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I am a huge Angie Dickinson fan. I was very young when Police Woman
aired on NBC but I remember bits and pieces of it. I always thought
Pepper was just tops. She had FAR more ability than the Angels
did...IMO the Angels got made too easily...
I have season one on DVD and I love every episode. I know that the quality of the show went down after s1...thanks to politics and idiotic big bosses...BUT...I've seen some eps of the later seasons and EVEN THOUGH Pepper was tamer than in season one...there are still scenes in these eps where Pepper shines...in fact it seems that the most important dialogue in said eps come from Pepper....so let's not dismiss the other seasons because the quality is not as good as the first season.
Like someone else said...Police Woman covered MANY topics that were deemed risqué' or just weren't covered at that time in television. In the episode Bloody Nose, the subject is the battered husband...something we didn't hear about back then...and is REALLY just now getting news. And then I had forgotten the one with the battered wife that moves into Pepper's apartment complex.
And I like the observation someone else wrote about the little things like Pepper's condo and I would add her wardrobe...both something you'd see someone with her salary living in and wearing.
It really is a shame that this show doesn't get the props it deserves. Yes, it was flawed in the later seasons...but it doesn't take away from the fact that it was a good show with good topics...and it didn't have to get all sleazy like TV has become today.
I hope SONY gets the point and releases the rest of the seasons on dvdsets.
After I graduated from college, had a job, I'd sit in my single-girl's apartment, watching this show about a single woman working. In 1977-1978, the network would show Policewoman, Kojak and another cop show after the late night news. Angie was right up there with the boys. That pretty much sums up her image. Pepper liked being one of the guys. The media focused on her sexy qualities, especially the first half of the first season, but Pepper really evolved into a great character. The topics were often ahead of their time. I remember one episode that began with Pepper and her boss watching that French dance act where the man slaps the woman around. Pepper didn't like it. Darned if a new neighbor in her apartment complex stops by, showing signs of being slapped around. Spousal abuse! This was before Farrah Fawcett starred in the TV movie, "The Burning Bed", the TV movie that brought this issue to the mainstream. In two other episodes, Pepper supported the wife or ex-wife of one of her coworkers diagnosed with cancer. The '70's were a decade when women ceased to hide their medical ailments, including disfiguring ones like breast cancer. These episodes showed that the Police Woman supported women as well as men. Back to Pepper's apartment, it was one a city employee could afford, unlike the spectacular, designer decorated living quarters one usually sees like in Will & Grace, Living Single, etc.
This definitely was the first cop show to feature a female in the lead. Angie Dickinson was quite convincing as the tough no nonsense Pepper Anderson and Earl Holliman was great as her fellow officer Bill Crowley. Within a few years, however, this show would later be upstaged by the more light-hearted "Charlie's Angels" and would later inspire that other female cop show "Cagney and Lacey". Too bad they don't show this on television anymore. It is definitely a lost classic.
In the Summer of 1975, not so long ago, this was the NUMBER ONE show on
television, and was the TOP SHOW in many of the countries around the
world in which it aired.
How many people know this? Today, almost nobody... Younger audiences haven't even seen it, or, in many cases, haven't even heard of it, or know it's success essentially inspired the advent of "Charlies Angels". (It was also TV's first successful drama series to feature a woman in the title role). When "Police Woman" premiered in fall 1974 it was, admittedly, a quite different show than it would end up four seasons later. Angie Dickinson was the slinky undercover cop, sexy but tough-- convincing on both fronts-- and the show was produced (in the beginning) with the very obvious idea in mind of doing something "good" and distinctive, while tossing in a dash of T&A in their for "kick".
Like with any show, in the very early episodes the series is trying to find it's identity, but by the last half of the first season, the show had taken on almost a cinematic sense of bigness that was REALLY working-- the show (at least for the standards of the day) had begun to feel like a movie, full of gravity and portend, decidedly not just another cop show and not just an undercover-hooker formula thing (although they didn't shy away from that). No wonder the show was, briefly, at the top of ratings at this time-- or in the summer reruns immediately following.
But the feminists, Goddess bless 'em, put a lot of pressure on the network about "Police Woman", unhappy with the go-go dancer assignments and the "oooo-ain't-she-sexy!" dialogue that sometimes permeated the program. They wanted the character de-sexualized... Perhaps one can understand their point about that, but all they seemed to see was Angie in spandex and fishnets, and some of their demands were rather odd (prior to the second season, they even demanded that "Pepper" only be shot by female assailants in the future.... Huh?!?!?... Since 99% of most gun violence is perpetrated by guys, this seemed a tad strange). In any event, as sophisticated and intelligent as "Police Woman" was becoming by the end of it's first year, it didn't really need the "sex-crutch" anymore anyway, yet excess caution was taken with the second year to "reign in" Angie's natural effervescent demeanor. Curiously, what turned-out happening was that the energy was sucked out of the star and the show very quickly, her character weakened considerably... and yet, the hooker assignments continued.
