Nowadays it is nothing special when an ensemble law or police drama comes to TV, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in 1981 Hill Street Blues hit the airwaves and bringing with it a new style of drama series that forever changed TV. The series ran for 7 seasons, garnering eight Emmy Awards and now Shout Factory is giving fans a chance to head back to the precinct with Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series on DVD.
If you either missed it or are too young to know anything about it, the series followed an overworked, under-staffed police precinct in an anonymous inner city patterned after Chicago. Each episode of the series featured numerous stories with some that are resolved in that episode and others stretching out in varying arcs. With a lot of these types of shows they focus on a particular group, but here it spread itself to a wider group including the Chief, detectives and beat cops. While a new style of show for its time it didn’t try to force the storytelling, but instead used the real life struggles of the time such as gangs and inner city issues as the back drop pretty often and in turn had a heavier sense of realism to the issues and characters. The series had a memorable cast including Joe Spano, Betty Thomas, Taurean Blacque, Bruce Waltz, Dennis Franz, and Jeffrey Tambor and much like most shows of its time featured numerous then unknown actors you may recognize today including Danny Glover in a four episode arc.
This is sure to be a must have for any fan of the series as well as just fans of great cop dramas. In addition to all 144 episodes of the series, this collection also features a commemorative book, ‘The History of Hill Street’, ‘Roll Call: Looking Back on Hill Street Blues’, ‘Writers on the Hill’, a gag reel, interviews, commentaries, and the original pilot. Don’t miss your chance to bring home a piece of TV history when Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series comes to DVD on April 29th.
For more information head over to www.shoutfactory.com