This masterpiece is good from beginning to end. It will make you a better human being. It will bring you to a certain maturity about life and what are the most important parts of it. The acting is out of this world amazing. This is an all-star cast and don't you worry about loosing some great characters along the way, they are replaced by other very talented and interesting ones. The core actors of the show stay on for long periods of time and this allows you to truly feel as if they are your close friends. This show will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think and most importantly, if there is something going on in your life and you need certain guidance, Andy is there for you and he will most definitely have the answer you are looking for during one episode or another.
No doubt in my mind : If this TV show was a mandatory watch in high schools, the world would be a better place.
Taking a lot from his previous cop drama Hill Street Blues, Steven Bochco fashioned in NYPD Blue one of the biggest television hits ever. It was the kind of show that even in its last days still wanted its fans begging for more. And we may yet get more, who knows.
Two characters remained through the show's run and anchored it until it's conclusion. Dennis Franz as Detective Andy Sipowicz, a very flawed individual, an alcoholic bigot, but the best detective around. And Gordon Clapp as Detective Greg Medavoy, a decent man with a lot of issues of confidence. The rest of the cast came and went through the 15th precinct of Manhattan just like life itself.
Sipowicz took over the show after the departure of his first partner David Caruso. He was predicted to be a breakout star and he sought to take advantage of his new found fame with a major movie career. A lot of folks wondered if NYPD Blue would survive at that point. Sipowicz was supposed to be a supporting character with the problems just mentioned, Archie Bunker with a badge. But he went in Alcoholics Anonymous and preached its virtues as did Daniel J. Travanti from Hill Street Blues. And over a dozen years, Sipowicz grew in strength and character.
Dennis Franz had three succeeding partners all who had a different character and background. Jimmy Smits, Rick Schroeder, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar were all very good and very different. In the case of Gosselaar he was finally able to shake the casting specter of Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell.
The women detectives all had an individuality about them as well. Probably Kim Delaney as the alcoholic Diane Russell was the best. She was counseled by Andy Sipowicz and brought into AA, but she also wound up marrying Jimmy Smits's character Bobby DeSimone and bravely carrying on after his demise. Sipowicz married ADA Sylvia Costas played by Sharon Lawrence and after she was killed in an unforgettable court house shooting episode. Andy later married again to young detective Charlotte Ross and found again some domestic happiness.
In fact it was getting to be a running joke towards the end that it was as fatal to be around Dennis Franz as it was to be involved with a Cartright from Bonanza. Partners Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroeder died, wife Sylvia Lawrence died, and his son from an even earlier marriage was killed all during the run of the show. But Sipowicz dealt with it all.
The detective squad of the 15th precinct had four heads, James McDaniel, Esai Morales, John O'Donahue, and Graham Currie. One of them actually was a cop, John O'Donahue. He played this mediocre time server Eddie Gibson who was an absolute doofus and originally was a detective on the graveyard shift. When he took the sergeant's test, passed it and wound up succeeding Morales the whole squad was ready to flip. But Gibson wasn't totally stupid, he knew these people and he basically let them have their head.
James McDaniel had a wonderful character in Arthur Fancy and he had all the problems and frustrations of being a black man who rises in the NYPD. I remember once in an episode he was asked why he didn't get rid of a bigot like Sipowicz. To which he replied if I got rid of him it isn't like I'm going to get as his replacement some candidate for the brotherhood award. Probably I'll get another white cop with the same attitudes, but who isn't half as good on the job.
We got to know all these people and what baggage they might have brought to each case they were assigned to. Probably NYPD Blue could have kept going, but Steven Bochco decided to end it while still on high. And he did in fact give it an ending of sorts unlike Hill Street Blues. It was an ironic ending in fact for Sipowicz. But you'll have to see the final episode in fact you'll have to see the entire series which you can catch on cable television to appreciate why.
But the elements are there for a TV movie or six. I've got a good feeling that people would want to see them. We may not have seen the last of the detective squad of the 15th precinct from NYPD Blue.