What?? Now we had the reverse of what should have happened.
Within 6 months "Police Woman" went from Number One in the Nielsen Ratings to, maybe, Number 30 (an unwise timeslot change didn't help). In fact, NBC kept moving the show so much one wondered if it was one of those 'let's-try-and-lose-it' type of corporate decisions.
Suffice it to say, the show never really recovered. Angie's confidence seemed surgically removed after the first year, and the scripts and direction followed suit; only about half the episodes from seasons 2 and 3 had enough energy and focus to really work, and even then there's a constant feeling of the program "holding back" --- or holding-back Angie. And season 4, the series' final, was largely a misfire... And in SUCH contrast to the dynamic, volatile first season--- well, it's like a completely different program.
And ever since a brief rerun period after it's initial network run, the show has been utterly buried--- like it never even existed!
I bought the 70's Cops Shows DVD, and love it. I especially love Starsky and Hutch, but the show I really love is Police Woman. I have always loved that show. I wish they would come out with at least the first season on dvd. Why not? They are starting to put all the other shows on dvd, so why not Police Woman. This was a groundbreaking show back in the day, and it still holds up just as good or not better then any of them. Angie Dickinson was, and still is one of the most hot actresses to ever hit the screen, movies or tv. I have read and heard that many people who bought the 70's Cop Show dvd really want more Police Woman. I cant blame them. Im still waiting on the box set....
This started a movement in TV crime shows where females weren't just
the passive victims of male dominated fantasy crimes. This lady hit
back. And what a punch she packed. An action packed series that
introduced us to some great supporting characters and kept mums as well
as dads on the edge of their seat. Angie Dickinson never camped it up
(as much as you couldn't in the 1970's) It was as gritty as the execs
would allow. Despite the pilot episode being called Police Story - it
was obvious from the outset who the star of the show was.
In its prime I had reached the grand old age of 10 - whereby this was the first adult TV series I was allowed to stay up and watch. Thanks Mom & Dad
Okay,so I read two comments made about Angie Dickinson's classic 70's show Policewoman. The year this show came on in 1974,I was about nine years old.The year it when off the air I was 13 years old in 1978. I was fascinated by what I saw in the first two seasons of the show since Dickinson's character was always going undercover or in some of the episodes bounded and gagged,drugged or even at times kidnapped and it was always her male counterparts who were cops themselves,one of them played by Earl Holliman to save her but there were times that she mostly caught the bad guy(or in some instances they got away)who was running after them in high heels and those big ass shoes they had back then. The show premiered the same time as James Garner's Rockford Files and another cop show Police Story who were on the same network.This show had a lot going for it since the first two seasons of the show were compelling,but by the time the shows final two seasons came,it lost interest with its audience,and it was taken off the air by the executives at NBC-TV(which ran the series),and almost sent Angie Dickinson into a unknown abyss for more than 20 years after the original broadcast. The last time this show was seen was on New York's WOR-TV back in the 80's,and lost in space ever since.
Hi, again, folks. It's me, Michael Reiter. Listen, This time it's about
Angie Dickinson in Police Woman. I saw the show back in the seventies,
I was about 11 or so. By the time it was cancelled, I was 15 or so. By
then, I was old enough to be titillated by beautiful women. . . Of course
am still that way now, but what the hey? Enjoy them when you get them.
how, When they made this show, It was still the fashion for women to wear
Polyester Leisure suits or some combination there of with tee shirts and or
mock t-neck sweaters. That and a London Fog or worthy imitator, Lilly
Trenchcoat. Those were the days, my friends. Onwards; Those were also
days of political Incorrectness, in every thing and seen every where.
that It was just a scant four to eight years after the end of the sixties,
when goofy fashions and goofier social behaviour/mores. I read in the
preceding comment that there was a concern for political correctness by
feminists over the "erotic" nature of the first season; Good God, Even
then. The seventies were a fun and peaceful, wonderfully erotic and
titillating time unless you happened to be unlucky enough to encounter some
of the girls in your class, who were rabid Police Woman Fans. Than you
careful or you got hissed, yowled and cursed at.
Of course, during that time, actresses were bound and gagged, or what have you during the course of a story regularly and nobody questioned anything, because every body knew the difference between right, wrong and the ridiculously fine but obvious line between fact and fiction. What happened to those days?
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