• I laughed my ass off watching this show.!!! David Rasche had a ball spoofing Dirty Harry. This show sort of reminded me of Police Squad. They cancelled it because it was ahead of its time and people were too slow to catch all of the gags in it. Anne Marie Martin was wonderful as Sledge's partner and the chemistry between the two was irresistable. I have so many fond memories of this show and I only wish they would put it back in syndication.
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  • Sledge Hammer was a comedy series that was a spoof of Dirty Harry. David Rasche (Sledge Hammer) was a overly violent, over-the-top detective who frequently talked and did everything with his gun. The charm of the show stems from his bone-headed clashes with Captain Trunk and partner Detective Doreau. Also his every attempt to solve problems with guns makes the show absolutely hilarious.

    He doesn't like criminals, small children or babies. This NOT for the overly sensitive or politically correct types. This series was no where near the aforementioned attributes. The premise of the show was to show how silly violence could be in solving every problem that could possibly arise. Yes, it trivialized death. Yes, it dealt with guns in light-hearted way. Yes, there were random incidences of unnecessary violence. But that is where the humor is at. If you don't understand that statement, you'll never get this series so just walk away.

    Though this series lasted two seasons, I am very pleased that Anchor Bay went ahead and obtain the rights to releasing both seasons on DVD. I've purchased the first one and am very pleased with the results.

    There haven't been too many TV shows that have come across in my time that I really enjoyed, but I did enjoy this one. It was different from all of the other stuff that is put on television. There has not been a comedy with this premise and format since Sledge Hammer. I think that says a lot.

    10 out of 10
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  • Ah, the comedies of the 1980s. The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Night Court. There are shows like those, classics indeed, for their own reasons, and then there is "Sledge Hammer!"

    It's just a _bit_ different. Imagine if you will the ability of a show to consistently spoof movies, or whole genres of tv show/film, and consistently nail it dead on in a 30 minute time slot. That's the quality of writing the show had, but the execution is what made it work. The three leads had consistent timing and brutally funny comic delivery. David Rasche, as the lead, was a standout, often getting the most manic material, though Page and Martin made it truly a triple threat. On one of the shows, Martin's character takes on Hammer's personality, and she nails that stuff pretty well.

    In short, Hammer is the ultimate send-up of the classic loose cannon police detective. Dirty Harry is a great inspiration, but there are other aspects that work their way in as well. A few of the shows sent up the film noir detective genre. While some have compared it to "Get Smart" or "Police Squad," the thing that amazed me about it was how it reminds me at times of British comedies like "Blackadder" or some of Monty Python's skits. It is great that send-ups this consistently good got on American TV. Especially as there was almost always another, more subtle layer of humor under the more over-the-top gags. The main running current of humor was the sending up (by exaggeration) of the ultra-violent tone the action genre had taken on at the time. Yet underneath the people involved managed to work in genuine warmth, sybtle moments of humor, and genuine emotion across the board.

    The show only ran for two seasons, agaist stiff competition (Put in a timeslot for example, against CBS' "Dallas" and NBC's "Miami Vice.") If only there was a better timeslot.. and maybe more budget, though the show did quite well with what they had.

    I saw this in it's initial ABC run, then a few years later when a local station in Philadelphia put it on in reruns. Some of it held up very well, especially when classic genres/films were "given tribute." Some of the 80s references date it, but it wasn't bad. In fact, it rocked. Plus I remember seeing the first run as a kid, and the scene with the bazooka in the first show hooked me. Hilarious. In short, although it struggled, it built a pretty strong following among fans, and that is the definition of a cult classic. Websites have sprung up in recent years, allowing fans to chat about this truly unique show. When they put this one together, they really did know what they were doing.
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  • Brilliant! I loved this show as a kid.One of the few shows that i taped almost every episode. Watching it now i see just how satirical it was. Made fun of everything and the moonlighting jokes were awesome.Classic line " Just remember you're suspect numero uno,Every breath you take, Every move you make, I'll be watching you....That's police talk, now get out of here".