Consider that in the first 50 years of ABC television, NYPD Blue was on for 12 of them. Was it better, more edgy the first couple of seasons? Yes. Was it at the end? Not so much. Yet, it was still appointment television. It was ground-breaking, and if you missed it from Day One, sure you can buy the DVD's as they come out, but it was so different than anything on TV then, and it changed what we expect out of television dramas.
The character of Andy Sipowicz, played by 4 time Emmy winner Dennis Franz, was the most realistic character ever created on television, faults and all. He was a modern-day everyman, and that was why we rooted for him, even when he was in one of those moods. It was why we continued to watch right up until it's triumphant end.
It came along when the one-hour drama on network television was all but dead; it re-defined the look of prime time drama with language and wardrobe (or lack their of), as well as how it was filmed; and when you speak with anyone that is or ever has served in law enforcement in this country, they'll tell you it was the best show at capturing "The Job" from a realism and accuracy standpoint.
I had never seen NYPD Blue until the ninth season. Then I went back and watched all the reruns, starting from the first season. I have been hooked ever since. I taped all the the episodes and watched them every evening. Now I'm going back through the first season! As the stories unfolded, I found myself getting caught up in the stories and the lives of the characters. At the end of a hard day's work, I can always count on Andy Sipowicz to say something to make me laugh. What a great character! He runs the gamut of emotions and I find myself going there with him.I alternate between loving the guy and hating him! As an African-American, I sometimes rankle at his racist remarks. But I sometimes find myself agreeing with him when he makes remarks about other minorities, which has made me realize that I must be a racist too. I admire Andy because he is honest enough to voice his opinions and own up to his shortcomings. I have enjoyed each of Andy's partners. I feel that each one has brought something different to the show. But Jimmy Smits was my favorite and I was devastated when his character dies. But my favorite characters on the show are Greg Medavoy and John Irving, both underrated and underused on the show. One of my favorite episodes is "Israel", where a homeless deaf mute man was accused of killing a little boy. Andy was trying to find clues to the killing in the deaf man's Bible, but became so frustrated that he threw the Bible across the room. Later while trying to comfort the boy's mother, Andy picked the Bible up from the floor and started to read aloud from it. As he read over the hustle and bustle of the squadroom, a peace started to fall over all under the sound of his voice, himself included. It was a great moment,from a great scene from a great show.
I've almost never missed an episode of this show during it's entire run. I'm going to miss having a "normal" cop show on the air. Law and Order is too talky and the CSI procedural stuff is just too much of an okay thing. I must say that it's the tiny moments in "Blue" that have the biggest impact on me. The final picture-taking sequence in this week's episode just seemed like two actors (Franz and Clapp) really relishing the joy they've had working with one another all these years. Even though you can see where it seems to be going, I still look forward to spending time with the fictional 15th squad. Currie Graham was a great addition and some unsung players that never get press (Henry Simmons, anyone?)have just made this show so good--and so New York.
Believe-it-or-not, I never watched this show until I bought the DVD when it came out. I just never watched it, even though I enjoy crime shows. Anywhere, here are my thoughts, just randomly said:
David Caruso may have gotten top billing as the star of the show but Dennis Franz is the actor who dominates when on screen. He is the most dramatic figure in this crime series that features character studies, almost to the point of being soap opera-like. In fact, all the love-lives of the main characters are explored, especially as the episodes developed that first season.
In the beginning, some sex scenes were used to grab viewers. This was new to TV then. All the characters in the show may not have been likable but they were all interesting. To me, the most likable was Nicholas Turturro's "Martinez."
The cops - men and women - all talked tough and the show's writers liked to insert words like "a-hole" and "prick" because, I suspect, they could get away with using them. This was TV's first drama to use words like that and have the open sexuality that was shown here. We saw side shots of breasts and Caruso's butt, etc. Speaking of Caruso, he left after this first season and that really annoyed a lot of the viewers, I am told. After an unsuccessful movie career, he landed back on his feet in TV with the very successful CSI: Miami show. Franz, meanwhile, stuck it out for the long NYPD run.
