Norman Buntz, the gruff (and somewhat ethically questionable) detective from "Hill Street Blues" (1981) leaves the anonymous inner city and heads to the sunny climes of Southern California ... See full summary »
The original "ensemble drama," this is the story of an overworked, under-staffed police precinct in an anonymous inner city patterned after Chicago. We follow the lives of many characters, from the lowly beat and traffic cops to the captain of the precinct himself. This is the show that blazed the trail followed later by such notable ensemble dramas as "St. Elsewhere" and "L.A. Law." Written by
The exterior shots of the "Hill Street" station were those of an actual Chicago police station. Now no longer used by the city, it was at one time the home of the 7th District, located near the old Maxwell Street Market, and is now called "The Hill Street Blues Station". It is now used by the University of Illinois-Chicago police. During Prohibition, this precinct had a reputation as the most corrupt in the US. Its captain once distributed his personnel roster to the Mafia bagmen who delivered the weekly payoffs, because they were handing out money to every cop in the place indiscriminately, and cops from other stations were showing up on payoff day. See more »
During the opening credits when the police cars pull out of the garage, one of them has the overhead light bar on backwards. You can see that the others have the siren speakers between the lights facing front, while one has it facing to the trunk. See more »
Hill Street Blues was an unconventional cop show for the '80s, and even today. Why? Because it was real. Well as real as you can get with a TV show, without taking some liberties ofcourse. Unlike Miami Vice, T.J. Hooker or Hunter, HSB had a lot of detail and accuracy.
Sure Miami Vice was an entertaining show, but only for being stylish and hip for it's time. HSB didn't try to be cool, it tried to be accurate. Miami Vice and all the other cop shows and cop movies of the '80s, '90s and today are extremely fake in the way they present themselves, going more for a target demographic then bothering to portray how things operate in our world. In the real world, cops in America aren't wearing Armani suits and constantly trying to bust Columbian drug dealers and their shipment of cocaine while spitting out mile a minute obscure metaphors and similies that take us a few seconds to figure out. If you want to see the way REAL COPS in America speak, act and carry themselves through real crime cases, then watch HSB. You won't be dissapointed.
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