    Highly recommended
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  • This has got to be the most hilarious show to ever pollute the airwaves. Sledge Hammer (David Rasche) is a man's man, a parodical sexist pig who talks to the .44 magnum he carries in his shoulder-holster and drives around with a rocket-launcher in his trunk, and who presumes all suspects to be scum until proven otherwise. There is not a single constitutional right that he has not flagrantly violated during the unfortunately short life-span of this series. Any cops out there will envy Sledge for doing all the things they would have liked to have done but couldn't. But despite Sledge's propensity for wanton and gratuitous violence and his callous use of weapons of mass destruction, he's more of an Inspector Cluseau than a Dirty Harry. His slapstick bumbling and his misogynist remarks are both counter-balanced by his partner, the intelligent and beautiful Dori Doreau (Anne-Marie Martin), who constantly compensates for Sledge's ineptitude and general lack of diplomacy. Rounding out the comedy trio is Captain Trunk (Harrison Page), Hammer's superior, who is constantly swilling Pepto Bismol to counter the ulcer and high-blood pressure that Hammer's antics are causing him to suffer; a futile gesture, as he is usually driven to screaming "Hammer!" at the top of his lungs in a fit of rage at least several times per episode. Our whole residence used to watch this show all the time back in university, and it had us all in side-splitting stitches (okay, maybe not all of us; the feminists didn't pick up on the fact that his sexist antics were a parody, and would frequently leave the room in disgust, but not before hurling verbal abuse, and sometimes beer bottles, at us ...). This is a classic among cult classics. I've scoured the Internet trying to find episodes of Sledge Hammer! on DVD, but all I've been able to find so far are a few bad-quality, copyright-infringing VHS tapes on e-Bay. Shame, I'd buy the whole series if I could find it in reasonable-quality digital form.
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  • This is a show that still puts many comedies on TV to shame.Constantly funny,obvious dirty digs at Moonlighting,FOX network,and even Sledge's own damage to ABCs ratings.A nice,likeable cast,and over the top villans made it Batman of the 80s.This show needs to be on DVD for the whole world to enjoy.David Rasche was a comedic genious on this show.
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  • This is one of the greatest TV comedies that has ever been produced. Episodes like "All Shook Up" (the Elvis impersonators one) and "Hammeroid" (the Robocop spoof) will stay with me forever. Today's comedies can't hold a candle to this. It discovered irony and satire 10 years before the rest of America. "Trust me- I know what I'm doing!" should have been a catchprase for one of Ronald Reagan's campaigns, it summed up the spirit of an age that is no more, like this sublime show...<sob>
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  • I was around 16 when I first saw this show and thought it was the funniest show that I had ever seen. I had liked Police Squad, but this was much better. It poked fun at everything and everyone. Nothing was sacred! I was so upset when it was taken off of the air. Then a few years later I saw it re-run on KTLA (I think...it was around 1991) on the C-band satellite and stupid me didn't record any episodes. I have been hoping for this to come back on the air in syndication or be offered on DVD or VHS for years. I just don't understand why this show is not on DVD yet. I run in to people all of the time that loved this show and all of them ask if I know if it is coming out on DVD.

