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Michael O. Smith
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 where he opens up a detective agency. Written by
My thoughts on BHB differ greatly from most others' dim recollections. I was fortunate to have taped two episodes on the sole occasions they aired. Sure wish I had grabbed the other ones.
I'll spare you the details of the shows since they are unavailable anyway. They are good enough for me to have watched several times, though. The writing is excellent, the characters are well drawn (for a 30 minute show) and the casting just about perfect. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson is fabulous, beautiful beyond description and with much subtlety brought to her character. Joe Pantoliano (missed completely by IMDb) puts in a fine performance as a corrupt P.I. who tries to hire Buntz for a job he soon walks away from.
Dennis Franz and Peter Jurasik are superb in their lead roles. These reviews of the Buntz character as ethically or morally corrupt are WRONG in my opinion. Though rough around the edges and willing to cut a few corners, ultimately Buntz is good hearted with a strong sense of fairness. The best comparisons I can make with the Norman Buntz and Sid Thurston characters are to the Jim Rockford and Angel Martin characters in The Rockford Files. Could one say that either are morally corrupt? Okay, maybe a little with Angel, but you get my drift. In the end, Norman and Sid see to it that the good guys win and the crooks end up in jail.
This poor show never had a chance, the way it got jerked around in it's time slot and canceled before the audience had a chance to catch up and appreciate it. That's too bad for all of us.
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