Years later Hill Street Blues would redefine the cop genre as a mesh of overlapping storylines and workaday frustrations, but Aaron Spelling's iconic 70s show portrays LA's finest as madly heroic creatures of reckless determination and physicality. This first season is also startlingly brutal for a primetime US showit was later significantly toned down, much to the regret of fanswhile maintaining a delightful, often incongruous, self-deprecating humour. From the series pilot on, partners and best pals Starsky and Hutch work a fine line between predator and prey, relentlessly pursuing suspects while also snared by crime chieftains or short-sighted superiors. In "The Fix", Hutch's secret romance with the former girlfriend of a mafia boss (Robert Loggia) results in the lawman's kidnapping and forced addiction to heroin. Similarly, in "A Coffin for Starsky", a mad chemist injects the wisecracking cop with a slow-acting but lethal poison. "Jo-Jo", written by Michael Mann, finds our guys at loggerheads with federal officers over a dumb deal the G-Men make with a serial rapist.
The 23 episodes in this set are all fun, if sometimes shocking, viewing. Expect each character to take as much abuse as he dishes out. Still, the comic sight of Starsky and Hutch (in "Death Notice") trying to conduct business amid busy strippers is well worth the surrounding violence. --Tom Keogh
Sure it has its share of violence and all kinds of nastiness but Starsky and Hutch are jean-clad knights in their Gran Torino, bringing criminals to justice, helping the weak and defenceless, and do all this with style and humour. The chemistry between the actors is wonderful and they fairly spark off one another. Glaser and Soul, so different in looks and build, are handsome, charming and cool. The range of their acting is impressive and they are very believable in their roles.
Cop shows come and go but this show remains fresh today as it is really about the friendship of the two main characters. They are there for each other during good times and bad and that is very appealing.
This DVD set shows just how good the show was. It had everything - humour, pace pathos and excitement. We forget just what excellent actors David Soul & PMG are, and it's so wonderful to see it all again in such crisp and clear digital quality. When the series first aired I had a massive crush on PMG. Now I find myself drooling over him again again and freeze framing those amazing eyes!!!
Without doubt this series set a standard for cop shows that few have since measured up to - although Hill St. came close - and it's fantastic to have the full season 1 in one collection - complete and uncut. An absolute "must buy" and worth every penny!