NYPD Blue - Season 1

NYPD Blue - Season 1


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Watching Fox Video's release of NYPD Blue: Season One, one is struck by how similar the earliest episodes are, in tone and boldness, to the new shows of a decade later. Most series pilots show little signs of what look like clunkiness and bugs being worked out, but this Steven Bochco-produced cop drama really hit the ground running. It takes a little longer developing character than later shows would, and the most violent scene in the pilot is done in a slow-motion, stop-frame style that was already a little old from its use on the previous Bochco series Hill Street Blues, but the show was already stylistically 90 percent of what it would become as a series. In the bargain, it also captured little bits of New York City history -- in David Caruso's first scene, his character headed for his ex-wife's apartment in Queens, we see the No. 7 Flushing line as it looked during the extraordinary four years in which its elevated line was rebuilt while it kept operating full-time; we also see David Schwimmer, one year before Friends went on the air, playing a tragically naïve divorce attorney in a short-lived story arc. But the amazing thing when watching the pilot and the early episodes is the sheer number of actors on this series who had star quality from the get-go -- not just Caruso and Dennis Franz, but Nick Turturro, Amy Brenneman, and James McDaniel. The look of the series took its familiar form with the second episode, in which the precinct and squad room take on their proper look, and the editing and writing acquire the tightness that would drive the series for over a decade. The major bonus feature on this DVD set consists of commentary tracks on individual episodes: by co-creator David Milch on the fourth show; director Bradley Silberling on episodes six and ten; actress Sharon Lawrence on episode 15; technical advisor and future executive producer Bill Clark on episode 17; and director (and future producer) Michael Robin on episode 21. Milch's commentary is very slow-moving but interesting, in that he treats the characters that he created with a great deal of pride and affection, distinguishing them from the actors in their parts. (He is amazingly honest in admitting that a letter from a viewer put him on to the fact that, as a Jewish writer/producer, he was engaging in a subtle brand of anti-Semitism when it came to the series' tendency to portray most lawyers as despicable and Jewish.) Silberling is livelier and wittier, recalling his career being rescued from a film project that had gone belly-up; he's funny and very self-effacing in his recounting of the problems and joys of shooting a television series on two coasts simultaneously. Lawrence has a lot of fun talking about the script, the development of the characters, and the show's virtues as a vehicle for actors. She believes that the mobile camera enhanced the ability of both regular and guest actors to give especially convincing performances; Lawrence is also generally astonishingly well-informed about multiple aspects of the series and this specific episode. The real treat, however, is the commentary by Bill Clark, who is as fascinating as the episode itself. An ex-New York City police officer who never thought to leave the force, he gradually moved into ever-deeper involvement and was finally persuaded to join the series full-time, especially as he continued to see errors that needed fixing for credibility's sake (which sneaked in on days when he was away). He brings an honesty and immediacy to the commentary that fits in perfectly with the intent of the series itself, and watching the show with the commentary is rather like seeing a kind of "mega"-episode. Clark gives the best account yet of why police officers and prosecutors often see their jobs in such completely different lights, and the reason that cops hold attorneys (even