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  • This was one of the first Fox hour-long dramas, and Fox definitely wore its heart on its sleeve. Like WB now, Fox wanted to lure in a teenage audience with its good-looking young stars. Luckily for those stars, 21 Jump Street was a rather good vehicle, and stood on its own merits.

    Kind of like a Mod Squad for the 80s, the "teens" in 21 Jump Street were cops. Hip cops. They would infiltrate schools, drug rings, gangs, wherever teenagers were in trouble... unlike the Mod Squad, though, the storylines were always passable, and quite often excellent. Almost every episode touched upon subjects that were taboo for the big 3 networks (and still are)- AIDS, statutory rape, drug use, abortion, child abuse- and presented it in a moralistic way, but without being maudlin.

    The show kind of faltered in its last few seasons; Johnny Depp was becoming a star, and execs started pushing other "stars" into the spotlight, hoping for cash rewards and spin-offs. Richard Greico was most heavily promoted, to an audience that didn't really care. He became a teen-age heartthrob for a while, but never achieved the momentum to carry his career skyward. With this pushing of the stars, the storylines took a back seat to character preening. The end result was faltering ratings, and cancellation.

    Until it became an actors' showcase, though, 21 Jump Street was probably the best drama on TV.
  • This was definitely a quality show. This show was a far cry from what the Fox network eventually became. Many of the scripts dealt with what young people go through on a day to day basis and used a cop show to show it. Issues like date rape, drugs, teen suicide, school violence and incest were all covered in the first two years of this show. When Jump Street premiered, it was the shot heard round the world due to the fact that it was the very first show to air on the Fox network, which at the time was only being broadcast on Sunday nights and it ushered in a whole new era in television. Also, Johnny Depp wasn't the only good thing about this show. Peter DeLuise, Holly Robinson (Peete) and Dustin Nguyen all made this show one of the cult classics of the 1980's.
  • ktorno8 June 2002
    This television series held its own. I remember waiting patiently for the next episode to air when I was 13 and loving every second of it. Call it contrived and superficial, but I grew up with Judy Hoffs, Tom Hansen, Doug Penhall, Harry Ioki, Adam Fuller, and Dennis Booker....and I loved every second of it! Johnny Depp might renounce the fact that he was ever connected with this show, but it provided hours of entertainment for many individuals. For me, it is a reminder of a time in my youth where I was completely innocent.
  • It took another 20 years, another generation, before we were ready for another cop show with young people as undercover cops dealing with crime and other social issues, but where Mod Squad left off in the Sixties, 21 Jump Street took the ball and ran with it in the Eighties.

    Personally I think 21 Jump Street was a much better show. It certainly had at least one cast member who became a mega star in Johnny Depp. When Depp left the show, it sputtered on for a while, but ultimately died when other regulars left as well.

    I might not agree with all of Johnny Depp's opinions, but I certainly have enormous respect for his artistic vision. He was good, he was very good as Officer Tom Hanson in 21 Jump Street, but he left at what turned out the right time for him before he was trapped as a juvenile teen idol forever and created one fantastic body of work as one of the best players around. He knew what he was capable of back in the day and the rest of us know it now too.

    I was surprised that Dustin Nguyen didn't break out from 21 Jump Street as well as a big star. He should have had a great career as an oriental leading man, he had the looks, talent and definitely the martial arts skill.

    In a way the Sixties handed off to the Eighties in the person of original captain of the Jump Street program, Frederic Forrest. He was one weird dude as the hippie type captain, a real refugee of the tune in, turn on, drop out generation. The character didn't work, so he was quickly dispatched and Steven Williams came on board as the new captain and a more traditional police authority figure.

    You can see a lot of future stars in 21 Jump Street, Jason Priestley and Brad Pitt did episodes back in the day. I liked the stories very much, the series regulars were as human and as flawed as some of the kids they were dealing with.