I found the first season interesting but too much soap opera and not enough straight crime story didn't encourage me to buy any further season DVD sets.
When this show started in 1993, it was by far the most innovative show on television. The show pushed the boundaries of language, sex, and violence and really brought in a whole new era of television. The combo of David Caruso and Dennis Franz was arguably the best cop duo in history. The first season was outstanding as it brought a level of reality never seen on TV.
Early in the second season, David Caruso had a contract dispute and left the show. The show would never be the same. Jimmy Smits came in and, though he was pretty good, was no David Caruso. The show leveled out in terms of pushing the boundaries and became a little stale. Then they killed off Jimmy Smits and brought in Rick(y) Schroeder. This is when the show hit the wall and went straight downhill. It bottomed out when Zak from "Saved by the Bell" was cast and in the end show became virtually unwatchable. This is too bad, especially when you think how good this show could have been if Caruso had stuck around.
I imagine I could,to some degrees,apply the summary line to LAw and Order(16 seasons!),but I applied it to this show because I felt like,somewhere inside the last five seasons of the show,it just started to run on fumes near the end.
I mean,HOW MANY ways could the writers of the show hurt Detective Andy Sipowicz(a brilliant Dennis Franz!)? Let's review:he was a Vietnam vet who had to live down some of the horrible stuff he'd witnessed,his first partner is forced out of the squad,his son and namesake is murdered while trying to foil a saloon hold-up,his second partner is felled by a debilitating illness,his third partner disappears during an undercover operation (and is later found dead),his long-time flame,the DA(the lovely Sharon LAwrence)is shot and killed in the courthouse she worked,his alcoholism and got him into trouble more than once.I mean,Wow! I guess the fact that he still persevered through all that,plus clashes with quite a few of his coworkers(and no fewer than one of his superiors)was a true testimony to his toughness. His relationship with Charlotte Ross' character(to whom he had almost no chemistry)was disposable. Also,it seemed like each season was going to come a new,crushing blow to his world and anyone who he was directly close to,to which had me almost wishing the show would close to give him some peace,finally!
The rest of the cast,which seemed in constant flux,was very strong,as well. In particular,Jimmy Smits as Bobby Simone(partner #2,as aforementioned),Bill Brochtrup as JOhn Irwin(the sweet,gay receptionist),David Caruso as partner #1,John Kelly,James McDaniel as Lt.Arthur Fancy and Gordon Clapp as the basically decent Det.Greg Medavoy.
This show was very well written and kept the story lines very tight and gritty though most of its run. I feel like near the end,the show's writers and producers seemed to be wanting a way to end the show and couldn't quite find a right way to do so. I have yet to see the last episode,but I've heard that it was done very well.
Tonight the final episode of NYPD Blue was shown across America and with it, comes a closing of TV history, one of the best cop dramas ever made.
Hats of the cast, Steven Boucho and others for delivering 12 yrs of amazing entertainment, gut wrenching story lines and powerful characters that will stick with us for a lifetime.
This show had it all, controversy, action, strong language, nudity, but it also had chemistry among it's actors, it had charisma and above all heart, baby!!!
Dennis Franz as Det. Andy Sipowicz is perhaps the best cop ever made. Franz turned this self absorbed hypocrite and abuser and made him human given us a look into this guy and shown us that he is human, he is good, he has that courage to do things his own way and get results.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar who came on board Det. John Clark for four years was just amazing. Mark you are too cool!!!. Hes definitely come a long way from "Saved from the Bell", he has really shown his acting abilities, he just impressed me as the show went.
Gordon Clapp as Det. Greg Medavoy was one of the original cast members who like Andy survived 12 yrs of the most intense police drama ever
Henry Simmons ,Bill Brochtrup , Jacqueline Obradors, too many names to list, going back to David Caruso, Jimmy Smits have left their mark on television history.