prosecutors) in such contempt. Robin's commentary is lively and his continued, deepening involvement with the show allows him to speak authoritatively about multiple seasons, so that he can describe a specific shot in front of us, but also the development of the sets and choice of locations; he's also honest enough to admit that one of his seeming screw-ups in shooting at the outset of the series was salvaged into the opening credits. The other major bonus feature is a 58-minute documentary in which Bochco, Milch, Clark, et al. discuss the improbable series of events that brought the show to the air, which, in some respects, paralleled the origins of Law & Order. In 1991, hour-long drama was considered a dying programming category on network television. Law & Order's solution was to offer an hour-long show that was essentially two distinct half-hours; Bochco's and Milch's idea, by contrast, was to offer an hour-long show that took network television where it had never gone before, in terms of raw language, subjects, and stories. ABC liked the idea, but their standards-and-practices division rejected the proposed pilot script precisely for its language and subject matter, and Bochco and Milch called their bluff by walking away. That made the network want the show even more, eventually giving what would previously have seemed an unthinkable amount of ground where language and subjects were concerned -- it also delayed the show from filming for a full season, giving the makers time to improve the show even more, giving it greater realism, which was how the series was able to hit the ground running. As Milch points out, no one ever gets 18 months to tinker with a finished pilot script or a series evolved from it before getting it shot and on the air, but they did. In this and accompanying segments on the sixth disc, the makers also address issues of plot, casting, love scenes, and most everything else that made the series special, with ex-cop Bill Clark making the best contribution in terms of seeing to the realism of the show. (His commentary also reveals a detail in his personal tastes that was to manifest itself onscreen comically in the 2004 season, coincident with the addition of ex-cop John F. O'Donohue to the cast. Regular viewers will recognize it, but for others, it involves birds in his office.) As for the discs themselves, the full-screen transfers (1.33:1) are so clean and sharp that they'll challenge the upper limit of viewers' monitors, the very faint patterning in one character's white shirt causing a shimmer in one shot. There are four episodes on each disc except for the last, which contains only two, plus the bonus documentary features. Each episode gets 15 chapter breaks and each show must be accessed separately (there is no "play all" function on the discs). The menu for each episode allows the viewer to skip the "previously on NYPD Blue" recap and go right to the new action. The audio is mastered good and loud, with lots of detail, in 4.0 Dolby Surround. One episode on each disc has a bonus commentary track featuring one of the participants from behind or, in Lawrence's case, in front of the cameras, which has to be accessed through the "language" setup. It's a little awkward advancing between episodes, as one must get out of the menu for the one just viewed and select and enter the next selection, but generally this is a well designed and often spellbinding total-immersion experience in the series.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/18/2003
UPC: 0024543066781
Original Release: 0000
Rating: NR
Source: 20th Century Fox
Region Code: 1
Sound: [Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time: 17:58:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; One-hour "Making of Season One" documentary with never-before seen footage; All new "Love on NYPD Blue" and "Cast Blotter" featurettes; Selected episode commentaries; Script-to-screen comparison and more!

