EZ Streets (TV Series 1996–1997) Poster


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The show that ruined TV for me.
will_butler15 February 2002
This show premiered during my sophomore year of high school, and I was eager to see it from the moment I heard about it. The first episode had me instantly enamored. This was the most incredible, darkly beautiful, and cinematic vision I have ever had the privilege to see on television. The writing, acting (especially that of Joe Pantoliano as Jimmy Murtha), and sheer mood created by this show was impeccable. I was incredibly excited. I tried (unsuccessfully) to convince all my friends to watch, I tuned in for every episode that CBS didn't purposefully hide from me, and I instantly declared it my new favorite show.

And then CBS killed it.

As seems to be the fate of any quality television that I show an interest in (The Critic, Action, etc.), it was completely misunderstood by the viewing public and summarily yanked. I think what still hurts the most about it is the fact that in lieu of showing the final episode, CBS ran a rerun of Walker: Texas Ranger. It was this that made me lose any interest in television whatsoever. Even the Simpsons doesn't hold the appeal for me that it once did.

Paul Haggis lovingly crafted the most perfect television series of all time, and CBS spit in his face. The world is poorer for it.

But all is not lost, I suppose. I do have my Emmy screener of the pilot episode, the VCD I mastered from this screener, my collection of all the other episodes on VHS, and the shooting scripts for two unfilmed episodes. My ideal is to acquire screener copies of every episode and have them mastered on DVD, saving this piece of art for the future. CBS has shown that they have no desire to do this, so it's up to us fans, I suppose. With that said, please get in touch with me if you'd like copies of any of this material. I'm only too willing to help out other fans.

Thanks to anyone who's read through this, and thanks to Paul Haggis and anyone related to the show. It was, and still is, appreciated.
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Coulda been...
bruno-5123 April 1999
CBS was the death of this show. Paul Haggis demonstrated true genius in writing and directing this intense, thoughtful drama that came off like a motion picture in every episode. Whatever folks loved about "Wiseguy," Haggis took and raised to the next level, and always presented a thought-provoking portrait of crime, family, broken homes, betrayal, passion, despair, and hope. We were all blessed with the episodes that were made, but gypped forever by the bottom-line networks.
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Shameful DVD Release
Yeah, I bought my copy yesterday and as I was watching the Pilot, I was remembering the next line to be said, as if no time had passed since the original CBS airing. That's how often I think about this show.

Watched the first 5 minutes of the next episode on the DVD, then angrily ejected the disc... because there's THREE episodes missing!!

Whose BRILLIANT idea was it to place a 3-episode gap on an incomplete DVD compilation for a series with a running storyline, where discontinuity is LETHAL?

That's kinda like the game CBS played when they refused to re-air the first two episodes after an angry public forced them to resurrect EZ Streets from a four-month hiatus!

All the great moments we're missing...

• The "Illusion, Allusion" discussion between Jimmy and Fivers in the burned-out restaurant.

• The "Pop-Up" shower scene with Jimmy and Theresa.

• Theresa getting frisky at church.

• Theresa joyfully waking up, then retrieving her pager from under the covers and returning Jimmy's call... Jimmy: "Why won't you give me your home phone number?" Teresa: "Because I love it when you call me this way."

• The "Dog-face" discussion that ends with Jimmy heaving a glass at Mickey's head: "What kinda dog?"

I could go on...

Oh, and I really want the chance to see if there really IS a mailbox in Theresa's apartment building with the name "B. Fraser"!
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Best-written TV show - hands down!
brojugulus23 November 2006
OK, so when this show first aired in 2006, it blew me away harder than a pigeon feather at an airshow.

The writing, the acting, the mood created by the amazing cinematography and hypnotic soundtrack (comprised mostly of songs by Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt), everything works so well in this show to create the most amazing television experience ever had. It's better than most movies and the plot lasts for 10 hours! That is, it would have if CBS had actually allowed the show to run its full course!! But low ratings, a bad marketing strategy and short-sighted execs killed it before it had a chance to be recognized (by the public - most critics had already recognized its value, thankfully).

So now the first three episodes of EZ Streets is available in the "Brilliant But Cancelled" DVD series, which I just rented and watched and loved just as much as I did 10 years ago. I will buy this DVD and I suggest that everyone else do the same so that one day, with Paul Haggis' growing popularity, someone will bother releasing the ENTIRE series (only 9 episodes - come on, you can do it!). This gem needs to be appreciated for generations to come, as any such admiration would be well deserved.
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Excellent series - killed by lack of support from the networks
misslu24 December 1998
Dark, brooding show with well defined characters. The acting was above average, especially the three leads. Unfortunately, they were never given the network support that is required for television programs of this sort.
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I whole-heartedly agree
Willie-1212 March 2002
There isn't much to say here, except that I agree with just about every user comment on here. This was an exceptional series that hooked me from the very beginning. It is a shame that we were given a taste of the brilliance of "EZ Streets," and then it was taken away from us in the blink of an eye. "What might have been" another comment says. Well quite possibly one of the greatest television series' ever. I am sure there would have been many Emmys, Golden Globes, etc....but we'll never know...we'll never know what might have been.

