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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Drama > Detective > TV > Starsky & Hutch – The Complete Fourth Season

Starsky & Hutch – The Complete Fourth Season


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



It was the 1978 – 1979 season of Starsky & Hutch, the 1970s pop culture phenomenon that spawned toys and made leads Paul Michael Glazer and David Soul sex symbols of some kind for the moment.  The show had been a sort of send-up of detective and cop shows, but The Rockford Files was gaining on it while Hill Street Blues was not far away.  By this time, the show was starting to loose ground and the decision was eventually made that this would be its last season.  This Complete Fourth Season box set has those final 22 shows (including a three parter near the end that might have been designed to bring fans back).


If the show was not doing well, it was not for a lack of solid guest stars.  This time, they included Adrian Zmed, Suzanne Charney, Jack Ging, Kim Cattrall, Sally Kirkland, Pat Corley, Mary Crosby, Joanna Cassidy, Rene Auberjonois, Norman Alden, Vonetta McGee, Mykelti Williamson, Robert Loggia, Will Walker, Jeffrey Tambor, Ray Walston, Malachi Throne, Martin Kove, Anne Ramsey, John P. Ryan, Charles Cyphers, Allan Arbus, Lana Wood, Roger E. Mosley, Ken Kercheval, William Prince, Yvonne Craig and William Sanderson.  The show was still featuring people on the rise.


However, the more youthful show was starting to show wear and some of the clichés that the show was built on were getting tired.  Antonio Fargas’ “pimp with a heart” Huggy Bear was getting tired, Bernie Hamilton’s Capt. Dobey was not more developed at this point and a combination of Disco and Star Wars fantasy were making the 1970s urban look dated.  As well, the opening credits (with no less than five homophobic teases) simply reminded the audience each week that the show had no more growth to offer.  The TV grind had taken its toll.  However, there are some good shows here and there is at least some intelligence to the show at its worst.  The show had simply boxed itself into a corner for which it could not escape and it was finished.  Now with the awful film and some new fans, all the seasons have made it to DVD.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot in 35mm film and were remastered in digital High Definition video.  The show was never very colorful due to its urban themes, but this looks good showing some grain and will please fans in particular.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is another matter, sounding too soft and low in volume.  Turning up the volume only gives one more background hiss.  There are no extras either except a very brief episode guide paper foldout, but it takes 5 DVDs to complete the show in its folding DigiPaks and the rest is history.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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