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Episode 1-4
1. Blue Greetings/Main Titles
2. Partners in Crime-Fighting
3. Splitting Heartache
4. Blowing His Top
5. Still Friends
6. The Go-Between
7. Man Down
8. Delivering Message
9. A Federal Case
10. The Short List
11. To Protect and Service
12. His Alibi
13. Who's the Boss
14. Killing Time
15. Down But Not Out/End Credits
1. Construction of Justice/Main Titles
2. Blue Rebuke
3. Blank on It
4. Separation Situation
5. Love and Death
6. A Lie to Remember
7. Contemptible Behavior
8. Advisory Warning
9. Back in the Saddle
10. Eyewitness News
11. The Vengeance Factor
12. Let's Make a Deal
13. Hostage Crisis
14. Who Killed Marino
15. Rest for the Weary/End Credits
1. Sins of a Father/Main Titles
2. Serving Notice
3. Fancy That
4. A Mother's Report
5. The Flying Cop
6. The Right to Bear Arms
7. A New Assignment
8. Man to Man
9. Only a Mother Could Love
10. Back in Action
11. Extra-Curricular Embarrassment
12. Coaxing Cooperation
13. A Trick Up His Sleeve
14. Black-Tie Black Eye
15. Touched/End Credits
1. Rich Man, Poor Man/Main Titles
2. A Positive Outlook
3. Behind Black Eyes
4. Unfriendly Disagreement
5. In the Line-Up of Fire
6. Friendly Request
7. Outside the Lines
8. Daddy's Little Alibi
9. Legal Maneuvering
10. Reluctant Witness
11. Fear No Evil
12. A Team Player
13. Susan's Statement
14. Sobering Thoughts
15. Last Shot/End Credits
Side #2 -- Episode 5-8
1. Bothered Brother/Main Titles
2. Ordering In
3. An Impractical Joker
4. Super Suspicion
5. Swimming With the Sharks
6. One Bad Cop
7. Internal Friend
8. Roach Defender
9. Faulty Wiring
10. The Last Joke
11. Cornered Rat
12. The Roach
13. Feeling the Heat
14. The Hard Truth
15. Lonely Piper/End Credits
1. Bad Sports/Main Titles
2. An Arresting Development
3. Legal Tension
4. A Knockout Story
5. FDR Drive-By Shooting
6. A Wife in Need
7. Traffic Cops
8. Nathan's Nightmare
9. Growing Attachments
10. Phoning it In
11. Professional Testimony
12. Detecting a Lie
13. The Man
14. Hitter's Remorse
15. Friendly Confession/End Credits
1. Son Day/Main Titles
2. Everybody's a Cop
3. A Fearful Father
4. A Little Help
5. Star Witness
6. The Trouble With Laura
7. Found and Lost
8. NYPD Blues
9. Werewolf of New York
10. There Goes the Bride
11. Freddy
12. Lou's Line-Up
13. The Light Above
14. Coupling Cops
15. Tough Love/End Credits
1. A Bust in the Naked City/Main Titles
2. Space Invading
3. A Welcome Female Face
4. Intelligent Interrogation
5. Tale of the Tape
6. Helping the Case
7. Anything Goes
8. Old Case, New File
9. Coercing Cooperation
10. A Pretty Offer
11. Playing the Numbers
12. On Shaky Ground
13. The Only Way Out
14. The Last Confession
15. Date With a DA/End Credits
Side #3 -- Episode 9-12
1. Officers' Romance/Main Titles
2. Oh, Brother
3. Crazy Advice
4. Dirty Work
5. Birthday Blues
6. Tragedy Averted
7. His Father's Keeper
8. Personal Interrogation
9. Courtroom Courting
10. On Thin Ice
11. Bedroom Lies
12. Out From Under
13. Saving the Galaxy
14. Reconcilable Differences
15. Helplessly in Love/End Credits
1. The Nicest People/Main Titles
2. Clearing the Books
3. Involved
4. And the Award Goes to...
5. Team Players
6. The Class System
7. Deal Broker
8. Racial Struggles
9. Drug Accessory
10. A Prince of an Offer
11. A Bust of a Bust
12. Vivid Veracity
13. A Black Thing
14. Cops and Confusion
15. Pride and Prejudice/End Credits
1. In Fancy's Face/Main Titles
2. Impending Gloom
3. Doctor's Orders
4. Disaster Strikes
5. Special Treatment
6. Woman's Welfare
7. A Mother of a Witness
8. Cabby Cops
9. New York's Nicest
10. An Ambitious Agenda
11. The Doctor's Daughter
12. Points Well Taken
13. If the Suit Fits
14. The New Mr. Big
15. Love and Confusion/End Credits
1. Out With a Bang/Main Titles
2. Model Behavior
3. Organizing Crime Fighting
4. New Detective Work
5. Losing a Son
6. Whose Case Is it Anyway?
7. A First Time for Everyone
8. Medical Attention
9. Good Citizenship Points
10. Road to Recovery
11. Rooftop Controversy
12. Not So Merry Prankster
13. Off the Books
14. Leaving New York
15. The Last Angle/End Credits
