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October 13, 2015


FCC lets a foul-mouthed ABC and CBS off the hook

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 7th 2006 3:43PM
Kevin J. MartinThe FCC has dismissed indecency charges against ABC's NYPD Blue and CBS' Early Show, but has upheld charges against - oh, delicious irony - Fox.

Back in April, the networks sued the FCC and asked an appeals court to invalidate the Commission's charges of indecency against NYPD, Early Show and Fox's broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards in 2002 and 2003 on the grounds that the charges were unconstitutional.

ABC got off easy. The NYPD Blue episodes that used the words "dickhead" and "bullshit" were let off the hook because they aired several years ago - before the FCC upped its fines 10x, post-Janet wardrobe malfunction.

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NYPD Blue: Ice Follies/Oscar, Meyer, Weiner

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Aug 1st 2006 12:34PM
NYPD Blue(S01E09/S01E10) This was a pretty interesting episode pairing. The first one, "Ice Follies," was probably the best episode of the season so far. It was tense. It held my attention and I didn't yawn. That's saying something. Before I get to the good stuff though, let's get rid of the boring junk. Once again, Sherry Stringfield's character serves no purpose. Either she's not around at all (which is great) or she randomly enters a scene and you're caught off guard. Since transferring at the DA's office, she's now working in a new role which places her at the station with John. Wonderful. Now we can't avoid her. All I can say is that Stringfield must have sighed with delight when Caruso decided to leave at the end of the season. If she had to hang around as his ex-wife for a second season? That would have been tough. Plus, the first season of ER just wouldn't have been the same.

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NYPD Blue: Tempest in a C-Cup

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 18th 2006 11:44AM

Gail O'Grady as Donna Abandando(S01E08) It's not that I'm against fancy one-liners for episode titles. I just find it sort of disappointing when you read one that sounds interesting and the episode barely has anything to do with it. The Sopranos and Deadwood are notorious for this. I like my episode titles to be simple, but descriptive. Take Seinfeld and "The Puffy Shirt." Going into that, you got a pretty good idea about the focus of the episode.

Alright, you can tell I'm reaching here because eight episodes in, and we finally got to one that I didn't really enjoy. It was just slow. But we did get a new character. Donna Abandando (played by Gail O'Grady) got hired by Lt. Fancy to be the new detective's secretarial assistant. She seems a little loopy, but it's the type of character that can lighten up some of the more serious scenes. The "tempest in a c-cup?" That would be her and she was in the episode for only a couple of minutes. It would have made far more sense to call this one something along the lines of "The Taxi Cab Butcher." What, too much?

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by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 10th 2006 3:19PM

NYPD Blue - season one cast

(S01E07) This had to be the first point in the season where the writers for this show just said, "What the hell? Let's go nuts." So they did. People got whacked. Children went missing and there was a guy who thought he was a werewolf.

Martinez (to the wolf guy): "So, uh, what do you like to be called? Mr. Wolf?"

The wolf guy would be Lou (hence the title). He's a bum who seems to think he's a werewolf and he uses it as an excuse to get locked up for the night (hey, it's a bed). What had me excited about it was who played the wolf guy: Dan Hedaya! He's one of my favorite character actors. Check out his IMDb page because he's been in a ton of stuff. This had to have been a crowning achievement for him though because he was actually credited as "Lou the Werewolf."

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NYPD Blue: Personal Foul

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 3rd 2006 7:59PM

Dennis Franz as Andy Sipowicz(S01E06) For the first few episodes, I was was really enjoying picking out all the swears, slang words, and racial slurs that this show was getting away with at the time. Now I'm having way more fun picking out all the random guest stars. Every episode is just crammed with a bunch of people in tiny blip roles. So far we've had some good ones like David Schwimmer, Michael Rappaport, and Luis Guzman. But this episode added a whole bunch more.

  • James Pickens, Jr. (you'll recognize him as Webber on Grey's Anatomy)
  • Tobin Bell (he's played Jigsaw in the Saw films and he was Kingsley in season two of 24)
  • Michael Jace (he played one of the ADAs, but most will recognize him as Julian on The Shield)

I think it's incredibly interesting to see all these guests. First off, this was 12 years ago and a lot of these people didn't have the careers that they have now. Secondly, I think it mirrors a lot of what David Milch does with his shows. Look at the first season of Deadwood and think about all the notable guest stars that were involved (Kristen Bell from Veronica Mars comes to mind). I just like to dissect all this stuff. You can point and laugh later. On to the rest of the episode.

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NYPD Blue: Emission Accomplished

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 26th 2006 7:47PM

NYPD Blue(S01E05) A Martinez-centric story. I didn't think we'd get one of these this early in the game. He still seems like too minor a character to warrant an episode largely devoted to him.

That being said, it wasn't half bad. One of the things I like about this show is seeing all the cop show stereotypes that it helped to create. In this case, I'm referring to the young rookie cop being side-lined because he has to watch over his smack addict brother. That's a stereotype... right?

