1 June 2002 | schappe1
A truly Naked City
The comparison has been made between this show and "Naked City", which was canceled the spring before this one appeared. Both were grimily serious shows filmed on the streets on New York using new York City Stage actors, (many of whom became famous movie and TV actors). Both shows were well done but there is more than a few months difference in thinking between them . Naked City tended to show stories with neat, (if often tragic) endings. ESWS didn't show ending at all. Everything it depicted was an ongoing problem, with no clear solution. The heroes could not simply arrest someone to end the problem at the conclusion of the hour. Often, they are nothing more than powerless observers, which is not very dramatically pleasing. The "Who do you kill" episode is somewhat disappointing to me because of the complete inefficacy of the heroes- it seems to rub your face in the problem but supplies no solutions. At least that's "real".
The second difference is that ESWS was the first TV program to come to terms directly with the problem of race, to show white audiences what it was like for a black man or woman in America. Black faces are almost totally absent from Naked City. Imagine a "realistic" story about big-city policeman who investigate nothing but crimes involving Caucasians. ESWS showed New York the way it really was- and is.