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"The Complete Series"? - I don't think so....
on 11 November 2007
"Hill Street Blues" was, and still is, my absolute favourite television series. When first transmitted in the 1980's the comments you read here about the ground-breaking format of the show are absolutely true: multi-thread storylines, a huge cast ensemble, documentary-style direction, humour, realism and ACTION.
After settling down for a serious couch-fest of memories with these DVD's it was quickly apparent something was missing. Scenes weren't making sense. Edits were skipping around. Events were being referenced that the viewer hadn't seen.
As has been mentioned here elsewhere, these are the edited versions of the show suitable for early-evening transmission on Channel 4. And they haven't been edited at all well. The action, gritty and realistic for its time but tame by today's standards, has been all but totally deleted. A key ingredient of what made the show so good isn't there any more. Just what is the point of releasing a cult series to enthusiasts if you then remove one of the facets that made it so memorable? I expect better from the channel that prides itself on providing innovative, controversial programming.
It got so bad that I gave up watching half way through the second series. I'm even thinking about flogging both boxed sets on the Amazon resellers market.
Great programme, lousy DVD's...