The entire first series of this hard-hitting cop drama set in the 15th Precinct of New York and created by Stephen Bochco. The series broke new ground for US television shows, was notable for showing subjects not normally covered such as vigilante violence and bribery, and has gone on to win over 20 Emmys. The episodes included are: 'Pilot', '4B Or Not 4B', 'Brown Appetit', 'True Confessions', 'Emission Accomplished', 'Personal Foul', 'NYPD Lou', 'Tempest in a C-Cup', 'Ice Follies', 'Oscar, Meyer, Weiner', 'From Hare to Eternity', 'Up on the Roof', 'Abandando Abandoned', 'Jumpin' Jack Fleishman', 'A Sudden Fish', 'Steroid Roy', 'Black Men Can Jump', 'Zeppo Marks Brothers', 'Serge the Concierge', 'Good Time Charlie', 'Guns 'n' Rosaries' and 'Rockin' Robin'.
First broadcast in 1993, NYPD Blue
was created by Steven Bochco and David Milch, the team responsible for the magnificent, mould-breaking Hill Street Blues
, which had featured both of NYPD
's principal stars, David Caruso (Detective John Kelly) and Dennis Franz (Detective Andy Sipowicz). Here, their partnership takes up most of the screen time, a break from the ensemble feel of the earlier show (though he's the boss, James McDaniel's Lieutenant Fancy, for instance, is a peripheral figure). But there are familiar Bochco themes. Tough-but-put-upon cops struggle with their own problems as well as the criminal element: Kelly is going through a divorce, while Sipowicz is fighting alcoholism, though these are as nothing compared with officer Janice Licalsi's dramatic means of escaping her involvement with the Mob.
Although fast-cut and street-sharp, NYPD Blue arguably betrays a right-wing bias: the villains are invariably irredeemable scum, too often let off the hook by a slack and excessively liberal judiciary, with victims of crime often forced to take desperate measures of their own. The fate of one 4B (a young David Schwimmer), however, acts as a warning against vigilantism. Unleavened by much of Hill Street's humour and with plots more designed to keep the pulse racing than reflect social realism, NYPD Blue is simmering, downbeat, compelling viewing that edged mainstream American TV nearer to the knuckle than it had previously dared to venture.
On the DVD: NYPD Blue, Series 1 has a number of special features, including a making-of documentary in which creator Steven Bochco explains the lengthy negotiations he had to undertake with the network in order to get the show aired in anything like its original form. "Cast Blotters" is a feature about the characters and players. There's also a short piece on the love interest in NYPD Blue and biographies of the cast and programme makers. --David Stubbs