Fans of any 80s cop shows?

Cop shows, detective shows, P.I. shows, and more...

Fans of any 80s cop shows?

Postby ringfire211 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:59 pm

Mr. Mike (and anyone else for that matter), seeing as how you're big on cop shows of the 70s like FIVE-O and KOJAK, are there any 80s cop shows that you've seen or enjoyed?

The 2 that immediately come to mind are T.J. HOOKER (with your fellow countryman Bill Shatner) and HUNTER (with NFL star turned actor Fred Dryer). As a kid I preferred HOOKER but nowadays probably HUNTER. The latter is a more grown-up show whereas the former is in many ways a hold-over from the late 70s Spelling-Goldberg crime dramas. HOOKER is a Spelling-Goldberg show with a good dose of cheese thrown in. That's not to say it doesn't have its moments because it does (especially seasons 3 and 4 - probably the best seasons) but it tends to have too many of those cutesy moments that often make you roll your eyes - especially at the end of each episode. Also Hooker and his partner Romano would have these banal conversations while riding around in the squad car. I wouldn't quite call them "carguments" like on Five-Faux because it's nowhere near that awful or juvenile, but I really don't care about Romano giving Hooker stock tips or healthy eating tips or how his Uncle Stephano gives the best haircuts this side of Romania. Before a crime occurred and our boys had to roll they would be cruising around in the squad car and engaging in these types of banal conversations. The guys have to talk about something, right? But it wasn't witty or clever. Just banal. It also doesn't help that Shatner is a ham and when he has to grit his teeth and call the criminals "scum" and "garbage" every 10 minutes it's pretty laughable. Still, in the right mood and given the right episode the show had its pluses.

Of course there was also MIAMI VICE which I never really cared for. Too dark and too soap opera for my tastes. Plus every episode was basically the same thing - Sonny and Rico were posing as drug pushers or buyers setting up the next sell/buy. The late 80s gave us IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT which had some pretty solid (and often edgy) stories, but there were also episodes which were just bland and moved at a snail's pace. To see Carroll O'Connor play such a different character from his Archie Bunker was definitely a revelation and he did quite well in the role - even got an Emmy!

I guess HUNTER would be my pick as the best 80s cop show. It started out as a DIRTY HARRY-style shoot-em-up cop show but after a season or two began to morph into a more character-driven and grown-up show, though still not abandoning its DIRTY HARRY roots. Hunter's catch phrase was "Works for me", usually after shooting a baddie.

But overall I would have to say that the 70s was really the decade of the "cop show".
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Re: Fans of any 80s cop shows?

Postby Mr. Mike » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:38 am

This site has a list of 80's cop/crime shows:

https://reelrundown.com/tv/80s-detective-tv-series

It includes 21 Jump Street, Booker, Cagney and Lacey, Charlie's Angels, CHiPS, Hardcastle and McCormick, Hart to Hart, Hill Street Blues, Hunter, Jake and the Fatman, Magnum PI, Matlock, Matt Houston, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, Ohara, Quincy M.E., Remington Steele, Riptide, Simon & Simon, Sledge Hammer!, Spenser: For Hire, Stingray, T.J. Hooker, The A-Team (?), The Equalizer, The Fall Guy, VEGA$. (And what about Wiseguy and Crime Story?)

I have hardly seen any of these. Hill Street Blues, and The Equalizer are on my "to see" list for someday. I watched some of Crime Story, up to the second season, but then it started to get an attack of the terminally stupids. Was never interested in Magnum PI … too "jokey."
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Re: Fans of any 80s cop shows?

Postby RER » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:00 am

Mr. Mike wrote:This site has a list of 80's cop/crime shows:

https://reelrundown.com/tv/80s-detective-tv-series

It includes 21 Jump Street, Booker, Cagney and Lacey, Charlie's Angels, CHiPS, Hardcastle and McCormick, Hart to Hart, Hill Street Blues, Hunter, Jake and the Fatman, Magnum PI, Matlock, Matt Houston, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, Ohara, Quincy M.E., Remington Steele, Riptide, Simon & Simon, Sledge Hammer!, Spenser: For Hire, Stingray, T.J. Hooker, The A-Team (?), The Equalizer, The Fall Guy, VEGA$. (And what about Wiseguy and Crime Story?)


Out of all the above I only watched Hunter, Hill Street Blues and Sledge Hammer... the rest IMHO were garbage.

Fred Dryer had a cool vibe as Hunter. Hill Street I thought was good but fans just went waaaay overboard about it as we've previously discussed on this site. I liked Sledge which I think puts me in a small minority.
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Re: Fans of any 80s cop shows?

Postby ringfire211 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:51 pm

Growing up on a steady diet of 80s reruns it would be easier for me to name the shows on that list that I DID NOT watch. Lesser known shows like OHARA or JAKE AND THE FATMAN obviously slipped by me. And melodramatic stuff like HILL STREET BLUES and CAGNEY & LACEY I had no interest in.

I'm still surprised that MIAMI VICE is not on that list. I'm not a fan but ask someone to name a cop show from the 80s and most folks will probably think MV. It transcended the typical cop show formula and became something of a cultural phenomenon. It does have a wicked theme by Jan Hammer!! That's really the most frustrating thing about the show - it looks better than it actually is. It has that polished sheen and the production values and mood that other cop shows lacked at the time. It really felt at times like something that belonged on the big screen - maybe it's the Michael Mann magic. But somehow the episodes failed to live up to the promise that was on display.
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Re: Fans of any 80s cop shows?

Postby H50 1.0 FOREVER* » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:14 pm

Although there were a lot of good cop / detective shows in the 1980s, none came close to equaling the quality of H50. Too many seemed to play on cute (Charlie's Angels, Hart to Hart, Magnum PI, etc.), tough (A-Team, Starsky & Hutch, etc.), or just plain lacking in personality. H50 taught us about worlds many of us never would have known (Hawaiian history and culture, art, etc.) and presented us with villains that we could either love or hate but always to feel something about. And, of course, Five-0 always set a shining example for how to accomplish the mission while playing by the rules. No, they just don't make 'em like that, anymore -- and that's a very sad fact.
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