"The show that multiple cop dramas have tried--and continue to try--to emulate is back on DVD. HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET is simply good television."--The San Francisco Examiner. Day to day, the officers of the Baltimore... more » Police Department Homicide Division face one of the nation's worst crime rates--not to mention the pressures of their personal lives. Some days, justice isn't blind--it flat-out doesn't exist. Edgy and hyper-realistic, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET elevated the art of the police drama to new heights. Shot on location with in-your-face camera action, deft writing, and a stellar ensemble cast, this first-time-on-DVD collection features all 23 episodes from the sixth season of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning series, highlighted by the celebrated "The Subway" episode. From the creator of Gideon's Crossing and Quiz Show (Paul Attanasio) and Executive Produced by Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Diner) and Tom Fontana (OZ, St. Elsewhere), the sixth complete season of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS is one of television's toughest and sharpest shows. NOW - FOR THE FIRST TIME - WATCH THE EPISODES IN THE ORDER INTENDED BY THE SERIES? PRODUCERS. DVD Features: Feature-Length Documentary Anatomy of a Homicide; Commentary with Writer James Yoshimura and Director Gary Fleder on "The Subway"; Cast and Crew Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection« less
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While it's difficult to call Homicide: The Complete Sixth Season the best season of this Peabody Award winning series, it comes pretty darn close with a three episode story arc that ranks among the best and the classic episode The Subway featuring guest star Vincent D'Onofrio (Men in Black, Law and Order). Kellerman (Reed Diamond) exits this season amid allegations that his killing of a prominent drug lord wasn't "clean" and, ultimately, his colleagues turn away from him including his partner Lewis (Clark Johnson). The bloody shoot out of the grand finale ends the sixth season with a bang. While we once again have the departures of many cast members (including the superb Andre Braugher and Michelle Forbes) at the conclusion of this season, we also have many new and interesting characters introduced.
Like the previous sets, the sixth season looks very good on DVD. Keep in mind that this series was shot on 16 mm film and that the grainy look of the series was, indeed, intended. That said, A&E have done a marvelous job of transferring this classic series last great season to DVD. The sound has solid presence as well.
We get the full length PBS documentary Anatomy of a Homicide which highlights the making of the classic episode The Subway. One of the best stand-alone episodes the series produced, we get behind-the-scenes footage of the shooting, interviews with cast and crew members and a discussion of how the episode was structured. It's one of the best extras that A&E has licensed for this series.
There's a single commentary track but it's a great one; we get feedback from both director Gary Fleder and writer James Yoshimura on The Subway. Sure, there could have been more commentary tracks but what's provided (along with the documentary) makes this an outstanding set. I would have liked to have a commentary on the final episode of season six but clearly A&E stretched its marketing budget as far as it could to provide interesting extras for this season.
The last great and essential season of the series has two deluxe extras in the form of the full length documentary and commentary track on The Subway. The image and sound quality are truly exceptional given the source material and the packaging shows the great care A&E has shown on previous sets. "
Season Six: Shakeups and Departures
Jason C. Garza | Moline, IL | 01/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The penultimate season of "Homicide" finds Howard, Brodie, and Cox out of the picture with Gharty, Falsone, and Ballard joining the detectives. In my opinion, this is one of the best seasons of the show, featuring the oft-acclaimed "The Subway" episode and the conclusion to the Luther Mahoney arc that began in Season Four.
Blood Ties, I, II, & III Birthday Baby, it's You (Part II; Part I is a "Law & Order" episode) Saigon Rose The Subway (with director's commentary) All is Bright Closet Cases Sins of the Father Shaggy Dog, City Goat Something Sacred I & II Lies & Other Truths Pit Bull Sessions Mercy Abduction Full Court Press Strangled, Not Stirred Secrets Finnegan's Wake Fallen Hero's I & II
This is a standout season, and with only one additional release to look forward to, this is the best way to remember a television show which will stand as a cultural icon for years to come. Also on the release is "Anatomy of Homicide: A Life on the Street," a PBS documentary narrated by Richard Belzer that offers a great look into the making of the show. Though it was originally aired to coincide with Season Seven, this is a welcome addition to the set. And, for those who are disappointed that the music listings are no longer a "special feature," visit http://members.aol.com/hlots98/episodes.html as it contains an episode-by-episode list of all songs."
Don't worry about extras
Brandon J. Smith | Philadelphia, PA | 10/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just want to say, don't worry about extras and widescreen this and that. Homicide was a tv series that once aired and now does not. Changes were made at the time to scripts and scenes etc. due to pressure from the network and cast changes - but what it all boiled down to was what aired, and those of us buying these dvd sets loved it and still do love it. All I want from the season 6 dvd is what I wanted and got from the first five: The episodes, as they aired, in the proper order. A commentary here and there is just a bonus. The first four seasons were best. Season five was fantastic, and the last season wasn't quite as good but was still the best show on television. Why fret over deleted scenes and widescreen? This collection will have the complete season six, that's what's important."
