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NYPD Blue - Season 1

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,725 customer reviews

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(May 20, 2008)
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(Mar 18, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As close to New York City's sordid crime scene as you're likely to get-or want to get. The first season of this stark, pull-no-punches cop show set the tough tone that continues to distinguish it from its many imitators 10 years later. Original cast members David Caruso (CSI: Miami), Dennis Franz, Sherry Stringfield (ER) and Amy Brenneman (Judging Amy) develop their distinctive, multifaceted characters in 22 slam-bang episodes. Includes audio commentaries, never-before-seen footage and a "making of" documentary. About 18 hours on 6 DVDs.

Within the first few minutes of the pilot episode, it's clear what made NYPD Blue stand out from the rest of the cop show pack, as the characters express themselves in startlingly colorful language. This, combined with glimpses of nudity, earned NYPD Blue the reputation as R-rated television--but just about every episode demonstrates the propulsive storytelling and superb ensemble acting that put substance behind the flash. The show revolves around two detectives: Tough, moralistic, but passionate John Kelly (David Caruso) and hair-trigger Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz), who wrestles with booze and racist tendencies. Caruso rose to prominence as the star, but his intensity bleeds too easily into preening self-righteousness; it's Franz, with a much more complex role, who really drives the show.

NYPD Blue's writers skillfully navigate both single-episode criminal cases (ranging from tense procedural sequences like Kelly slowly drawing a confession out of a man who killed a cab driver, to lighter cases like a stolen Oscar statuette) and storylines that stretch dizzily across the entire season. These sustained plots are the real meat of the show: Kelly's hardline ethics are humanized by watching him clumsily come to a professional relationship with his ex-wife Laura (Sherry Stringfield) and work through an affair with Officer Janice Licalsi (Amy Brenneman), who is herself entangled with mobsters; while Sipowicz's near-death in the pilot has repercussions that crop up throughout the series, threatening his sobriety and his developing relationship with a lawyer (Sharon Lawrence)--and then there's his tense relationship with African American Lt. Fancy (James McDaniel), which affords some trenchant looks at racism inside and outside the department. The writing, directing, and acting only gets more subtle and complex as the show goes on, making this set a must for any fan. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • All 22 season one episodes on 6 discs
  • One-hour "Making of Season One" documentary with never-before-seen footage
  • All-new "Love on NYPD Blue" and "Cast Blotter" featurettes
  • Selected episode commentaries
  • Script-to-screen comparison

Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel, Bill Brochtrup, Nicholas Turturro
  • Directors: Brad Silberling, Charles Haid, Daniel Sackheim, Dennis Dugan, Eric Laneuville
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 1078 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,725 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007I6FP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,057 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "NYPD Blue - Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 7, 2003
Format: DVD
With the fact that the show has been on for ten seasons and the proliferation of gritty and realistic programming now on TV (especially on HBO which has no restrictions), one can forget the power and shock of NYPD Blue when it premiered in 1993. David Bochco insisted that ABC allow him to use minor profanities and brief nudity to create a more realistic portrayal of the lives of New York City cops. While several stations balked at the show and refused to carry it, the show was an instant success. What really made the show so interesting was not the language or nudity, but the well written shows and first rate acting. Bochco veteran Dennis Franz plays alcoholic detective Andy Sipowicz, who was only supposed to be in the first episode, whose character is gunned down and nearly dies. Mr. Franz is superb as the volcanic Sipowicz and was rewarded with the first of his four Best Actor Emmys for the season, but the real star of the season is David Caruso. Mr. Caruso is simply magnetic as Sipowicz's partner John Kelly. Whereas Sipowicz is a hot head, Kelly exudes cool and calm. He is passionate about what he does, but his anger boils beneath the surface where Sipowicz's explodes. It is this dynamic between the two that makes the pairing work as one of the best in TV cop show history. Other cast members include Sherry Stringfield as Assistant D.A. Laura Michaels who is also Kelly's ex-wife, Amy Brenneman as Janice Licalsi who is a police desk officer that is tangled up with the mob and carrying on an affair with Kelly, James McDaniel as Lt. Arthur Fancy who heads the department and is black. Sipowicz is also a racist which causes much tension between him and Fancy. Nicholas Turturro is Dt. James Martinez who is a new detective who struggles for acceptance on the job.Read more ›
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What a joy to be able and revisit this show. I clearly recall the uproar it caused when it premiered, and it's still pretty provocative lo these ten years on.
If you follow the show, Dennis Franz has created one of the greatest characters in the history of television. Sipowicz is one for the ages, and seeing the tortured man in the initial episode, unable to know what we know...he calls his (unbeknownst to him) future wife a "p***y little b***h" within the first minutes of the first episode, for's a bit like going back in time.
Again, looking at that first episode. The cast includes, of course, the outstanding David Caruso (you can't take your eyes off him when he's he's on CSI: Miami), Amy Brennemann (Judging Amy), Sherrie Stringfield (ER), Nicholas Turturro, James McDaniel, Daniel Benzali, even David Schwimmer (Ross from Friends) a delight. The video transfer is eye-popping. The crisp yellows of the NY taxis, the cool blues in the station, Caruso's hair...all delivered vividly, with killer sound as well.
Oh yeah...this is great stuff.
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I had never seen any of the early NYPD Blues episodes with David Caruso until now. In fact I never wanted to see them because I had never found Caruso to be an attractive or particularly talented actor and wondered why he had the conceit to leave NYPD Blue so early in his career. After watching his charismatic and convincing performance as John Kelly I now understand. This whole first season of this groundbreaking show somehow made me wistful for a time gone by.
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For years my Tuesday nights revolved around this show. Then, sometime around the time they got yet another pair of gorgeous, yet totally colorless, female detectives, and yet another "Loo" and the show became totally a police procedual (I have to think budgetary cuts had to make dispensible anything outside the station house and exteriors filmed on an already established studio backlot), I gave up on it, and switched to the now supremely edgier and better written (and acted and directed) The Shield. That said, there were those years were the cooler talk at my place of work revolved around NYPD Blue, and it was never better than in its first, groundbreaking season. Forget the hype about the nudity and language: what made this show so great was its portrayal of complicated, fallible people--truth be told, men--doing a immensely difficult job. Kelly and Sipowicz were such compelling figures because they were basically decent men in a world where decency didn't necessarily solve the cases they had to deal with. Who could forget Kelly telling then young detective Martinez how far he would violate a suspect's rights to get a confession. It was brilliant drama, as we find ourselves confronting our own ambivilence about civil rights when they come to criminals. And who could forget that moment when a grieving couple whose son has been murdered look at a pigeon on a rooftop and speak of how that's the little boy's spirit come back to them. And Andy Sipowicz--angry, drunken, violent, racist Andy--saying that he could see the light around the pigeon and yes, it had to be the boy come back. Television didn't, and doesn't, get better than this. We all know that NYPD Blue should have ended years before it did (although that would have denied us the opportunity to see a great actor like Dennis Franz at work), but for this first season, and at least two more seasons, there was no better acted, written, directed drama on television. This is a box set worth having.
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