    I wish it had lasted longer, but maybe if Johnny Depp had stuck with it longer we might never have seen Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • I recently bought the first season and this show is still as good as anything on television today if not better. Its been at least 10 years since I had seen an episode so it was like watching the show for the first time. Great theme song, great actors, and terrific scripts. If it wasn't for some of the 1980's hair and clothing, this show could be airing in prime time today without question. Its makes you want to go back to high school again and walk the halls with immunity because there's nothing that any gang or teacher can do to you. The only problem is even after watching the entire 1st season, I have no idea what town the show takes place in. Oh well, I truly hope that there are plans to release the rest of the seasons real soon.
  • Syl1 July 2002
    This was Fox's first serious drama. It was aimed at a young audience. 21 Jump Street had a great cast including a young Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, and Holly Robinson among the cast members, good writing, and innovative plot about young cops posing as high school students to capture a wide variety of criminals in the school system. The show lasted a few seasons on Fox without network infiltration like other major networks. It lasted long enough to leave its mark on the baby network. Now there are a dozen shows like 21 Jump Street without the cleverness and the strive to be better than just the average shows on TV. In fact, the show was probably the first American drama on Fox to be filmed on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to cut costs. In the beginning of the Fox network lineup, 21 Jump Street launched a unique way of looking at secondary schools with a great cast. It was never awarded an Emmy which it should have been even nominated for Best Drama.
  • Great to see that the show has hit the DVD format. Watched a few episodes so far from Season 1. Great show and don't know why it was not on reruns anywhere here in Canada. Noticed some over dubs on some dialogue, not sure if that was done back when the show was on FOX or if it has been done when putting it on DVD. Looks like some words are overdubbed, could swear that ass was said originally but you get a different word said. Watch the actor's mouth when the dialogue seems a bit louder briefly. What a gem though this show was and always will be. Holly Robinson is so sexy and still is today. I wonder what Johnny Depp thinks of this being out now on DVD. He never liked doing the show after the 3rd season but stuck it out for his contract duration. Would be nice to hear his comments and have him on the extra features. Too bad.
  • 21 Jump Street is the best cop show ever. Here it is, 2002, and still I've never enjoyed a police TV program better. The A-Team will always be my favorite TV show, but 21 Jump Street is a VERY close second. I believe they were produced by the same person (Stephen J. Cannell) I wonder why the A-Team actors never made cameos? Steven Williams and Dustin Nguyen made appearances on The A-team? Oh,well. 21 Jump Street has never had an equal in police drama, it should have been brought back to regular TV? I guess I'll just have to live with the few episodes I have on tape, from when I was a child.
  • I remember this as on of the shows that helped launch Fox as a network. Between this, Adventures of Beans Baxter, Werewolf, Traci Ullman and Simpsons.

    I really enjoyed this show for most of it's run. The last season with Grieco did not leave me with too many fond memories. But for the first several seasons, I definitely made room in my Sunday lineup to see this show. For the most part, the stories were good. I just wish there was someplace that showed re-runs of 21JS. With the deluge of cop shows nowadays, i still think I could make time to see 21JS
  • Warning: Spoilers
    21 Jump Street is a police procedural crime drama television series that focuses on a squad of youthful-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools, colleges, and other teenage venues that was created to attract a younger audience.It stars Johnny Depp,Holly Robinson,Peter DeLuise,Dustin Nguyen and Richard Grieco.The show ran from 1987 to 1991. The landmark television series which catapulted the success of the FOX TV network and the career of movie star,Johnny Depp.

    The TV series focuses on a group of police officers headquartered at the titular address. Officer Tom Hanson (Depp) leads his band of agents in the special Jump Street division by going undercover to infiltrate local schools to put a stop to crime and keep students safe from corrupt influences. The 21 Jump Street team is a mixed group including the wise cracking Officer HT Ioki (Nguyen), the brilliant Officer Judy Hoffs (Robinson), the streetwise Officer Doug Penhall (DeLuise) and, in latter episodes, the renegade Officer Dennis Booker (Grieco).These officers are all young and have especially youthful appearances, which allows them to pass for teenagers. Their assignments generally consist of undercover work in high schools or, less commonly, colleges, where they generally investigate drug trafficking and abuse.

    The plot lines cover issues such as alcoholism, hate crimes, drug abuse, homophobia, AIDS, child abuse, and sexual promiscuity. Similarly, each problem is often solved by the end of the hour-long episode, giving an implicit moral about the impact of a particular activity.

    This is definitely one of the best cop shows TV series back in the 1980's.Although it faltered in the last season after Johnny Depp left the series,I could still say that it really presented something refreshing and original back then.Aside from Depp,other stars of the show were also great like Dustin Nguyen,Richard Grieco and Holly Robinson.They all were able to portray interesting characters.And the themes it presented offered is evidently helpful to its target audience - the youth.

