After the urban hipness of Hill Street Blues and the risible experiment Cop Rock, Steve Bochco has pinned on a badge once more for N YPD Blue. Tom Lappin reports from the city that never stops screaming
‘Freeze, asshole !’
US TV from A to Zee
medium with its use of clips from classic shows of the 503 and 605. is for Ed Sullivan whose CBS E show from 1948 became the American TV showcase for performers new and established. From his model evolved the classic American evening chat-show, with an avuncular host delivering monologue, chat and guest slots. The most famous turned out to be
live for ever’ the somewhat
12 The List 28 January-l0 February 1994
inaccurate boast. US audiences could happily leave it, but the adoration of overseas markets (especially — shame. blush — Britain) resulted in further series, albums. tours etc. A rather more acceptable youth icon was The Fonz, Henry Winkler’s wrinkly, bequiffed captain of cool from Happy Days who had every twelve-year-old saying ‘Heyyyy’ from 1974 onwards.
series from the same era which
hen it comes to TV cop shows, there’s realism. and then there’s realism. ‘lf I got half the pussy that Caruso gets. I’d be a happy cop.’ said one real-life New York Police Department employee on duty in midtown Manhattan last week. ‘If I dressed like that guy I’d get laughed outta here.’ adds his partner.
These are but minor quibbles though in a general thumbs-up for Steve Bochco’s drama
the Fonz: You will believe
Homicide: Munch and Bol
/‘ a torty-year-old quilt is cool.
ander - Siam and Hutch with Phns.
Blues past and present in Steve Bochco’s cop dramas. Caruso and Sipovltz ot NYPD (left) and tour denizens oi the Hill Street Precinct.
series NYPD Blue, airing to large and appreciative audiences in the American cities that haven’t banned it, and currently screening on Channel 4 in Britain. As the boys on the street put it. somewhat wistfully, ‘Any show that has a cop getting laid that often has to have something going for it.’
Viewers of the first episodes can confirm that
there’s as much action in the sack as on the
sidewalk in NYPD Blue. The hero, Detective _ John Kelly (David Caruso) was seen romping
seems to have had an inordinate influence on Evan Dando’s world- view.
is for Hill Street Blues. 1980 H saw the birth of Steven
Bochco’s ensemble police show, mingling drama, farce. tragedy and romance in an edgy. realist setting. lts influence was enormous, and can still be seen in current shows like Barry Levinson’s
I the Tonight show with the is for Gldget, the spiritual F brilliant “om'c'dm ["9 on The ' irreplaceable (‘Here’sssss’) Johnny G precursor to Baywatch. From I ~ ,, 123.2" ’ Street, as well as Bochco’s own Carson, and now hosted by the 1965. a nineteen-year-old Sally ,3 ﬂ a!" 5'2 ~ 5.. ‘ N YPD Blue. charisma-challenged Jay Leno. Field played an irritating Californian i J :3” ’ "I! I is for I Love Lucy, CBS’s ground- ! is for Fame. 1982 gave us the teen with a predilection for surﬁng. nus—v ‘ I breaking sitcom that began in F horrendous products of a New Empty hedonism, sunshine and " if ___~ 1951. Ostensibiy the adventures York performing school where visual gags were also the staple . , W of the scatty wife of Cuban fame was the spur and ‘we’re gonna ingredients of Gilligan’s island, a ’ ' ' ' ' '. bandleader Desi Arnaz, I Love Lucy
(later The Lucy Show and Here '3