My Top 10 TV Shows of All Time – No. 10: Hill Street Blues

Tonight, one of my favorite shows of all time, 24, returns to FOX for a new season. To celebrate the return of Jack Bauer kicking ass I decided to do my first list/countdown for this blog. Every day starting from No. 10 I’ll count down my top 10 shows of all time. Now this is my list, and believe me I know people will disagree with it, but I’ll try and justify my choices with a spoiler free summary of my thoughts and feelings. So without further ado, lets get started with Number 10!

 

10. Hill Street Blues

1981-1987, 7 Seasons, NBC, Created by Stephen Bochco & Michael Kozoll

Hill Street Blues is the Grandfather for all the cop shows that followed it. NYPD Blue, Homicide Life on the Streets, heck even The Wire owes a debt of gratitude to this excellent ensemble piece. The Show revolves around a precinct on ‘The Hill’ a district in a unnamed Midwest city (though fans theorize it could be anywhere between Pittsburgh to Chicago) and the cops who patrol this run down area of the fictional city. Revolutionary for it’s time, the show dealt with gangs, drugs, prostitution and general urban decay common in the 80’s. As good as the plots were, what really carried the show was the amazing cast. The love story between the Captain of the precinct (played by Daniel J. Travanti) and attorney Joyce Davenport (played by Veronica Hamel) gave the show the romantic element but the relationship the cops had with their partners really gave the show it’s emotional heart, each dealing with their own problems from death, injury, corruption and sickness in their own ways. Hill Street Blues is as entertaining today as when it aired & still has the power to shock in it’s earlier seasons all though some the humor has dated and like most TV series it loses steam in the last 2 seasons. Shout Factory has released the complete series on DVD just a few days ago and episodes can be found on Hulu, Youtube & repeated on cable. If you are into cop shows I can’t recommend Hill Street Blues enough. I’ll leave you with a clip that occurs at the beginning of every episode (and is often spoofed, including by The Simpsons, Family Guy & SNL) that every fan knows and loves.

Hill Street Blues on Amazon

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