Plus, the story allowed for the list of unexpected guest stars to keep growing. Luis Guzman made a random turn as James' father Hector. I didn't really buy it though, especially since Nicholas Turturro and Guzman only differ in age by five years. They looked more like brothers than father and son. Ahh, the joys of the suspension of disbelief.

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NYPD Blue: True Confessions

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 19th 2006 11:27AM

NYPD Blue: logo(S01E04) Since I started watching this show (I had never seen an episode before), I've been doing my best to avoid reading about the episodes on fan websites and places like IMDb. For whatever reason though, I went ahead and read something on this particular episode. That was stupid because I would have much rather preferred that the ending were a surprise. Some shows I don't care if I know stuff in advance but I like to be in the dark with NYPD Blue.

So here goes. David Schwimmer's guest stint has come to an end. Josh "4B" Goldstein was gunned down as he tried to stop some thug from stealing a lady's purse on the subway. Kelly made it to the hospital just in time to see 4B take his last breath. It was actually kind of sad. Schwimmer wasn't half bad in the dramatic role and it's too bad we probably won't see that side of him again now that he's typecast as that bumbling schmuck from Friends. Anyway, that's how the episode ended but there was plenty more in between.

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NYPD Blue: Brown Appetit

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 12th 2006 1:55PM

NYPD Blue; Dennis Franz; David Caruso; Andy Sipowicz; John Kelly(S01E03) I was talking with a few of my co-workers the other day and I mentioned that I was posting on old episodes of NYPD Blue. One of them flipped out he was so overjoyed. Apparently it was his favorite show, he knew just about every episode inside and out, and he wished that it would have gone on for a few more seasons. I told him to take deep breath because I had only seen the very first three episodes so far and wouldn't be able to dish about that much with him.

But he kept going and went on about how he loved the first season and he remembers how his mother was appalled when the show first premiered. That much I got because if you recall, many station affiliates refused to air Blue during the debut season. I guess what I don't get, and I'm dating myself here, is how this show was considered to be controversial. By today's standards, this show is incredibly tame if you think about some of the things that are on today. I guess the whole point I'm trying to make here is that I'm really enjoying this show so far because it's interesting to see how TV has evolved since the early 90s. There, and now I feel justified. I've turned watching TV into an academic exercise. Moving on...

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NYPD Blue: 4B or not 4B

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 5th 2006 6:07PM

NYPD Blue Season 1

Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of your favorite shows, in order, every week.

(S01E02) David Schwimmer is still around. I love it! Even better is that Kelly refuses to call Schwimmer by his character's name. Rather he keeps referring to the guy as his apartment number, 4B. Hilarious.

Back to the story though, we pick up right where the pilot episode left off. Sipowicz is in the hospital, but he's talking and seems to be recovering quite well. The only problem is that he has no recollection of who shot him. At least that's what he tells Kelly and Fancy. It becomes clear pretty quickly that Sipowicz wants Giardella for himself, so he's keeping his mouth shut.

One of the things I'm loving about this show are all the great cop show stereotypes that NYPD Blue adheres to. Good cop, bad cop. Seasoned veteran who's seen it all and the balanced partner. The compassionate hard-ass of a lieutenant. This show follows all the rules and then goes ahead and breaks them. It's interesting to watch though. It's like seeing a child being born because you can see things that have influenced other shows in the years that followed.

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NYPD Blue: Pilot

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 29th 2006 11:41PM

NYPD Blue - Season 1 Cast

Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of your favorite shows, in order, every week.

(S01E01) Ahh, the glory days. When men were men, gas was cheap(er), and David Caruso wasn't aging like a raisin while patrolling the beaches of Miami. Of course, I'm talking about NYPD Blue when Caruso (as Detective John Kelly) was scouring the streets of Manhattan with the best bad New York accent I've ever heard. The year was 1993 and Steven Bochco and David Milch's new ABC cop drama would ensure that television would never be the same. It was, after all, dubbed the first ever "R-Rated" TV series.

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The big finales are over, so now what?

by Keith McDuffee, posted May 26th 2006 12:45PM
retro squadThe big finales are finally over. Though we have a few cool premieres starting in the coming weeks, from Rescue Me (5/30) to Deadwood (6/11), let's face it -- TV isn't the same after May sweeps. The question that's floated around the TV Squad headquarters in the past couple of months has been, "what else can we review for the readers?" Enter "Retro Squad."

Starting this coming Sunday, we're going to take you back in time just a little bit. Remember all of those great shows that are no longer airing, either from being cancelled or ending long runs and taking a bow? Or maybe you remember the first seasons of shows still on the air? Of course you do; it's what makes you one of the millions of fans of these cult-classic shows. Well, we're going to bring them back to you, one episode at a time, every week. Read on for the exciting details.

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