    Overall,it was one show that will definitely be missed and that defined the 1980's.
  • dazzler_196912 October 2006
    As a fan of the series back in the 80's I was so excited to find that it had come out on DVD. Much to my disappointment I realised very quickly they had changed the soundtrack and replaced it with some budget music which totally detracted me from the enjoyment of watching this show again. Obviously the music of the time helped make this show, and I find the release of the DVD has disappointed me in the fact that it does not have the original soundtrack....and I don't know why. Maybe the contract to allow the music from the old artists (like Steve Winwood), expired 15 years ago...still wrong though and I want my money back.
  • 21 Jump Street was a show where it showed cops as attractive, ultra-hip, stylish people. The time at which it came out was when cocaine and heroin were really cool, so this was kind of like a propaganda show, where it had the up-side to not doing drugs. Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise were always fast-witted cool kids because they were drug free and upholded the law. It usually seemed corny, but something about it was fun, always seeing them having fun while doing their jobs was so cool.

    I can understand how Johnny Depp wanted to quit, because it didn't show a lot of things, like police corruption, or that it was completely unrealistic and the plots were contrived. But, with adequate directing and campy script combined with good acting, it was a great show.

    -Billy
  • My friends continue to make fun of me for absolutely loving this show, but I don't really care. Seeing the episodes now -- in 2002 -- only shows how fresh this show still is. Some of these episodes could be aired *today* and still be relevant and have an impact.

    I definitely thought the show was going a bit downhill in season 3. Adding Richard Grieco to the cast did not help; I liked neither him nor his character and was happy to see him gone. Overall, I must say that the second season was the best, with tightly-written episodes, strong characterization and outstanding acting ("Orpheus 3.3" springs to mind as an example of truly breath-taking acting on Johnny Depp's part).

    Well, what more can I say that hasn't been said? If you ever get the chance, check this show out. Here's hoping for a possible DVD release -- the quality of my tapes isn't what it used to be and I would hate to lose my collection (season 1-4).
  • Airing during the Reagan era, this show evidences the reactionary politics that changed this country permanently much for the worse. Entering the 1980s, most Americans were legitimately suspicious and afraid of their own government, dating back to the repressive period of the Viet Nam War. One of the main areas of concern to moderate liberals in the 1980s was the abuse of so-called undercover operations by politically motivated police, many of which had unfairly targeted students of left wing sympathies. Although "21 Jump Street" didn't always betray its right wing bias openly, it may have had the effect of propagandizing in favor of real world undercover operations aimed against youngsters. Kids make enemies all the time, which is usually harmless enough. But what if that enemy is secretly working for the cops? Police like the one portrayed by Johnny Depp should have to wear badges!
  • I actually bought the first DVD season for a friend when I was thirteen, about three years ago, because I knew she was a big fan of Johnny Depp. However, I became so curious about it, that I ended up keeping it and watching it. I loved it! Even though it was about 20 years since the show aired, I still found it relevant to what teens go through today, but a lot more clever and witting than any show I've seen from today. And even though it is clearly aimed at a younger audience, it didn't sugarcoat the issues like teen shows do today. However, I really did not like Richard Greico's character, Booker. He just seemed to be trying to hard to be the bad boy teen heartthrob. That is the only reason I did not rate 21 Jump Street 10 out of 10. I also found that the show didn't decline after the first season, like a lot of shows do. I loved every season, and now three years after I bought the first season and 20 years after it first aired, I still love the show and have seen every episode from the first four seasons.
  • It was a long time in coming, but now that the 4-DVD set of season 1 has been released, we can see this gem of a show again! The quality of the DVD is very good, and the series still has a great deal of appeal -- especially in how the young, talented cast interacts and develops throughout the episodes. The 1980s music, wardrobe, and PG-rated dialog are quaintly outdated, but this feeds the nostalgia for fans and lends a certain charm as well. The show did, however, tackle some tough issues for teens -- very daring for its day. Best of all, for any Johnny Depp fan, this is wonderful look at a diverse actor's humble beginnings! I, for one, can't wait for the rest of the show's 5 seasons to be released!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Currently popular are the recent jump street movies with Channing Tatum, "21 Jump Street" and more recently "22 Jump Street." I had never seen the original 1980s TV series so I checked out the two DVD set of season one episodes.

    The very basic premise is the same, an old church at 21 Jump Street is used as a makeshift police headquarters of sorts for a group of 4 young-looking 20-something cops who get assignments to infiltrate high schools to solve crimes, typically some sort of theft.

