NYPD Blue: Season One
When DVD first arrived in the scene it seemed like a prayer come true for film lovers. But as the medium has quickly pushed its way past VHS, it has forsaken much of its earlier promise by being used as a means to tout the worst cinematic trash as art worthy of double-disc treatment, and perhaps even worse a vestige for repackaging television reruns and charging far too much for them. At first, the thought of shelling out money for episodes of any television series seems ludicrous. These are, after all, the same things that turn up in syndication, on networks like TV Land and Nickelodeon for free. And as the cry of cinematic purists and TV-haters goes, film is art television is furniture. Which again raises the question: Why would anyone in their right mind pay serious money for the box set of some television series? The answer to that question lies in the sad but simple truth that sometimes television shows are better than movies. When NYPD Blue debuted on ABC-TV, the show was already steeped in controversy. The advance word was that it would be the first R-rated series in network television history, complete with nudity (in the form of bare buttocks and exposed breasts sans nipples), violence, and harsh language ("dickhead" and "ass" being the profanity du jour). Before airing, the show caused a major buzz when some ABC affiliates refused to carry it and advertisers opted not to hawk their wares. But then the show hit the airwaves, garnering decent ratings and rave reviews, and suddenly the controversy took a back-seat to the fact that NYPD Blue was a hit.
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