The Apex of Homicide
Ryan | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Homicide's sixth season is it's last great year before it slipped. Although the cracks begin to show in the armor during this season, the storytelling is still superb and the acting and characterizations, for the most part, are still at the top of their game. Unfortunately, there are a few exceptions that intrude upon this excellent ensemble cast.
Homicide veterans Frank Pembleton and Tim Bayliss return from a rotation in Robbery to see fresh squad members Laura Ballard (Callie Thorne), Stew Gharty (Peter Gerety) and Paul Falsone (Jon Seda), replacing the now departed Sgt. Kay Howard and Brodie. Gharty and Falsone are no strangers to the series, but Ballard is a completely new face. Pembleton knows this all too well and he has a hard time adjusting to the new blood when he is forced to work with Ballard and Gharty on a murder connected to a prominent Baltimore businessman ("Blood Ties.")
Meanwhile, Lewis and Kellerman are now at odds over the shooting of Luther Mahoney from the previous season and are no longer partners. Dark circumstances force them together again when a mysterious stalker begins taking shots at them as payback for Mahoney's death. They soon learn that Luther has a sister, Georgia Rae, who is unwilling to forgive Kellerman, Lewis and Terri Stivers for the deed. Rookie Falsone becomes suspicious of the shooting and squares off with Kellerman as he digs for the truth. The Mahoney ark lasts the entire season and culminates in an uncharacteristic, bloody squad room shoot-out in the explosive two-part finale, "Fallen Heroes." The massacre puts the Homicide unit at war with the Mahoney cartel, The end result being the serious injury of Bayliss and the departures of Pembleton and Kellerman from the unit. We also see M.E. Juliana Cox leave the series ("Lies and Other Truths") when she refuses to go along with a city cover-up of a car collision involving a drunk driver. Cox is replaced by Stivers (Toni Lewis) in Homicide as the only strong female left in the cast.
Some of our favorite characters undergo changes this year that show their inner complexities. Kellerman slowly transforms from an idealistic good cop to an angry, alcoholic renegade obsessed with bringing down Georgia Rae Mahoney. Bayliss struggles with his own sexual identity ("Closet Cases") and Pembleton deals with the birth of his second child ("Birthday.") But while these and other strong characters Munch and Giardello drive the series, it's tougher to like the new characters. Gharty seems to have changed from his previous wormy, cowardly ways with little explanation, and Ballard seems shallow and flaky when compared to other strong female characters like Kay Howard and Megan Russert. Falsone is the hardest one to take and is the least favorite character of the fans by far. He comes off as an egomaniacal, over-inflated punk who, unlike Pembleton, can't back up his arrogance with real substance. Despite these lesser characters, the better players carry the show through it's last great season and stand-out stories like "The Subway," "Something Sacred," and "Full Court Press," prove that the writers haven't lost their edge.
This box set contains the best special feature so far; the PBS full-length documentary, "Anatomy of a Homicide." This documentary goes behind the scenes and shows us the filming of the gripping episode, "The Subway." We also have actor and character biographies and two director's commentaries. "The Subway," is placed out of production order and even though it is largely a self-contained episode, it's still disappointing. We also have part two of another crossover with Law & Order, though this effort isn't nearly as good as the fourth season story. I commend A&E for again including the "previouslies," though I'm disappointed to see the music lists are again not included. Despite these flaws, its still a great package and well worth the price.
*Blood Ties 1 (Guest star James Earl Jones) *Blood Ties 2 *Blood Ties 3 *The Subway (Guest star Vincent D'Onofrio) *Baby, It's You (Guest stars Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston of Law & Order) *Birthday *Saigon Rose *All is Bright *Closet Cases (Guest star Peter Gallagher) *Sins of the Father *Shaggy Dog, City Goat (Guest star Steve Allen) *Something Sacred 1 *Something Sacred 2 *Lies and Other Truths (Guest star John Glover) *Pit Bull Sessions *Mercy (Guest star Alfre Woodard) *Abduction *Full Court Press *Strangled, Not Stirred *Secrets *Finnegan's Wake (Guest star Charles Durning) *Fallen heroes 1 *Fallen heroes 2 "
Beginning of the End?
Gregory Kirkpatrick | south florida | 04/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Personally, as a HUGE fan of Homicide: Life on the Street, I feel that the penultimate season was the least pleasurable season besides the final season, 7. Despite the intention of Homicide to focus on an ensemble of homicide detectives, it was clear in seasons 1-5 that Frank Pembleton and Tim Bayliss were the primary focus. That focus is not so prominent in season 6. It seems that a large focus is on former auto theft cop turned homicide detective Paul Falsone. (Let's go back and say that the 'cliffhanger' to the previous season, 5, with the whole 'rotating shift' nonsense was ludicrous) I think Jon Seda was not up to the caliber of acting we were used to with the uncanny Andre Braugher or menacing Yaphet Kotto. Maybe it is just tough for this Homicide fan to glom onto the new crew of pretty boy Paul, sexy Laura Ballard and the judgemental Stu Gharrty (can we get a spell check on this?). But, all said and done, episodes as brilliant as Subway stand out and still made Homicide one of the best shows on tv at the time!!!!"