This is television at it's finest and hats go of to ABC for giving us 12 yrs of the best cop drama ever!!!
And by that I mean the now almost countless bad TV shows with directors who think shaking the camera at everything is cute.
NYPD Blue started that awful trend, and while NYPD Blue was strangely still a hit (but not as big at it would have been had it been well shot!) thanks to its great writing in the first season, its progeny is stinking up the airwaves.
Film is an art form and doing that with the camera makes a mockery out of it.
A sad legacy for Steven Bochco who should be remembered from the epically well-produced L.A. Law.
NYPD Blue is one of the most greatest dramas on ABC! This show was well written, had great plots to every episode and season it had and great acting overall! Before this series ever started the actors who were on this show were in mostly in a lot of TV-shows that lasted one season and probably not as much episodes until this show came along! The show NYPD Blue is set against the gritty and volatile backdrop of New York City, NYPD Blue powerfully portrays realistic characters devoting themselves to the pursuit of justice while struggling to sustain an ever-elusive sense of humanity. In spite of -- or perhaps because of -- the bleakness of the streets, the chaos of the squad room and the fragility of their own private lives, the members of the 15th Precinct share a strong commitment to the job and each other. Veteran actor Rick Schroder brought a new energy and intensity to the series with his arrival. This fantastic series first premiered on ABC back in September 1993 and has gone on until March 2005 when the series ended after 12 seasons. The show has been nominated for an Emmy 84 times and won 20 Emmy awards out of those 84 times the series has been nominated. I can believe it has been on the same time-slot and night on ABC through out it's 12 season run! Dennis Franz is my most favorite actor out of the entire show! This is one show that TV fans should remember always!
I have read the comments listed and I want to add my reflection on the entire show and the number of years on the air. NYPD Blue is one of the best programs that has been on the air in the last 10 years. As each season has proceeded I have enjoyed the characters as they have become like family or good friends. Even when the cast has changed, it's amazing how the new people have been worked into the magic of the show. I can't believe some of the comments from the people on this site. I can only imagine the kind of "Air Headed Junk" you want to see on TV. I guess some of you can't get around the idea of a Class Act show like NYPD Blue and the kind of actors and writers it takes to have a program that comes back season after season. I am one of the people that will miss NYPD Blue because I don't watch much TV and it's a shame that a show like this one is among the few I consider worth watching. So I will look elsewhere for entertainment due to lack of interest in the "Over Abundance" of Reality shows and non stimulating programs currently listed for viewing.
My wife and I also love NYPD Blue! The best show ever made for TV. We just watched 3 hours tonight. Back then, in 1993 everybody thought that was too strong for airing on TV prime time. Wonder what they think now compared to todays garbage on TV?
Thanks for the info about Court TV on Saturday and Sunday. I did not know about them. I will start taping there also.
Here is Arkansas, CST, I tape it every Wednesday Morning at 2:00 A.M till 5:00 A.M. on TNT! Hope this helps! It is still the best show on TV Today, bar none. There is literally no better actor than Andy. I wonder what Andy was being paid per episode over the 12 year run? Does anybody know?
I mean that seriously! NYPD Blue is said to be the best police drama ever created and I think that its probably one of the most low-life shows on TV today! So maybe ladies think that Rick Schroeder is good looking or maybe you like to see people harassed by Dennis Franz. What I'm trying to say is that besides what people may think about what I just said, NYPD Blue is not that great! After watching crappy actors being interviewed in a claustrophobic room for an hour, you start to get extremely bored and start to think "Hasn't it been a while since the last commercials?" This show is a weekly torture to TV viewers that surely is not likely to amuse you.
The success of the show has been due to the writers ability to portray the characters as humans who are cops, with the whole gambit of emotion that goes with this. Viewers who wish for less 'soap' will find that they would get another sterile 'run of the mill police drama' and not the classic program format as we see today.
"NYPD Blue" is one of the best TV shows ever - period! However, there is a problem when drama and character development in a police show turn into a "soap opera". Sometimes "Blue" crosses that line. Let's see more great dialog between the detectives and the bad guys (watching them solve their cases), and a little less of the "soap opera" story line.
