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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to see but why the cuts?
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...
Published on 27 April 2006 by Mr. T. Slader

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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Complete Series"? - I don't think so....
"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...
Published on 11 Nov 2007 by Jon Clark


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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to see but why the cuts?, 27 April 2006
By 
Mr. T. Slader "Slader" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 star cop show, 5 Mar 2006
By A Customer
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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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Complete Series"? - I don't think so...., 11 Nov 2007
By 
Jon Clark (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
"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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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hill Street Blues - a classic, 21 May 2007
By 
Carol Windsor (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discs are double-sided, 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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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!!, 17 Feb 2006
By A Customer
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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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hill Street Blues Season DVD 1 & 2, 2 April 2010
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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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost classic, 28 Mar 2006
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shame about the lack of love, 5 April 2009
HILL STREET BLUES was a brilliant series. The first of a new generation of US TV drama series with overlapping dialogue and an ensemble cast with high drama and high comedy (stand up one Lt Howard Hunter) mixing in a great televisual essay on urban policing in an "unnamed American City" (A fictional world completely unlike other TV fictional worlds such as Weatherfield or Walford I suppose) in the first half of the 1980s. Memorable scenes and memorable characters work together to create a genuine slice of TV greatness. "Catching lightning in a bottle" as Steven Bochco himself described it. He would go on to give us more great shows ("LA Law", "NYPD Blue") and build careers for Dennis Franz and David Caruso both of whom had minor guest slots in early seasons of this show and went on to be cast as leads in Steven Bochco productions later in their careers with different levels of success...
Sadly it looks increasingly unlikely that we're going to get any releases beyond season two, maybe not enough of us bought this one, although late night terrestrial reruns do give us hope. Not for us Sal Benedetto... or Stan "Let's do it to them before they do it to us" Jablonski... or Norman Buntz (one of the finest creations from the final seasons)... or an incredible scene with Officer Joe Coffey that inspired writers on "The West Wing" years later. Make no mistake, HILL STREET BLUES is a template for so many of the great television writers of the last thirty years. When you settle down to "er" or "The Wire" you should give a thankful thought for those folks on The Hill, in this, possibly the greatest season of them all... before the network "suits" apparently got involved and tore out its free-flowing heart and decided that stories needed to be concluded week on week or the public would stay away in droves. HBO... where were you then when we needed you?
Hill, Renko, Bates, Hunter, Belker, Esterhaus, Goldblume, Calletano, Washington, LaRue, Davenport and a brace of Furillos... imperfect, flawed, lovable timeless characters - I salute you all.
This release is cut horribly (and stupidly!). The Hill/Renko sequence in the doorway in the pilot just fades to black, but more of it can be seen in the episode two reprise and the documentary on disc five. Just had a look at my off air recording and it was all still in there, too. Some of the episode titling is just plain wrong - "Jungle Fever"? "Jungle Fever"? It was always" Jungle Madness"! Too much Um Bongo in the graphics office that day, I'll wager... It is just a shame that such a great iconic series does not get the respect it deserves.
Fans might also want to check out Mr Bochco's novel "Death by Hollywood" to get more insight into the "interesting" relationship between actors and producers of American TV shows...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 5-Stars For The Show, 1-Star For This Censored Release, 30 Dec 2013
This review is from: Hill Street Blues - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
As others have pointed out, DO NOT purchase the UK releases of HILL STREET BLUES: Seasons 1 and/or 2, as released by Channel 4 DVD. The episodes are heavily censored (for what is - by today's standards - very tame violent scenes and very mild sexual material). This abomination of a release, should NEVER have made it past the Quality Assurance stage, and how any company can allow their material to be released in such a heavily cut form, is beyond me!

However, there is good news!

For those of you wanting the complete series, providing you have a multi-region/region-free DVD player, you will soon be able to buy the whole series, uncut, uncensored and exactly as it was intended to be seen, as the Complete Series is now being released by Shout Factory in the USA, at the end of April 2014.

You can place your order at this Amazon.com weblink...
[...]
... with a price of about 80 (including Standard Postage to the UK).

It's a lot of money, but it'll be the first, legal Western release of this seminal police drama, in its complete and uncut version, of all 7 Seasons of the series. Shout Factory have announced the following:

"This handsomely packaged 34-DVD collector's box set contains all 144 acclaimed episodes, the original Hill Street Blues pilot, a commemorative 24-page book with a special essay written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic Tom Shales, and retrospective bonus content, featuring new interviews with Steven Bochco, the cast and more."

Sounds awesome! Just make sure your AV equipment can play Region 1 DVD's!

ADDENDUM: Failing the above, a 42-disc set (same content, just spread over a few more discs, so you may see a very minor improvement on picture quality), is available from Australia (Region 4), from Shock Records - no relation to Shock Factory. From what I've been told, this set SHOULD be Region 2 compatible as well, which means it should work on UK Region 2 only players. However, you buy that set at your own risk! I can't guarantee the Australian release is UK compatible... though everything leade me to suspect it should be!
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Hill Street Blues - Season 1 [DVD]
Hill Street Blues - Season 1 [DVD] by Daniel J. Travanti (DVD - 2013)
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