Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Goodbye, Andy Sipowicz

Well, it’s the end of an era. Last night was the series finale of NYPD Blue. This show started in the Fall of 1993 -- 11½ years ago. That’s a loooong time. If you were a senior in high school when this series started, you’re pushing 30 now. Etc.

This show was really good for the first 6 or 7 years or so. Not great, like Hill Street Blues (Bochco’s first and best series). Hill Street was the best police drama ever; so realistic you could be there. New York Undercover was the only other police show that even came close to that “being there” sense of realism.

(OK, actually E-Z Streets was the best police drama of all time — early 1996 — but you’ve never heard of it so why am I even mentioning it? There were probably eight people in America who even watched it, judging by the rock-bottom ratings. It was taken off the air after about 4 episodes. God, it was dark, mean, intense, powerful; it makes The Shield look like Leave It To Beaver.)

NYPD Blue always seemed too much like a Hollywood production compared to the realism of Hill Street. That, and the fact that Dennis Franz (Sipowicz) was the only original cast member still on the show (Medavoy joined early in the first season). The entire cast turned over several times during the life of the series.

But it was a good program, within that context of “here’s a famous director, creating a badass cop who deals with the worst dregs of society. This way, cameraman!” A few years ago we quit watching it; it was becoming more and more of a bloated soap opera where the characters just happened to be cops instead of lawyers or doctors. I think their Jump The Shark moment was that contrived tearjerker ER-style episode(s) where Simone (Jimmy Smits) died. If I want ER or General Hospital, I know what channel they’re on.

We started watching the show again just a few weeks ago when we found out the series was wrapping up.
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Good News: The Shield starts up again later this month. YEEAAARRGGHHH!!!!!

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