Some have expressed displeasure with the soap opera direction of NYPD Blue, but for me I love it. Its about time that soaps come to the network at night. Sorry to Sharon go but she had so little time onscreen I missed her before she was shot. Danny and Diane action was heating up I thought it would be Jill and Danny for sure. I would like to see this show on more than just one night a week. I am also hoping for some Jimmy Smits ghost scenes or flasbacks. Rick Schroeder was a great choice to replace him. He reminds me of Steve McQueen...
NYPD Blue is a cop show were personal lifes of characters are far more important than complexity of cases they solve. No real Agatha Christie who-dunit plots here, cases are solved almost on a domino effect: man has been shot in bed with his mistress, wife did it. Gang member is shot in a drive by, some snitch is going to give in a vital information, etc. Interrogation scenes are on a much higher level, although more or less following the same pattern, but they feel very realistic. But what makes this show great is personal struggles, loves, loses, ups and downs, going on all the time, egsisting in the parallel with everyday cop work. Stronghold of the show during last ten years has been Andy Sipowicz, aging detective masterfully played by Dennis Franz (who won 4 Emmys, Golden Globe and 2 SAG's for role in this series). His character went throu a lot during the shows run - most gripping plots included him making peace with estranged son, only to see him shot during a robbery, and constant fight with his bigotry and hate towards colored people (must see Backboard Jungle episode from season 3, arguably the finest hour of television I EVER saw). Later on it seemed he finally found his peace with his second wife Sylvia and newborn son Theo when boom: his best friend Simone dies from heart infection and Sylvia is shot. From that moment this gripping show became a soap-opera about Andy being single dad, about Theo getting sick, about attempt to reconcille with his first wife and than, they matched him romantically with a young beutiful blonde detective: YUCK! Show should have ended or in 1998 or in 1999, everything after that they trivialaising itself. Now season by season look. SEASON 1: Overall brilliant, inspired writing, great SEASON 2: David Caruso left and Jimmy Smits kicked in as Sip's partner and that put writers of the balance, just above par. SEASON 3: Had it's share of mediocre eppys, but almost as good as 1. SEASON 4: Some farfetched plots, nevertheless fine. SEASON 5: Started of as bad as 2, but produced a good end of the year. SEASON 6: Smits out Schroder in. Swansong of the show. SEASON 7,8,9,10: Slow and painfull downfall. Two-three new charchters per year appear, with Andy Sipowicz becames metaphysical presence and parody of himself as well. Still, one of 5 best shows of it's time.
I have watched every single episode, watching Andy's transformation from genuine ass to a constant father,leader and finally a person with such caring impact ,that is so obsolete in todays world.Things done during this 12 year saga only defines the simple words"this is life"in a todays world ,so mirrored that this character could not only live in your city ,he my damn well be on your street, and a closer observation , he may live in your own home. This to me was the most powerful tracing of real life out there somewhere! Mr. Franz don't mistake me, my transition from ass to father was taught to me in subtle steps each Thursday. And to these paper characters i say "Job not only well done, but most assuredly greatly done".Iam sure this was Franz's life time achievement and to fit it so well only shows that there has to be more to follow . Hats off there guy! A same generation fan thanks for the entertainment. Gary
The first season of NYPD Blue (1993-'94) was one of the finest seasons of any tv show in recent memory. Ten years later, the first season still stands above and beyond anything since. While Dennis Franz became the center of NYPD Blue, and has done an incredible job, it was David Caruso who stole the show in Season 1. The brilliant breakout performance he gave was both a blessing and a curse for the show (and for his career) as he was gone in a contract dispute four episodes into Season 2. But for anyone who watches reruns of Season 1 on TNT or watches Season 1 on DVD, you are in for a real treat. The character development was extremely well-done, the writing top-notch and the storylines spread out over the entire season, not just tightly wrapped up in 60 