Side #4 -- Episode 13-16
1. Interested Parties/Main Titles
2. New Girl on the Block
3. Harmed and Dangerous
4. The Good Husband
5. Domestic Disturbance
6. Consoling Cop
7. Back Alley Operation
8. Distress Call
9. Legal Obstacle
10. Let's Make a Deal
11. A Hustling Reporter
12. On the Air
13. Home Wrecking
14. Home Repairs
15. Husbands and Wives/End Credits
1. Dental Distress/Main Titles
2. Partner With Potential
3. Tooth or Dare
4. Holding Back
5. Odd Cop Out
6. An Irregular Checkup
7. A Wrong Man
8. Wigging Out
9. Cease and Resist
10. A Hard Choice
11. Old Times
12. Dressed to Kill
13. Copping an Attitude
14. Stand by Your Woman
15. Falling in Like/End Credits
1. A Leaky Excuse/Main Titles
2. Crossing Lines
3. Getting Personal
4. A Snitch in Time
5. Defensive Posture
6. The Cagey Cook
7. A Real Ass
8. Mother's Intuition
9. Testy Behavior
10. Mike's Moment of Truth
11. The Cook Comes Clean
12. Early Retirement
13. The Terminator
14. Freefalling
15. Like a Virgin/End Credits
1. Traffic Problems/Main Titles
2. Handicapped Complaint
3. Fishy Behavior
4. A Friendly Suggestion
5. Meet the New Boss
6. Robin's Tale
7. Working the Streets
8. Make a New Plan, Stan
9. Hear No Evil
10. Separation Anxiety
11. Squeezing Andy
12. Dying to Know the Truth
13. Veteran's Day
14. Seeking Counsel
15. Better Late Than Never/End Credits
Side #5 -- Episode 17-20
1. Little Boy Blues/Main Titles
2. Hopefully
3. The Boy's Best Friend
4. Money Talks
5. Private Detection
6. Tough Talk
7. Wanted Woman
8. No Respect
9. Transformational Facilitator
10. The One That Got Away
11. A Dubious Deal
12. Drying the Well
13. Garbage Delivery
14. An Offer She Can't Refuse
15. Hope Never Dies/End Credits
1. The Unknown Witness/Main Titles
2. Bad Back in Custody
3. Disgraced
4. Losing Nicky
5. A Ticket to Florida
6. Shallow Pockets
7. The Bar Pretender/Busting Zeppo
8. Terrified to Testify
9. Laura's New Guy
10. Flipping Zeppo
11. Brothers in Harm
12. Check for Changes
13. Sock it to Me
14. Parade Duty
15. Final Warning/End Credits
1. Hypothetical Witness/Main Titles
2. Tracking Jimmy's Ashes
3. Holding Junior
4. A Favor for Andy
5. Garbage Detail
6. Identity Crisis
7. Dumped and Found
8. Will the Real Lenny Please Stand Up?
9. Serge Protector
10. Reversal of Misfortune
11. Last Request
12. A Woman in Love
13. A Clean Slate
14. Extended Exposure
15. Looking Ahead/End Credits
1. Moving Up/Main Titles
2. Tough Guys Don't Dance
3. A Shot of Trouble
4. Not by the Book
5. Bad Time Charlie
6. Good Looks, Bad Alibi
7. Letting Life In
8. A Wife With Perspective
9. Taking Matters Into His Own Hands
10. Meet the Family
11. A Piercing Decision
12. A New Bottom
13. Domestic Circumstances
14. Coming Clean
15. A Sorry Situation/End Credits
Side #6 -- Episode 21-22 & Bonus Features
1. From Bad to Worse/Main Titles
2. Black on White
3. Erratic Behavior
4. Raking the Muckraker
5. Widow's Pique
6. A Gun Story Full of Holes
7. The Same Page
8. A Messy Confession
9. Surprising Surrender
10. The Heavy Truth
11. Righteous Indignation
12. Seeing the Differences
13. To Urge and Protect
14. Edgy Encounter
15. Making Amends/End Credits
1. A Fresh Start/Main Titles
2. Murder of a Priest
3. Steering Her Right
4. On the Lot
5. Tricks of the Trade
6. Huslter's Bustle
7. A Stolen Kiss
8. A Car for Junior
9. Priest or Predator?
10. Remorseful Revelation
11. A Queer Admission
12. Beyond Help
13. Reunited
14. Good and Lucky
15. The Best of Times/End Credits

Customer Reviews

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NYPD Blue - Season 1 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the 11 years NYPD Blue aired, I only missed 1 episode. I saw it later in reruns. Awesome program.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply put, what’s not to love? Season one of this groundbreaking show shines brighter than ever on DVD! The interviews and commentary add an amazing new depth to the already vivid life and drama of the men and women of the 15th Detective Squad. Hearing it directly from the creators and players takes the whole experience to a new level.