"Dum-de-dum-dum!" Those four notes signaled the 2003 return of one of TV's all-time classic police dramas, "Dragnet." This time, Ed O'Neill (in a role worlds different from hapless family man Al Bundy of "Married ...With Children") played the hard-nosed Det. Joe Friday. He and partner Frank Smith investigated crimes in Los Angeles, usually homicides or other forms of corruption. As with the Jack Webb-produced predecesors, careful attention was paid to realism as Friday and Smith investigated and pieced the clues together before they made their arrests of the bad guys. Like the earlier shows, the fate of those charged in conenction with said crime was announced at the end of the show. Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
I have listened to the original. YES, listened. Dragnet was originally a radio show. Not that at 45 I'm old enough to have heard it live but I have heard tapes.
The later television show with Harry Morgan as the partner aired every night after the 6 PM news where I grew up. Joe Friday was not cynical he was a flag waving TRUE BELIEVER. There were never dirty cops in the original Dragnet, the crooks were all bad guys and Joe and his partner put as much energy into catching the thief of a Baby Jesus statue as they did in finding a murderer. They didn't worry so much about "civil rights" and TECHNICAL things like that. They were only interested in arresting the crooks. I don't think Joe Friday ever cracked a joke or took a drink. They SAID that all the cases were REAL but I have read that it was partly due to the way you could define "real" in those days.
Ed is playing Joe Friday as at 21st Century cop. There may have been a better choice for Friday but I don't know who. The chemistry between the two leads seems great to me. I love the way Mike Post has updated the theme, One of the most easily recognizable TV Themes ever! The new version sounds like L.A. to me. Frankly just because of that I was willing to give it a chance. It showed some respect for it's predecessor.
I am enjoying the show and I think it will last a while. Sometimes you can go home.
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