minutes. Caruso, unfortunately, became the butt of many jokes after his career all but disappeared after he left this show. However, he has since rebounded nicely with CSI: Miami. It's too bad he didn't last on NYPD Blue because his character was the perfect partner for Franz' Sipowicz. Since he wasn't killed off, I continue to hold out hope that he'll make a cameo appearance again before NYPD Blue ends its run next spring. The other partners that came later couldn't compare. Especially Smits (Zzzzzzzzzzzzz). Season 1 features some great appearances by actors who were unknown at the time, such as Friends' David Schwimmer (4B), ER's Sherry Stringfield, Judging Amy's Amy Brenneman, The West Wing's Bradley Whitford, Just Shoot Me's Wendie Malick, not to mention the introduction of "Donna Abandando" (played brilliantly by Gail O'Grady). God Bless her and all her NY Ranger memorabilia. Her storyline with Medavoy was the first (and last) good storyline Medavoy ever had. Abandando is still missed. Other great characters included "James Sinclair" (played by Daniel Benzali who went on to star in the wonderful first season of Murder One) and Luis Guzman as Martinez' "Poppy". Each episode was an event, along the lines of The Sopranos nowadays, not just another hour of a cop show. The show went downhill after Season 1, albeit slowly, with ridiculous storylines that included killing off pretty much everyone Sipowicz was close too. Franz continued to shine--and still does. He is the sole reason this show has lasted as long as it has. There was a brief spark again when Rick Schroeder was on the show. Other than that, nothing has touched Season 1. As much as it was Caruso's Detective John Kelly that catapulted the show to its success in the first season, the best episode is the season finale and the perfomance of Dennis Franz when encountering Steve White on an old kidnapping case (the Bucci case). The name of the episode is "Rockin' Robin". Look for Franz' facial expressions when questioning White in the trailer about the kidnapping. His finest--and I mean FINEST--hour. And NYPD Blue's finest hour as well. Thanks to Bochco, Franz and Caruso for an incredible show. Well worth getting on DVD.
Season 7 has been broadcasted on one of our local chains here in Belgium. I have been watching it with mixed emotions of curiosity and annoyance. I have read the user comments about the earlier seasons.
I completely agree with one user commenting that the crimes are solved at a glance. No supreme detective job to do except for some extremely convincing pressure in the interview rooms.
Admittedly, 50 minutes is not much to cover a more complicated crime plot BUT
other shows do it: see Homicide, Life on the streets
many of those 50 minutes are spent on little Theo being sick or Det. Kirkendal being involved in her husband's drug affairs.
they use up quite some time having the characters say "How you're doing" or "Thanks" and then have them glare at eachother for ages. A lot of tension is built up between the characters and I almost burst out laughing when Gregg complained to Baldwin he felt left out most of the time: exactly how I felt !
Personally, I find the acting mostly overacting. High emotions are suggested by deep breathing - someone should teach those cops to breathe through their belly - and uncomfortable silences. There is so little joy going on. Of course, I'm unaware of the development of the characters over the seasons. Maybe there is some point in Sipowicz being so overly emotional about his boy's illness. Maybe Russell's alcoholic past makes up for her freaky behaviour. And so on ...
In the "Last round up" we get some compensation for the agony of the rest of the season. Hardly fair though.
Oh yes, one scene having it all: Russell walks down the stairs after another frustrating talk with Kirkendal. She washes away her tears in the sink. Irvin passes, stares at her, "doing okay ?" (centuries pass) "yeah". When she's gone, he bends over twice to the sink doing something like sucking up her tears or weeping himself. What the hell was that supposed to mean ???
The characters are incredible. The scenarios are amazing. I love all the New York shots from one scene to another while we hear these amazing songs. The theme song is fantastic and the scenes in it are extremely compelling, especially the building that implodes and the subway scenes. The people say a lot of bad words and we see a lot of nude shots of the actors. This is just a mere display how NYPD Blue displays the gritty reality we exist. It's very realistic!