29 March 2003 | mrupert
Ah, Dick, we hardly knew ye...
Dick Wolf struck gold in this 90s drama centering around the personal and professional lives of two New York cops. Realistic, gritty, clever, and so hip it was almost ahead of its own time, New York Undercover did for inner city minorities what the Cosby show did for middle class minorities in the 80s and 90s: It depicted strong non-stereotypical characters living through reality.
Guest stars, particularly musical guest stars, were the punch-line to almost every episode; the smooth buttercream frosting on the cake. And Natalie's was the perfect place to showcase all the talent. Gladys Knight, B.B. King, Notorious B.I.G.--on any given night anyone could be at Natalie's--and you sure didn't want to miss it. In fact, the way the characters flocked to Natalie's provided a fun parallel for the way we all flocked each week to the show. Smiles on our faces, ready to be entertained, wondering what was in store tonight. And who could forget Ice T's non-musical stint as the deliciously criminal Danny-Up? I never have, and probably never will, see a television villain more believable and more entertaining than this one, and the story line he brought to the show was a masterpiece.
It was hard to see the show go. Possibly even harder, though, was that last season after Detective Torres was killed off and they tried to revamp the show into something else. New characters, new focuses, a new feel. It had lost its spark, its magic. The lights were dimming, the music had stopped. It was time to go. I like to imagine the season before that as having been the last one. Watching Eddie die, seeing J.C.'s face, knowing what it all meant. Those were the characters we loved and the ones we would miss because we knew them. Dick Wolf, you did something right, and thanks for that. It WAS hard to see the show go. But it's just like leaving the club: it was a wonderful night and you're tired, but that last song is still in your head. And you can't stop singing it.