NYPD 24/7 (ABC News)
Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B-
Reality TV has been killing Documentary news TV for
several years now, but some productions manage to rise above these
problems. The seven-part ABC News
series NYPD 24/7 is hosted by Dennis Franz at a time the network still
valued his hit TV series NYPD Blue and were not shuffling the show
unfairly all over the prime time schedule.
Back then, the network was about to take one of its ratings dives,
something that always happens when a network does not respect its hit shows.
This new double DVD set offers all seven installments
Franz voiced-over. They include
murders, near murders, prostitution, robbery, controversies over how police
handle the cases (including a protest) and post-9/11/01 effects surface
throughout. This was more engaging than
expected, especially because it was not exploitive as most such TV is these
days. Altogether, they run 287 minutes,
though the opening and closing credits get repeated over and over again. This is not the “lets get the bad guys
mentality” kind of show like the obnoxious Cops, but a rare serious,
honest look at actually cases. Yes,
real television news journalism for a change.
The full frame 1.33 X 1 image was shot on professional analog
NTSC video and looks good and clean, though this has the usual limits. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real
surrounds to speak of, so it is simple stereo at best. That combination is adequate. Extras include slide shows on each DVD and
repeat information of the detectives with pictures, accompanied by very brief
text about them. That is not bad, but I
would have liked updates on the unresolved cases. Maybe ABC could do an updated series.
- Nicholas Sheffo