characters are in every episode. An entire episode of Homicide can go by and you don't see a third of the cast, and another third of the cast are background or "color". Aside from "Hill Street Blues", the show this most reminds me of is "The Closer", except that there is less activity away from the squad room, and no character plays as central a role as Brenda Lee Johnson, and there is less cordial, more realistic interactions with "the bosses", above the shift commander Lieutenant.
I'm glad I got all the seasons at once, because if I had just gotten the first season, I may have been a tad disappointed at first. On the one hand, there are several delightful, strong characters. lead by Ned Beatty (in the only "featured" role, Andre Braugher, Yaphet Kotto and Richard Belzer (Yes, I know, Belzer is NOT in the same class of actor as the first three, but by now, he is such a familiar face that he makes you feel at home.) On the other hand, Daniel Baldwin and Jon Polito don't seem to fit in, which is probably why they leave in after the third and second seasons respectively.
Both leave by their dying, Polito's character by suicide and Baldwin's character by shooting. The reaction to deaths, and even to woundings in this show is more intense than you see in any other cop show. The interactions between characters is deep, especially between partners, such as between characters played by Beatty and Belzer.
Aside from Beatty, one performance stands head and shoulders over the others. That is the role of Frank Plembleton, played by Richard Braugher. The show's producers can be thankful that he stayed for six out of the seven seasons.
The show does follow patterns similar to some some other cop shows, where there is a crime of the day in the foreground, and a situation with one or more characters persisting in an ark over several episodes, usually between two and four, although one does last for the better part of a season and another spans all seven seasons.
The extras in this set are well worth while. The best is the three "Law and Order" episodes in which two or three "Homicide" characters, especially Detective Munch, appear. Each is paired with three Homicide episodes, in which two or three "Law and Order" characters, primarily Briscoe, appear in "Homicide" episodes.
There is also a full length 2 hour TV movie, in which all the characters over the seven seasons reappear. The plot is a reasonably good mystery, but the object of the film is simply to pull everyone together one last time.