"With the fact that the show has been on for ten seasons and the proliferation of gritty and realistic programming now on TV (especially on HBO which has no restrictions), one can forget the power and shock of NYPD Blue when it premiered in 1993. David Bochco insisted that ABC allow him to use minor profanities and brief nudity to create a more realistic portrayal of the lives of New York City cops. While several stations balked at the show and refused to carry it, the show was an instant success. What really made the show so interesting was not the language or nudity, but the well written shows and first rate acting. Bochco veteran Dennis Franz plays alcoholic detective Andy Sipowicz, who was only supposed to be in the first episode, whose character is gunned down and nearly dies. Mr. Franz is superb as the volcanic Sipowicz and was rewarded with the first of his four Best Actor Emmys for the season, but the real star of the season is David Caruso. Mr. Caruso is simply magnetic as Sipowicz's partner John Kelly. Whereas Sipowicz is a hot head, Kelly exudes cool and calm. He is passionate about what he does, but his anger boils beneath the surface where Sipowicz's explodes. It is this dynamic between the two that makes the pairing work as one of the best in TV cop show history. Other cast members include Sherry Stringfield as Assistant D.A. Laura Michaels who is also Kelly's ex-wife, Amy Brenneman as Janice Licalsi who is a police desk officer that is tangled up with the mob and carrying on an affair with Kelly, James McDaniel as Lt. Arthur Fancy who heads the department and is black. Sipowicz is also a racist which causes much tension between him and Fancy. Nicholas Turturro is Dt. James Martinez who is a new detective who struggles for acceptance on the job. Future series regulars, Gordon Clapp as Greg Medavoy, Sharon Lawrence as Assistant D.A. Sylvia Costas and Gail O'Grady as receptionist Donna Abandando all appear as recurring characters before all were made full time cast members in the season two. Actors like David Schwimmer, Michael Rappaport, Wendie Malik, Daniel Benzali, John Wesley Shipp and Bradley Whitford have guest roles. Season one of the show almost seems like a separate show all together due to the massive cast changes that occurred after the season. Mr. Caruso believed all the hype about him and made the mistake many actors who achieve success on a TV show, that they can become movie stars. Mr. Caruso left the show after four brief appearances in season two and never achieved the stardom that he seemed slated for. Sherry Stringfield left the show after the season to go to another show that would be even more popular, ER and Amy Brenneman also left the cast. For the one season that he was on the show though, Mr. Caruso created an indelible image and the show would continue on through the rest of the decade as one the most popular and well made shows on television."
Yes. It's that good.
M J Heilbron Jr. | Long Beach, CA United States | 03/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a joy to be able and revisit this show. I clearly recall the uproar it caused when it premiered, and it's still pretty provocative lo these ten years on.
If you follow the show, Dennis Franz has created one of the greatest characters in the history of television. Sipowicz is one for the ages, and seeing the tortured man in the initial episode, unable to know what we know...he calls his (unbeknownst to him) future wife a "p***y little b***h" within the first minutes of the first episode, for example...it's a bit like going back in time.
Again, looking at that first episode. The cast includes, of course, the outstanding David Caruso (you can't take your eyes off him when he's onscreen...now he's on CSI: Miami), Amy Brennemann (Judging Amy), Sherrie Stringfield (ER), Nicholas Turturro, James McDaniel, Daniel Benzali, even David Schwimmer (Ross from Friends)...is a delight. The video transfer is eye-popping. The crisp yellows of the NY taxis, the cool blues in the station, Caruso's hair...all delivered vividly, with killer sound as well.
Oh yeah...this is great stuff."
R. L. SAVILLE | Huddersfield, West Yorkshire United Kingdom | 03/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well I received my season one NYPD DVD's this morning, watched 2 episodes already, I'm in TV heaven, it does'nt come any better than this(thats TV of course!).I thought Hill Street was the best but I think Bochco & co surpassed themselves with this, like other reveiwers I think the departure of David Caruso as the King of cool John Kelly was a big blow, (but to be fair Jimmy Smits as Bobby Simone in series 2 was a great replacement)
Dennis Franz is brilliant as Andy Sipowicz, but the shows greatess asset is its humanity, you care about the characters because you know they care, something clearly lacking in many movies and TV shows today, anyway starting to get a bit deep so better say goodbye to our American cousins,keep making great shows!"
Now I understand why David Caruso thought he could be a majo
Susan K. Schoonover | Boulder, CO | 04/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never seen any of the early NYPD Blues episodes with David Caruso until now. In fact I never wanted to see them because I had never found Caruso to be an attractive or particularly talented actor and wondered why he had the conceit to leave NYPD Blue so early in his career. After watching his charismatic and convincing performance as John Kelly I now understand. This whole first season of this groundbreaking show somehow made me wistful for a time gone by."
The previous reviewer can't spell and has no taste.
Jack McCoy | Chicago, IL | 01/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NYPD Blue was a groundbreaking drama that aired on ABC from 1993 to 2005. The acting was first-rate, especially by David Caruso, Dennis Franz, and Amy Brenneman. David Milch and Steven Bochco created a series that was for adults and, yes, it did include adult language and partial nudity. The characters were three-dimensional and complex, not cardboard, as the last reviewer stated. The ratings (not "rateings") were excellent for the pilot episode, and they continued to stay strong throughout season one. Many intelligent people were fans of this series, and to call anyone who watched the series "stupid" simply shows how limited the previous reviewer's intelligence really is. NYPD Blue was a quality drama series, not junk. Maybe the previous reviewer should review a DVD on how to spell correctly instead of an excellent police drama."