    In one episode two students in auto mechanics class steal cars, strip them overnight, store the parts, put the bare chassis back on the street, later buy the chassis for a small price, re-assemble the cars and sell it for a big profit. With participation of a used car lot owner. In another someone is stealing calculators and other electronic gear inside the school after hours.

    In later 1st season episodes a girl turns up dead and raped, and the officers have to find the students responsible. There is a murder in it also. Then in yet another episode a student is working as a prostitute and helping a home theft ring in an effort to help her mother recover from a life of drugs. So not all of it was minor stuff.

    Johnny Depp is the main star and it is nice to see him as a "normal" 20- something, long before he became quirky and began to speak in a somewhat affected way.

    Just light entertainment, I enjoyed the temporary throwback to a simpler time. The TV series isn't much like the recent "Jump Street" movies.
  • mattkratz27 August 2012
    The movie that came out was good, but it couldn't hold a candle to this classic show that jump-started Johnny Depp's career. I remember watching this, and it along with Married With Children jump-started the Fox network, as it featured youthful-looking police officers infiltrating high schools in order to investigate crimes there (drug dealing, rape, etc.) as well as other serious issues such as AIDS. It was a really good show. Anyone interested in 80s TV ought to give it a look. Holly Robinson Peete reprised her role from it in the Channing Tatum movie. It involved good, serious police work and excellent ensemble performances. Check it out if you get the chance.

    *** out of ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While not a bad show, 21 Jump Street has several flaws. They push a clear political agenda of the time, they sugar coat everything, it's highly unrealistic, and they throw in random changes, and never explain them.

    That being said... It's not a terrible show. It's got some good actors in it (although I have to say, Holly Robinson was not one of them), and it's a cute show to watch if there's nothing better on. It was made to target a younger audience, while pushing the social and political agendas of the time, but it's still got that wholesome sort of image. Something you could sit down and watch with your teenage children.
  • Oh, I hated Johnny Depp for years because of this show. Not that I watched it or knew who he was, but he was on this show and it came on at 7pm on Fox on Sundays and it sucked. Why? I don't know... it just sucked. Boy did it suck.

    And so in 1993, while working a summer job in a podunk town, I found it on when I came home for lunch one afternoon. I wasn't sure what it was at first, but I suspected it was that horrible, pathetic show. I figured I'd watch it... nothing like seeing a train wreck to cheer you up on a bad day, right? But then I realized it was time to go back to work and I couldn't go... 'cos I had to see the full wreck. And then I realized I timed my lunch hour to the same time the next day... and the next. You guessed it. I liked the show.

    Really, I don't know why I hated the show... probably because, like most people who are completely firm in their negative opinions, I had had no real exposure to it. I found (after watching, mind you) that the plots were decent, the actors from passable to excellent, and the writing and dialogue better than average. Depp and Peter Deluise worked well together, particulary when they worked as the McQuaid Brothers. Stephen Williams became a favorite actor of mine with his portrayal of Captain Fuller (he was later X on the X-Files.) As much as they were used, Holly Robinson and particularly Dustin Nguyen were never used as well as they could have been, but they were still good.

    Someone else mentioned that this because a star vehicle after a while. Despite the amount of future stars, I tend to disagree. Many of these faces were being seen for the first time here and no one could have guessed that they'd become famous. Brad Pitt, Pauly Shore, Sherilyn Fenn, Jason Priestly, Shannon Doherty, and several others had fleeting guest spots on the show and eventually went off to do bigger things, but there was also a long list of other actors on the show who went on to do very little or nothing at all.

    Another note (heh) that should be mentioned is that the show was one of the first to push a lot of popular music of the day in the soundtrack. I remember one epsiode about an AWOL military school student featured R.E.M.'s Orange Crush (off of the just released Green album). I believe the final Johnny Depp episode had an Oingo Boingo song from the Dark at the End of the Tunnel album... and don't knock Boingo... lead singer/composer Danny Elfman has been a respected film composer for over 15 years now. I believe a soundtrack was released, but I don't think many of the good songs were released on it.

    As the show went on, it became a little unbelievable that they could keep hitting the same schools without the students catching on or talking to each other to rat out the undercover officers. The writing got really bad in some episodes and Depp seemed to be giving bad performances just so he could get out of his contract. They allowed him to skip several episodes completely or limited his appearances in others as a result. After he left and the show went from FOX into general syndication for the last season, more and more shows were throwaways. The cast and guest stars suffered as well, with Robinson left to carry the show almost by herself (Peter Deluise guested on a handful of early episodes while brother Michael ended up on about half.) All in all, the last season is disappointing apart from a sparse handful of ok episodes.