    I also think a Sledge Hammer movie would be a great idea. Police Squad only lasted 6 episodes, but the movies (Naked Gun) did very well. Sledge lasted 2 seasons (probably would have been a bigger hit if it had not been up against one of the most popular comedies ever...the Cosby Show), so imagine how well a Sledge feature film could do.
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  • A hidden gem from the eighties. In-jokes seemed to be the rage at ABC around the '86-87 and '87-88 seasons (Moonlighting, Growing Pains etc.) and this was no exception. A cool look, a lot of pop culture riffs, and an original in every way. How many other half hour sitcoms had action and adventure like this but still maintained a comic edge ? I rented four episodes from the video store ten years after the show went off the air and still found it funny. Like Miami Vice, the look of the show was very much of the time. Too bad it was scheduled opposite it on Friday nights.
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  • This series was always funny and action packed and is one of My favorites.In My opinion back in the 80s the decade had some really great series'.I doubt this show is on any more but if it is and you haven't seen it before and are able to watch it then watch it because its a very good and funny series!
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  • One of the Funniest, most Original and underrated TV comedy series! One of my all time favorites! The combination of Alan Spencer (Creator), David Rasshe (Det. Sledge Hammer), Anne-Marie Martin (Det. Dori Doreau) and Harrison Page (Captain Trunk) creates the perfect team and creates the most Wacky, Insane but Thoughtful Comedy! This show more than deserved a much longer run than it was given! The pilot Episode is most certainly one of the most bizzar, funny and explosive Pilots that has ever graced celluloid! A true work of art! I would love nothing more than to see that same team come back together one last time and make Sledge Hammer! The Movie! The Show, and the many loyal fans, deserves that and it would also give the opportunity to close it off properly! Trust Me! I know what I'm Saying!
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  • Best cop parody ever! Hilarious! All you need to know about this if you haven't watched is this: Dirty Harry FUN FUN FUN! Even better than a "Police Squad!"(was hard to done that). USA counterpart of UK's "Only fools and horses" in comedy! Main thing is that script and funny lines are so simple but unmistakably spot on! You could not made it better. David Rasche (aka Sledge Hammer aka Dirty Harry-main character for those who don't know) has destroyed himself with that role-in a BIG positive way! I mean what ever I watched with him after that I was crying of laughter! He was cut and killed in blood in 1986 movie "Cobra" and it was funny! Guy is a genius! Also rest of the crew was near him... Loud cap. Trunk, nice Dori...even a coroner was weird (why not?). To sum it up: show so ahead of it's time (maybe misunderstood in that time and for that so had only two seasons) so modern and way better than something similar even today!
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  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you locked the writers of "Dirty Harry" in a room full of typewriters and crystal meth, their results would look more or less like "Sledge Hammer!", a side-splitting spoof of the cop genre. "Sledge Hammer!" debuted in 1986, garnering critical attention but poor ratings (most likely due its bad time slot and that damn laugh track). In one of those "can't make this up" twists, the writers decided to face the inevitable cancellation by having the main character blow himself up in the season finale... only the show itself actually got renewed. Oops. All 41 episodes (now available on DVD) follow Sledge Hammer (played to perfection by comically handsome David Rasche), a sneering, sexist police detective who takes the term "trigger happy" to a whole new, surreal level. Carrying his beloved, ivory handled Magnum .44 the way Paris Hilton carries her chihuahua, Hammer does everything with good old "Gun", from flipping pancakes to sleeping with it. A man who loves violence more than life itself, Hammer finds excuses to shoot, karate chop, or sucker punch someone, anyone who comes within his field of vision. Hammer's two foils are his long suffering boss Chief Trunk (Harrison Page) and Dori Dorough (Anne Marie Martin, better known as the ex-Mrs. Michael Crichton), Hammer's cool, capable, lovely partner who acts as Agent 99 to Hammer's Maxwell Smart. Yet, due to gumption and dumb luck, Hammer cracks every case he's given... while cracking, shattering, and blowing up everything else around him. It may be cheesy and tame by today's standards, but "Sledge Hammer!" remains uproarious entertainment, mostly due to its innocent approach to its story about a cop who's really a menace to society. Rasche emphasizes this approach by playing Hammer in the most straightforward way possible. While it's a shame the series didn't last that long, we can at least pop in our DVDs of "Sledge Hammer!" and remember it as it was: a loopy trip of a show that showed how absurd and hilarious violence could be.
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  • David Rasche in the role of his career is Sledge Hammer, a Dirty Harry-type cop who always shoots first and ask questions later. OK, well forget the asks questions later part. But he does shoot first. He's partnered with the beautiful Dori Doreau (Anne-Marie Martin) and is a constant bane to his cranktancerous boss, Captain Trunk (Harrison Page) This show was pretty much a staple of my TV watching habits as a kid (or it would've been if my dad didn't choose to watch some other shows whom's names escape me right now LOL. The writing, sight gags, and movie parodies were brilliant and watching them again I find that the show aged better then I thought and became better actually (if that's possible). Each and every one of the 41 episodes is hilarious to me (well just about every one). Name one other comedy show that has the sheer balls to not only blow everyone up in the season finale, but come back next season like nothing happened more or less and not just staying as hilarious, but becoming even funnier!! I encourage Everyone to get BOTH seasons on DVD. It's money VERY well spent. Trust me, I know what I'm doing.

