Detectives from NYPD's 15th Precinct investigate homicides within their precinct.Detectives from NYPD's 15th Precinct investigate homicides within their precinct.Detectives from NYPD's 15th Precinct investigate homicides within their precinct.
Incredible First Season
The first season of NYPD Blue (1993-'94) was one of the finest seasons of any tv show in recent memory. Ten years later, the first season still stands above and beyond anything since. While Dennis Franz became the center of NYPD Blue, and has done an incredible job, it was David Caruso who stole the show in Season 1. The brilliant breakout performance he gave was both a blessing and a curse for the show (and for his career) as he was gone in a contract dispute four episodes into Season 2. But for anyone who watches reruns of Season 1 on TNT or watches Season 1 on DVD, you are in for a real treat. The character development was extremely well-done, the writing top-notch and the storylines spread out over the entire season, not just tightly wrapped up in 60 minutes. Caruso, unfortunately, became the butt of many jokes after his career all but disappeared after he left this show. However, he has since rebounded nicely with CSI: Miami. It's too bad he didn't last on NYPD Blue because his character was the perfect partner for Franz' Sipowicz. Since he wasn't killed off, I continue to hold out hope that he'll make a cameo appearance again before NYPD Blue ends its run next spring. The other partners that came later couldn't compare. Especially Smits (Zzzzzzzzzzzzz). Season 1 features some great appearances by actors who were unknown at the time, such as Friends' David Schwimmer (4B), ER's Sherry Stringfield, Judging Amy's Amy Brenneman, The West Wing's Bradley Whitford, Just Shoot Me's Wendie Malick, not to mention the introduction of "Donna Abandando" (played brilliantly by Gail O'Grady). God Bless her and all her NY Ranger memorabilia. Her storyline with Medavoy was the first (and last) good storyline Medavoy ever had. Abandando is still missed. Other great characters included "James Sinclair" (played by Daniel Benzali who went on to star in the wonderful first season of Murder One) and Luis Guzman as Martinez' "Poppy". Each episode was an event, along the lines of The Sopranos nowadays, not just another hour of a cop show. The show went downhill after Season 1, albeit slowly, with ridiculous storylines that included killing off pretty much everyone Sipowicz was close too. Franz continued to shine--and still does. He is the sole reason this show has lasted as long as it has. There was a brief spark again when Rick Schroeder was on the show. Other than that, nothing has touched Season 1. As much as it was Caruso's Detective John Kelly that catapulted the show to its success in the first season, the best episode is the season finale and the perfomance of Dennis Franz when encountering Steve White on an old kidnapping case (the Bucci case). The name of the episode is "Rockin' Robin". Look for Franz' facial expressions when questioning White in the trailer about the kidnapping. His finest--and I mean FINEST--hour. And NYPD Blue's finest hour as well. Thanks to Bochco, Franz and Caruso for an incredible show. Well worth getting on DVD.
- Mar 23, 2004
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