    Like others, I'd love to see these on DVD, but I really don't expect it. It was a great show for a while, but when you lose the good producers and writers, even the best actors are going to have a tough time with working something out.
  • Surely, I have seen every single episode, and I must say, that it`s one of the best series, I have ever seen. In the start I wondered, what would happened in the next episode.

    There was always something new.

    The series is about a special group of policemen (and women), that goes undercover in public schools as teenagers.

    It`s worth seeing - It`s really something for itself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After seeing the 2012 movie adaptation with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, I wanted to go back and watch the series it was based on. During the middle of season 2, I lost interest and set it aside until the 2014 sequel, 22 Jump Street came out, so I decided to pick up where I left off. I'd say the first 3 seasons are the best. Season 5 is almost unwatchable. It really goes downhill after Johnny Depp leaves. (I understand Depp hated being on the show and tried like crazy to get kicked off. It was cool that he, Peter DeLuise, and Holly Robinson returned to the movie for cameos. In my eyes, the movie is a sequel to this series)

    25 years before Schmidt and Jenko entered Jump Street, there was Tom Hanson, Doug Penhall, Judy Hoffs, H.T. Ioki, and Booker. For the majority of the series, they go undercover in high school, posing as students and bust drug dealers, rapists and murderers. Other times, they go undercover in different places trying to infiltrate a gang or just trying to protect themselves from vengeful mobsters. If you loved the 2012 movie or early cop dramas, you might enjoy 21 JUMP STREET: THE COMPLETE SERIES!!!
  • There was a rumor a couple of years ago about a 21 Jump Street Movie,I think it was 2003, do we know what happened. Is this ever going to happen, I love the show, I have all 5 seasons on DVD, and hundreds of pieces of memorabilia, maybe Doug's nephew can work in Jump Street, and Doug can be the new Captain,it could be called 21 Jump Street The new Chapel, come on Fans, lets petition, get it back! Maybe if we all write to the shows creators. I know Johnny wouldn't be up for it, but the rest of the cast might, and a few new faces from today put in, to catch the generation today, I have shown teenage girls this old show and they love it, it's a lot better than the cop shows of today
  • 21 Jump Street, Fox's first drama series and it's best!! Johnny Depp was the heart of this show. This is the show that got me into series like this one, if it wasn't for 21 Jump Street I would have never watched 90210 or The O.C. These kinda show really get into the issue of today. I hope we have more show like 21 Jump Street... I would like to see a 21 Jump Street Reunion show.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    '21 Jumpstreet' only escaped being totally forgotten by television viewers because it's early star, Johnny Depp, would go on to gain such widespread cinematic notoriety. Otherwise, the exaggerated after-school-special styled cop drama would be completely dismissed as incredibly cheesy and ridiculous. Granted, the series, which follows the "Jump Street" program managed by one police captain and four baby-faced detectives who occasionally go undercover at high schools and such to investigate the latest of teenagers gone wild, did bring attention to pressing issues of drug use, teen pregnancy, school violence, racism and other topics that don't even get an ounce of attention in today's television programs geared toward young viewers.

    But, it did so in such a way that almost mirrored late 1970s and early 1980s dramas like Class of 1984 which featured completely out-of-control urban teens raising hell much to the confusion and chagrin of various adult authority who just assume wipe them out completely in order to avoid wasting time trying to get them to stop their craziness. It is hard to watch Jumpstreet reruns and take much of any of it seriously. The dialog was bad enough, but the situations themselves are written with such absurdity. In the second season episode, "After School Special," a student shoots a teacher, and Hoffs and the police captain both go undercover to investigate gun dealers at school. We find out that pretty much every student is packing heat and lots of teachers are or soon intend to be as well. As if this weren't stupid enough, the gang seems to take measures lightly considering the amount of arms floating around on campus.

    The series became as dated and cheesy as a lot of the other cautionary television shows similar to it (Highway to Heaven is one that comes to mind), and especially at the beginning of the second season. Unfortunately, it was hard to take seriously any of the youth-centered issues it had hoped to address, leaving it only valuable as a source of nostalgia (there were a lot of familiar faces in guest starring roles, and almost as many mullets).
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