Updated on 9/15/08: There are a few more things I'd like to say about this series. First, I believe that this was still one of the finest television series' that never got to come to fruition. I also believe that it was ahead of it's time. I honestly believe that if this series had been brought to television today, it would have succeeded. I just don't think that, for whatever reason, people were ready for such gritty, dark, and violent material to occupy a spot in prime time television. Especially on the three main networks. Today Haggis would have had the opportunity to take this show to another network that isn't afraid to push the limits (i.e. FX, Spike T.V., or even HBO). I thought about purchasing the DVDs, but now that I know that there are episodes missing, I think, for the time being, I'll just continue to remember this show the way it was when it first aired. And I'll continue to think about what might have been.
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I don't know where this show went wrong.
cspittel17 September 2000
Like I said before, "I don't know where this show went wrong!". In my opinion (and to the opinion of many others by the voting statistics) this show was phenomenal! A 10/10! Quality t.v. for me next to the first season of Murder One and NYPD Blue. I thought Jason Gedrick had all the right moves first doing Murder One and then signing on to do EZ Streets, intelligent, realistic intriguing and compelling writing well executed by the the actors! From show one I was hooked! Not a single show in my opinion of this short lived series was boring or predictable. I don't know for the life of me why this show didn't catch on. A few hypotheses, one: the show was more a less one big story (for who knows to be the life of the series or for one season) which I guess audiences didn't have the patience for (like Murder One it took a chance, one big quality story for the long hall, at least for one season. But I believe unlike Murder One it didn't have brief preview summaries in which potential audiences who haven't seen the previous episodes could see to catch up on) two: it was in a competitive time slot with another popular t.v. series (although I don't recall any) and three: it didn't advertise itself correctly or frequently enough to get any significant attention, at least enough where a significant enough popluation could give it a chance. I thought this story rocked so hard my interest and curiousity that I am begging anyone to give me information where I can see the unaired episodes (which network) buy them (on video) and although I'm not a huge fan on reading if it is out in book format or script is for sale. Please help me if you can, I'm dying to know if that cop gets his revenge, wether Jason Gedrick gets back with his wife and makes a decent living, what happens to the beautiful seductress who's playing on both sides of the law, or the junkie mayor and the gambling contract, bring it on! Charlie.
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ejonak3 February 1999
This was the only time that I have every watched a tv show and felt like I was watching a film. The writing, acting and direction are all first rate. Alas, it was destined not to last. This show was simply too good for network TV. HBO or Showtime should have picked it up.
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Excellent Show, on DVD
wrbtu10 September 2010
I loved this show when it was on TV 1996-97. Great photography, scripts, acting, music. The series had a movie quality & feel to it, that was rare for TV series of that time period. In summary, it had all that was needed for it to be canceled after a pilot and 9 regular shows. IMDb has listed some info on this program that is incorrect. For example, the pilot ran for two hours. All the other episodes were sixty minutes, except, for some reason, Episode #4 (called "St. Jude Took a Bullet"), which ran for ninety minutes (all including commercials). Please see my comment on the forum for this show, for more info about viewing the episodes, & hearing some of the songs.
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benj_sp23 August 2009
The is the show that I would *most* love to see again, and especially to own on DVD. Alas, it doesn't look like that will ever happen :(

Incredibly cinematic, dark, atmospheric (lots of decay with a hauntingly beautiful Irish-inspired soundtrack) and an amazing cast - including Joey P who can seemingly do *everything* brilliantly.

While Paul Haggis would retread some of EZ Street's ground in the also-brilliant Black Donellys in some ways, EZ Streets for me remains his masterpiece. If this is *ever* on TV, on video, on DVD near you, do try and catch it. Heck - record it please, and send it to me, because I would dearly love to see this series again - and I didn't even see all of the episodes either.

I came across EZ Streets when Channel 4 in the UK starting airing it at some stupid-o-clock, I think it was about 4am on Friday night/Saturday morning. Having seen the pilot I was hooked, and watched every episode until, as the story was leading somewhere, it was gone, never to be seen again. I still don't know the outcomes and the central plot point resolutions, and possibly never will.

This show seems to have really been lost out there, apart from the few episodes available (which, given how good EZS was, is kinda insulting). This show, along with some of the other brilliant-but-cancelled-before-their-time shows *cough*Firefly*cough*, is living proof that quality doesn't win out.

