The show follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court.
Jesse L. Martin,
With his rumpled raincoat, ever-present cigar, bumbling demeanour and Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction, disarmingly polite homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo took on some of the most cunning murderers in Los Angeles, most of whom made one fatal, irrevocable mistake: underestimating his investigative genius.
Each week viewers see the gritty reality of life in a New York City Police unit as the officers go about their work with a grim determination. Two partners, Detectives Andy Sipowicz and John Kelley (later replaced by Bobby Simone), are the central characters in this weekly police drama, and personify very different approaches to their difficult job. Sipowicz's brash gruffness (covering an emotional vulnerability) is tempered by the precise and controlled demeanor of the two partners with whom he has worked. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The Bochco/Milch Creation of NYPD BLUE, sort of like their HILL STREET BLUES with Lots of "T's and A's". ( Lots more 'Swear Words' Too!! )
Just one thing comes to mind. It is the Heart and Soul of NYPD BLUES, Detective Andy Sipowicz himself, Dennis Franz. Mr. Franz, a Native Born Chicagoan, had once said in an interview that Sipowicz was something like his 28th Cop portrayal in either Film or TV, and he ha some reservations about doing "another" when offered the part. Safe to say, that both he and we are glad that he took it.
This is a Creation & Production of Steven Bochco and David Milch (of HILL STREET BLUES fame). As far as series go, there are some family resemblances. For example both are set in Rust Belt Cities, as opposed to Sunny Southern California. They both use old Police Stations as the base of operation/staging. Both involve the multi-player ensemble cast for character driven story lines and for maintaining continuity.
And the strict monitoring of continuity is of utmost importance in this NYPD BLUE Series. Each episode is a work unto itself. There are a few out and out "to be continueds"(there are some), but even though the segments generally have self-contained stories, as far as crime goes, there are always little personal happenings and interactions that keep our eyes on the bigger picture, and by the way, keep us coming back for more.
The greatest difference is that New York City(obviously)is the setting for NYPD BLUES, where as HILL STREET was set in a fictional, un-named Northeastern Rust Belter that has a great resemblance to New York, Chicago, Clevelnd, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Buffalo,......etc.,etc.,..... So it has a certain advantage over other series.
On the one hand it reminds us of different real cities, so it has the best of both fictional and realistic settings and situations. But the plate of ideas is essentially unlimited.
NYPD BLUE, like most highly successful programs got over with the public by gimmicky bragging about "pushing the Envelope". The series, especially in the first few seasons, boasted of "Adult Content in Situations and Language, not intended for younger or more Sensitive Viewers. Parental Discretion Advised". Well, this is a certain method of getting viewers. Human Nature being what it is, a "Caution", or a "Warning", or an "Adults Only Rating" will surely pique interest of many who ordinarily do so.
It reminds one of a scene in the Marcello Mastroianni Starring Vehicle, DIVORCE Italian STYLE(1961). In it there is a scene of a Catholic Priest on the Pulpit at Sunday Mass, speaking out against the moral content of a Movie that is released and soon to be exhibited locally. The Good Padre rants, raves, gestures and condemns the film, literally to the High Heavens. The very next scene we see hundreds of Italians of the town running, carrying their own chairs to the movie theater, or whatever auditorium. It was a very funny and poignant way of pointing out a universal truth about mankind.
So Bochco,Milch & Company gave us some sort of strong language and mature content situations. They also gave us SEX, which we all know interests all and keeps us coming back for more. So, The Production Team gave us a nearly weekly rationing of "T's and A's" and a lot Peek-a-Boo, now you see it, now you don't naked silhouette shots. As the seasons dragged on, there was less of this, but it helped to inaugurate it and launch it into high orbit.
Like any long lasting, large casted drama series there would be a great turn over in characters. NYPD was certainly no exception, though there was also some real staying power & longevity by some players. Only the previously mentioned Det.Sipowicz(Dennis Franz)and Det.Greg Metavoy(Gordon Clapp)managed to stay on board for the whole ride, coast to coast. All tolled, Sipowicz had 4 partners; starting with Det. John Kelly(David Caruso), who desired other things in his career and left after one season. Det. Bobby Simone(Jimmy Smits)lasted longest, being on board 1994-2004. With Smits exit, Franz was finally given the very top of the billing.
After that Andy had some younger generation X-ers as partners. Ah, yes, Father Time and Mother Nature have decreed it. So Det.Danny Sorrensen(Rick Schroeder) had 1998-2001 and Det.John Clark, Jr.(Mark-Paul Gosselaar)was the closer 2001-2005.
James McDaniel who portrayed Lt.Arthur Fancy 1993-2001 deserves mention as the longest lasting boss in the series, being succeeded by Esai Morales(Lt.Tony Rodriguez)and finally Currie Graham(Lt.Thomas Bale).
It has been said that the Detective Andy Sipowicz character and story is a modern day version of The Book of JOB from the Old Testament, and a case could surely be made for it. He had lost partners(2 dead)his son killed in line of Duty and his wife A.D.A Sylvia Costas-Sipowicz(Sharon Lawrence)to a gun shot at the Precinct House. Therer were others, too.
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