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4.5 out of 5 stars72
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2006
At last the best cop show from the past couple of decades hits DVD. Hill St Blues is everything I recall and more - complex storylines, fantastic acting, gritty realism and great characters. The only minor quibble is the number of cuts from the orginally broadcast versions - most notably the shooting of Hill & Renko in the pilot episode and Frank & Joyce's passionate lunch in the 2nd part of The Rites of Spring. The complete episodes have already been issued on video, so why the cuts now? Without these I would have had no hesitation in awarding a full five stars.

Having said that these only slightly mar the overall enjoyment and I look forward to the timely release of all seven seasons.
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on 12 April 2009
It seems to me that the other person reviewing this item may not have realised that the region 1 version of Hill Street Blues uses double-sided discs. This means that the discs would need to be flipped over in order to see the remaining episodes - so if you don't turn the discs over and play the opposite side then you only get to see half the shows!

Because the discs are double-sided this equates to having six discs, which you'll note is one more than the region 2 version currently available. Suffice to say; this is the better option. The episodes aren't edited and it comes with extras, so it's the best way to watch this classic, ground-breaking series.
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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...
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on 21 May 2007
Brilliant series. I was so pleased to be able to get it on DVD, however, I was disappointed to find out it is the Hill Street for Babies censored version. Series 2 is even worse. The editing looks like a complete hatchet job - extremely obvious with interrupted flow of action. I wouldn't mind so much if the programme had been really violent but by today's standards, it's harmless.
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on 2 April 2010
I was and still am a huge fan of this groundbreaking (at the time) TV series. The multi-layered, intelligent storylines; the writing had pace and the viewer wasn't spoon-fed to the point where everything had to be spelled out and had a happy ending.
Although it does come over as being somewhat dated now and does not have the gritty realism of, say 'The Wire'(superb!), it is still a thoroughly engaging watch and will definitely bring a smile to anyone who enjoyed it first time around.

However, as great as it is to have the first two seasons on DVD; what isn't so great and has been mention in other reviews of these products, is the mindless and idiotic way these have been re-edited when transferred from the original tapes to DVD; so much so, that it has rendered some of parts of the story almost unintelligible if the viewer is not familiar with the original TV series.

My opinion of these DVD sets is that they are still worth purchasing for the nostalgia trip, but prepare to be irritated by the moronic editing and the possibility that the remaining seasons may never be released on DVD.
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on 5 March 2006
As a London cop of over 25 years I still remember with great fondness this outstanding cop show. There is no doubt in my mind that this was and is the best TV cop show of them all; it never shirked from issues such as corruption and alcoholism amongst cops, plus who can forget the major chracters who came to grief; plus the very funny bits [Xmas on The Hill? the Mayor's Wife's Dog?]
I grew up with these cops and as the last reviewer stated, I never thought it would arrive on DVD. It's been a long wait, but worth it.
Still showing on More4; catch it if you're a fan, if you've never seen it watch it to find out why it is the best.
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on 17 February 2006
Way back in the eighties, long before Channel 4 was run by children, for children - we had Hill Street Blues.
One of the great milestones of modern American TV it was a huge jump forwards from the glut of formulaic cop shows of the 1970's. Here we got to see the real lives and loves outside of the precinct and for the first time got an insight as to why the characters were like they were, good and bad. This program really coloured my teen years and I'm thrilled that it's finally being released on DVD. I never thought it would happen.
NYPD Blue, The Shield, CSI Whatever - none of these would have existed without Hill Street Blues.
Here's to Season 2, 3, 4 etc.
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on 28 March 2006
Nothing wrong with the series, its still the best but this DVD version is the censored one(at least season 1 is)shown on TV.
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A large ensemble cast of generally likeable but also flawed characters. Storylines that carry on from episode to episode. Multiple bits of dialogue at the same time. hand held camera work creating a sense of realism.

All the above are things we take for granted in a lot of dramas these days, but hill street blues brought many of them to us. It broke the mould of tv cop shows. and many other drama series that followed.

Here spread over five discs are the seventeen episodes of the first season. Relieve again the early days of hill street station and the home and work lives of the people from it. and at the centre of it all is captain frank furillo, masterfully played by daniel j travanti as a beacon of calm and integrity.

And you'll never forget that haunting theme tune.

Classic tv drama and if you've never seen it before, you'll soon find out what you've been missing.

The discs have the following extras and features:

language track: english

subtitles: english

a commentary from two of the cast and the shows creator on episodes one and eleven

and a fifty one minute long feature on disc five which reunites eight of the cast - some of whom have visibly aged whereeas others dont look much different - for a discussion of the show. this is heartfelt and honest and insightful and it's well worth a watch.

as mentioned in other reviews there are alas cuts to the episodes on here, these seemingly being versions that channel four could show before the 9pm watershed. a shame the dvd doesnt contain unedited versions so that drops it a star, but it's still nice to see the show again so it's worth 4 as a whole
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on 31 March 2006
I had fond memories of Hill Street - I can still recall the impact this series had on US/UK TV audiences with its gritty realism and tough plots, plus genuinely human characters that you grew to care about.

I was firstly delighted when More4 began to run it again after so many years -and then absolutely horrified at the butchery that channel perpetuated on a show which deserved much better. With an early afternoon time slot that guaranteed scenes being cut to the extent that sometimes the episode made no sense at all. And the appalling habit of giving us teaser and opening credits - and then launching into an ad break at the end of the credits and before the first scene.

I am so glad that S1 has been released on DVD. So that I can watch the show the way it was intended to be viewed. I've just heard that its on its way from Amazon and can't wait.

Shame on you, More4 for disrespecting such a wonderful show. But here's hoping that the other seasons will soon follow this one on DVD so that those who love it can watch it in all its glory.

And for those checking Hill Street out on More4 - wait for the late night repeat, for pity's sake.
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