If an armed robbery in progress at the See Surplus Store on People’s Drive and 124th Street* means anything to you, then you’ll have been a fan of Hill Street Blues. I’ve just read that producer Stephen Bochco died earlier this week.
I loved Hill Street Blues. It managed to be both funny and shocking, showing cops as flawed with messy lives and their own hang ups. It certainly changed the genre – stories were no longer resolved within a single episode. Detective JD LaRue – a womanising alcoholic nicknamed “Lover” by partner Neil Washington, hunky (and in real life former NFL running back) Officer Joe Coffey with a secret gambling problem, raw onion eating Detective Mick Belker who is interrupted by calls from his mum while trying to book the same pickpocket each week who finally gives up his real name when dying in Mick’s arms …. I could go on, and on. It’s still very watchable today.
Not everything Bochco did was golden (Cop Rock was a real stinker), but he also had major successes with LA Law, Doogie Howser MD and NYPD Blue, another fav of mine. I think the NY Times obit sums him up very well.
*Although according to some, it was Peebles Drive and West 24th Street…….