The Great Cop Shows (In my opinion)

I would also call them shows that broke the pattern, were as realistic as they could be and that made them good


Honorable mention to Brooklyn South. It had the chops to be a great show, but it was not allowed to develop the ratings.



5 Replies to “The Great Cop Shows (In my opinion)”

  1. “Hill Street Blues” was cutting edge when it came out in 1981, but if you watch it now, not so much. (In the first episode, the SWAT team resolves a hostage situation with full-auto mag dumps from M16s.) But all in all, it’s a good show.
    “Homicide” started out good, but went off the rails toward the end. Like “Hill Street,” its main strength was in the relationships within the group.
    I never saw “The Wire” or “Bosch.”
    “NYPD Blue” was good, with interesting characters, but it turned formulaic in a hurry.
    But the all-time most realistic cop show on TV, as any cop will tell you, was “Barney Miller.”

  2. Naked City is the greatest cop show ever. Setting aside such guest stars Klugman, Shatner, Redford, Hoffman, Duvall and Matthau, the true star of the show was the City of NY.

  3. I am a YUGE fan of the Bosch novels. I’ve read every single one (and their related books, like the Mickey Haller and Renee Ballard entries). They are excellent, both in the depiction of the reality of police work, and in the character development. The Amazon series is “reimagined” from the novels but it is also superb.

    HOMICIDE and THE WIRE are so good you wonder why other cops hows don’t learn from them. HILL STREET BLUES was great when it came out but it is VERY dated now.

    Do yourselves a favor and start reading BOSCH. The first novel is THE BLACK ECHO. Once you start, you won’t stop.

    1. HSB is dated indeed, I rewatched the whole series last year. I also tried to watch stuff of the era from Starsky and Hutch to Chips… Holy crap I couldn’t do 10 minutes!

  4. Although it’s definitely a period piece and hard to find in the US, The Sweeney is worth watching. Especially on DVD with commentary about camera techniques and 70s police and tv culture. This was Britain’s first “gritty” cop show and also launched John Thaw ( Inspector Morse). I got the first season from Netflix on DVD about 10 years ago and it striking how often they used payphones and everyone smoked.

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