    My Series grade: A+

    Season 1 Extras: Series introduction & Commentary by Creator Alan Spencer on the pilot, Witless, All Shook Up and The Spa Who Loved Me; the 32 minute "Sledge Hammer: "Go Ahead, Make Me Laugh" documentary; the un-aired 30 minute Pilot with introduction by Spencer; Electronic Press Kit with introduction; Audio message to the critics; Stills & memorabilia Gallery; 5 TV Spots; and TV bumpers

    DVD-ROM: the ABC and NBC pilot scripts in .pdf format

    Season 2 Extras: Series introduction & Commentary by Creator Alan Spencer on "Wild About Hammer", "Last of the Red Hot Vampires", "Icebreaker" (where he's joined by Actress Anne-Marie Martin), and "Here's to you Mrs. Hammer"; the 13 minute "Gun Crazy: Memorable moments with the cast of Sledge Hammer"; A tribute to Bill Bixby; top 10 questions about Hammer; Syndication promo with intro; Network answering message with intro; 4 TV spots; Trivia game; and Stills & Memorabilia gallery

    DVD-ROM: Scripts for "Wild About Hammer" & "Last of the Red Hot Vampires" in .pdf format

    Easter Egg: highlight the bullet hole in the Extras menu for Alan Spencer explaining there are no easter Eggs in Season 1
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  • So we should be thankful they did it when they had the chance. Today's politically-correct nonsense would have people up in arms about a show that glorified violence and had a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality.

    To be fair, though, Sledgehammer was not that bad. There was no gore and little sleaze on display. David Rasche (hugely underrated actor) gave the role just the right amount of manic-ness that it needed to be funny, but not so much that it became ridiculous. Not that Sledge's antics themselves weren't ridiculous, but you know what I mean...

    Much like the later "Brisco County Jr" I avoided this show when it first appeared, convinced by the name alone that it was little more than another cop show. Also like Brisco, I'm glad that I revisited it and found the joy that is Sledgehammer! Doreau (Sledge's side-kick) didn't really get to be much more than the straight-err..man to his lunacy, but there was a great deal of humour to be had from the interaction between the pair, especially the male-female differences of perspective.

    All in all, the show was good and deserved the run that it got (2 seasons) and probably more besides. At least, it got the chance to show what it was capable of, unlike a lot of more recent shows that get canned before the first season is done.

    Well worth a watch.
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  • No review could possibly do justice to this show. It's fantastic!(emphasis on present tense). Up to this day, there is nothing like it. It's so smart, daring, ahead of its time, that I can't believe it was made over two decades ago. Timeless comedy for intelligent people, that's what "Sledge Hammer" is.

    David Rasche plays his role to perfection and he's the definition of comedy, also thanks to a brilliant script.Sledge Hammer is a better man than Dirty Harry, trust me- I know what I'm saying!

