Reviews & Ratings for
"The Streets of San Francisco" A Good Cop... But (1977)

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Gay Cop

Author: David Land ( from United States
19 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now that this series is being rerun in my local area for the first time, as far as I am aware, I have had opportunity to watch this "edgy-for-1970s series" perhaps for the first time. I don't recall watching the series on its first run, at least not as a devoted watcher. This episode in 1977 is an example of one that may not have aired in the local market for the outrage it may have brought the local station. The actor Barry Primus played the role very low key and calmly. It was a great performance in that it portrayed a guy in a suit who seemed just like everyone else, but kept it secret from his partner that he was gay. It is for a better TV historian than me to say if this is the best first example of modeling the type of behavior and reactions desired by the gay population. It parallels the same type of modeling that occurred in earlier television concerning racial discrimination. It's amazing that the subject was treated so even handedly in 1977 when later shows and movies depicted far more extreme emotion and reactions where gays were the subject. It would be interesting to know if this program actually aired in the Dallas Fort Worth market during its prime time scheduled spot. The gay-themed movie with Martin Sheen, That Certain Summer, did air in this market a few years earlier, but it ran in the wee hours, perhaps 2a.m. This episode of Streets of San Francisco is pretty amazing considering the year. The way it was handled actually makes it a timeless piece of drama, whether one agrees or disagrees with being gay.

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