Policías, en el Corazón de la Calle is the best Spanish TV series I've seen and one of my all time favorites. I watch it during its original telecast in Mexico, I was very young and I quickly became a fan that would not miss a single episode no matter what.
The show dealt with the cops in a precinct in Madrid, Spain and it showed both the cases they solved and the relationships between the main characters. Each episode was of at least one hour of runtime (without commercial) and this allowed to have a lot of time to develop several plots as well as the conflicts surrounding the main characters; during the six seasons the quality of the scripts and the production was always strong, something few shows can say for themselves.
From the first episode the show maintained the structure of every chapter; each season had a main event that would take a long time to solve and that involved a dangerous criminal that would give a lot of problems to the cops, besides there were another case that would be extended for a couple of episodes and finally there were small problems that didn't go beyond one chapter; however they all had in common that they were interesting and exciting meaning you always had a reason to keep watching.
Policías was also benefited with a large and talented cast (if you are not familiar with Spanish actors you will at least identify Almodovar girl Lola Dueñas), most of whom were on board for the whole series; in each season the cops were paired with different teammates which allowed to develop the relations between all the characters and it kept the series fresh regarding the interaction of the characters. Every one of them had a defined personality from the first moment that in every case grew more complex as time passed, as you got to know them better you really got involved with their problems, in general they were all likable.
Besides plot and cast the series also had great action scenes from a quality that was unusual in television when this was filmed. Also, Policías was a series that wasn't afraid to deal with controversial and rough issues, some of the topics that were touched at some point during the series were prostitution, the production of snuff films and serial killers, this issues were shown with the hardness and seriousness that was required and for that reason I would not recommend it to minors (The DVD of the first season warns that the show is not recommended for kids under the age of 7, but I would rather consider that it should not be seen by minors of 15, since at some points you require maturity to understand the importance of the problems).
Finally I would say that this series had the good sense of never being afraid to put all of its characters in danger, in fact more than one protagonist didn't make it to the end of the series. It is common that in this series the main characters have their life guaranteed, with that in mind the first time an important personage was killed it was truly shocking, and from that point on you knew no one was certain to survive the cases, this allowed to have some tense moments hardly achieved in other productions.
Policías lasted six seasons, and I can't really understand why was it canceled since it really had the potential to keep on. I once saw an interview with actor José María Pou in which he attributed the problem to the managers of Antena 3 who would have gotten nervous with a small decrement in the audience that lead to the experimentation of airing the show at different times without previous notice, this would had lead to the annoyance of the public that had problems following the series and then to its untimely cancellation. In Mexico I never had this kind of trouble and once the last episode of season six ended with a collage of the best images in the history of the series I saw it was over, something I still makes me sad since it was the end of one of the most enjoyable things I've seen in TV (I want to have it in DVD but it seems they have only released two season what are they waiting to give us the rest of it?).
If you have the chance to see this Spanish TV series then do not doubt to do it, it has everything you can ask from a show and there is nothing on it that isn't enjoyable. Since the 2000 TV has been on a golden age of great series with good scripts, acting and some filming with cinematographical quality. In the case of Spain this series marks the improvement in the quality of television as its technical achievements are far above anything done before in this country. Judging from the things I can see here in Mexico the current Spanish TV productions are far from achieving the quality that Policías had.
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