    The DVD is finally out and it looks great! The image is crisp, the presentation is great, and there are plenty of interviews and special features. And yes, laugh tracks are incredibly stupid and insulting, so thanks, Alan Spencer, for not putting it on the DVD. Well done!
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  • I had never heard of this show until the DVD was released, and shortly thereafter a friend told me how much he loved this show when he was a kid. Based on his recommendation, I decided to give the DVD a whirl and boy, was it worth it! If you like humor in the style of "Airplane!" or "The Naked Gun", then this is without a doubt a show for you. Mocking "Dirty Harry" as well as 1970s cop shows, it doesn't go over the top with slapstick humor (in fact there's next to none), and the dialog is very clever. It's a worthwhile parody show that works because all the actors play it straight and the writing is particularly well-done (look for some episodes written by future "Simpsons" and "The Critic" writers Al Jean & Mike Reiss). David Rasche's performance as Detective Sledge Hammer is on the money. Looking a little bit like a deranged Clint Eastwood, he nails the part with expert comic timing as well as dramatic sensibility. Throw in great supporting performances from Harrison Page and Anne-Marie Martin and a top-notch theme by Danny Elfman, and you've got a hit on your hands. The four disc "Sledge Hammer!" Season One DVD is well worth the meager $25 asking price.
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  • Oh yes, by far THE BEST comedy/drama to hit the airwaves. Can you imagine Sledge as President? Can you imagine what would of become of Saddam? He sure wouldn't of been hiding in that 6 foot hole, Sledge would of went to Iraq himself and tied up Saddam to the back of his car!!! Can you imagine the lines he would give his beloved .44?

    One Car with rope to drag Saddam: $15,000.00 One .44 magnum: $1,000.00(500.00, i guess) One Sledge Hammer for President: PRICELESS!!

    I actually went through my vhs collection and found a few episodes I taped. It was around Christmas time, because they showed them after the show around a Christmas tree wishing everyone Happy Holidays.

    AAAHHHHH those were the days!!!
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  • Quite simply one of the greatest shows ever made. 'Sledge Hammer!' was one of the funniest shows of its era. On the surface, it's a spoof of 'Hunter' and the other 'cop with unconventional methods who gets things done no matter what the pencil pushers at city hall say' shows of the 80s. There's more to it than that though - a fine cast, great scripts and an indefinable 'something' that marks it out as special.

    Very few shows from the 80s stick in my mind. I can still quote large pieces of dialog from this one.
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  • "Sledge Hammer!" is one of the funniest TV shows I've ever seen. Though it is primarily a spoof of the Dirty Harry movies, individual episodes were often satires of other movies, like Vertigo, Witness, Play It Again Sam and Robocop. I loved this show when it was on (I was about 12 years old), and luckily I had the foresight to tape every episode. Now I can watch it with my 4-year-old son and he loves it too! Nothing would make me happier than the ability to buy the complete series on DVD. As you can imagine, those SLP VHS tapes from 1987 are getting pretty worn out!
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  • Ah, the comedies of the 1980s. The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Night Court. There are shows like those, and then there's "Sledge Hammer!"

    It's just a _bit_ different. Imagine a show able to consistently spoof movies, or whole tv show/film genres, and consistently nail it dead in 30 minutes. That's the writing quality the show had, but the execution made it work. The three leads had consistent timing and brutally funny delivery. David Rasche was a standout, often getting the most manic material, though Page and Martin made it a triple threat. On one of the shows, Martin's character assumed Hammer's personality, playing it quite well.

    Sledge is the ultimate sendup of the loose cannon police detective. Dirty Harry is a great inspiration, but other aspects enter in as well. Some of the shows send up the film noir detective genre. While some compare it to "Get Smart" or "Police Squad," what amazed me about it was it reminding me of British comedies like "Blackadder" or some of Monty Python's skits. It is great that this consistently good parody show got on American TV. Especially as there was almost always another, more subtle layer of humor under the more over-the-top gags. The main thread of humor was sending up (by exaggeration) the ultra-violent tone the action genre had taken on at the time. Yet underneath the people involved managed to work in genuine warmth, subtle moments of humor, and genuine emotion across the board.

    The show ran two seasons, agaist stiff competition. If only there was a better timeslot (and budget) though the show did quite well with what they had.

    I saw the initial ABC run, then reruns a few years later on a station in Philadelphia. It held up very well, especially when classic genres/films were "given tribute." Some of the 80s references date it, but it wasn't bad. In fact, it rocked. Plus I remember seeing the first run as a kid, and the bazooka scene in the first show hooked me. Hilarious. In short, although it struggled it built a pretty strong following among fans, and that's the definition of a cult classic. Websites have sprung up in recent years allowing fans to chat about this truly unique show. When they put this one together, they really did know what they were doing.
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  • "Sledge Hammer!" was one of the best TV shows of the 80's. The writing was clever and everyone played well off each other. "Sledge" became ultimate parody of the "Dirty Harry" type in a style all its own, especially with the opening sequence ending with "trust me, I know what I'm doing" and the glass getting shot.