Outstanding, haunting, beautiful, ugly, moving - I miss it.
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E Z Streets CBS cancelled show
matadaroberts22 April 2008
I thought I finally found the 1st season of EZ Streets--I ordered what I thought was the complete season. Well I received today and it is only the pilot & looks like 2 episodes--mind you they the DVD has the pilot episode, and episode 5 & 6. First off I was so excited to think I finally could see the entire season, in Michigan, we only got to see 6 episodes--we DID NOT even get to finish any further shows. CBS, tanked it--we didn't even get the option to watch it or tape while we were sleeping. I was hoping since ABC brought back on the net only (My So Called Life), that maybe CBS would follow suit and return E Z Streets. I cannot believe that after the Sopranos--that CBS would not have tried to introduce this show again--in my opinion this was one of the BEST shows ever. CBS, PLEASE if you read this--give us a complete season to view on DVD or even better yet--do as ABC did and make it available to view on the net. Please if you do let me know & advise also any other email person who took the time to let CBS know--though you made a mistake to cancel this show--that is now available now with a full season on DVD or avail to view online. First the show is tanked--then I thought I would FINALLY get to see the full season--twice I have been disappointed.

Look at this cast--it is stellar. Please give those of us faithful EZ Street viewers the option to see the full season.

A disappointed viewer,

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ARH19 January 1999
This show was fantastic!

It at a similar premise as "Wiseguy" (another of my all-time favorites) but "EZ Streets" was even better. Its cop was much more conflicted, its villains much more complicated, and better writing, acting, and music.

When CBS canceled this show I was still bitter. Hell, I STILL am. I refuse to watch CBS except for Letterman to this day. I haven't watched any new shows since the '96-'97 TV season because after having this show, "Realitivity," and "Profit' all taken from me within a year and a half of each other I give up on prime time TV and figure anything I watch and love will just be gone within a year.

If you haven't seen "EZ Streets" beg/borrow/steal copies! You will not be disappointed.

UPDATED 07/15/2003 Last year HBO began airing a show called "The Wire." Early reviews compared it to "EZ Streets" and it hasn't disappointed.
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Tony-2345 November 1999
Amazing writing and acting... Joe P. is great!! The whole cast is incredible... Amazing production values and all the heliocoptor shots.... TV at it's best and CBS studio Execs at their most lowest and embarrassing point.... They showed how much they suck and why TV is a cesspool of crap..... Paul Haggis is amazing and very under rated... Are any of these episodes on vi
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just in case
dcasey0427 September 2001
I know no one visits this page.......but just in case......if one of the finest t.v. series ever made, unaired episodes, the pilot, ANYTHING about this drama becomes available, please email me.......I'd like to talk to the idiots that canceled this show......thanks.......dave
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peyton007200119 June 2002
This series was so amazing!!! CBS killed an incredible piece of art. Paul Haggis is a god!!!!!! WHY IS THIS SHOW NOT ON THE AIR TODAY? WHY? CBS sucks! There are NO excuses why this is not on TV today. It is a total tragedy! If anyone knows of where I can get copies of this show, please email me!!!! We should be able to buy this on Vhs.
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EZ street
joanesp-17 May 2005
Will or anybody out there who might have a copy of "ez street." Will read your comments on "EZ street." I would love to get a hold of it. i just saw "Crash" and i would love to see more of Paul's work. this film is unbelievable and if he was the director of "ez street" i know this project must of had similar merits. If you can somehow contact me and let me know how i could get a hold of those few episodes that CBS showed that would be great. i love to have an opportunity to see this great work that went unrecognized and was probably the catalyst for the "Sapranos." If anyone is reading this email and also has a copy of these few episodes, please give me a shout. I was one of the unfortunate souls that never had a chance to see it.

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Yes, it may have been excellent and a classic, but.....
ulht15 February 2006
I accept that it was well written, but I personally have a problem with crime, gangster and terrorist television shows and films. I do not want to see the trash winning, treated as human beings, etc. (add gangs to that list - and religious fundamentalists of any persuasion who act on their beliefs). I have no interest in the above except to see them totally destroyed, preferably not quickly, so what they do/try to do to real people cannot continue. I freely admit to being a student of television and film who avoids Wiseguy, Godfather, EZ Streets, Munich (although it is closer to being my type since I believe the Israelis tried to do the right thing (i.e. I am unmoved by the message of the film as I understand the reviews. but I support the actual deeds except the killing of the child - accidental but avoidable by using a better method.)etc. In addition -and probably the actual reason it was canceled - where have any of the shows' supporters gotten the idea that shows succeed on the basis of good writing and acting. Sometimes it happens- at a rate that suggests that that is pretty much random - but that is the best you can say. It was not canceled because the network didn't value it but because its' business value to the network was at best negligible and more likely negative.
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