    It needs to come back in syndication, DVD release, or even a movie. Even my grandfather who did not watch much of anything would definitely make it a point to watch "Sledge Hammer".
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  • After a seemingly endless run of abysmal slasher flicks, the popularity of Clint and Ahnold helped make shoot-'em-up action movies the dominant genre of the 80s and this show hit the airwaves in 1986 to send them up along with every other silly thing from the Reagan era.

    Inspector Sledge Hammer was a right-wing, gun-happy, anything-for-the- sake-of-justice lawman / thug and his nutty rants were the source for much sharp satire on Reaganist politics, in amongst the movie parody silliness.

    Note that the show originally featured a laugh track, at the network's insistence, but that was removed for the DVD release. Series creator Alan Spencer hated it, and felt it was unnecessary. He was right of course. No audience watching this show for ten minutes remained unaware that it was a comedy.

    The fun then continued for a second season, as nihilistic Neanderthal action hero Sledge returned for more gun crazy mayhem replete with movie parodies ("Wild About Hammer" is a dead on send-up of Play Misty For Me) and great guest stars (famed Bogart impersonator Robert Sacchi appears in the 1940s detective spoof "Play It Again, Sledge"). Indeed, the second season showed little letup in story ambition or quality compared to the first. Clearly the show's creators had a lot left for the remainder of the show's run.
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  • I just received my "season two - the final season" set, and am almost afraid to crack the box, since there are at least five episodes I never got a chance to see.... I don't know if I will survive!!!

    This show was one of my - nope, forget that, was my ONE AND ONLY ALL TIME FAVORITE sitcom EVER, and (as usual with my favorites), it didn't last. I guess I like stuff that is just too smart for most people.

    Sledge Hammer was a smart show. It got a lot smarter after they flushed the laugh tracks (which were left out for the DVDs - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!), but the humor was always there.

    The very first episode involved a serial killer taking out Elvis impersonators, and Sledge had to go undercover at the Famous School of Elvis. When asked "do you even know how to do Elvis?" He replies "Of course I can do Elvis - you just move your lips...and shake your hips...and look bloated." Later he impresses the teacher only after he karate kicks him across the room... Just like Elvis woulda done.

    My favorite line of all, though, is in the episode Wild About Hammer (a Fatal Attraction type homage), where Doreau (Sledge's much savvier female partner) is looking at a file on a cop who's been murdered and says "He refused to be partnered with a woman. Like you, Sledge, he was a misogynist." And Sledge replies "HEY! Just 'cause I gave a guy a backrub once doesn't make me a massagenist." (READ IT OUT LOUD, IT WILL MAKE SENSE)

    I am soooo glad they finally came out with the second season, since it includes some of my favorite episodes, like the one where Sledge gets put on suspension and decides to become a private eye, and starts hallucinating conversations with Bogart, or the one where they investigate a string of dead used-car salesmen and Sledge does a full-on Crocodile Dundee impersonation.

    Boo-yah!
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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Very few television comedies translate across the Atlantic, but until the Simpsons, probably no American show hit the parody sweet spot so consistently. I loved "Police Squad", but this was much better. There was just so much packed into each episode and I can't think how you'd go about assembling a better cast. The completely throw away "North By Northwest" spoof is still one of my favourite TV comedy moments... and if you haven't seen how Sledge deals with a roof top sniper in episode one, that's your loss! A late night midweek spot on ITV scuppered its chances of being big over in the UK and in typical fashion, this was up against Moonlighting, Dallas, Miami Vice and The Cosby show in the States. What is wrong with American TV executives? They couldn't spot a classic when it bit them on the "ass".

    If you have a multi-region DVD player and live in the UK, buy the region one boxed set - it's not likely to make a region two release. Season one is great, season two marginally better. And even if you don't like the show, the theme song is amongst the greatest ever written!
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