So many people believe the “buddy cop” routine started with Lethal Weapon, or maybe Running Scared. Truth be told, Starsky and Hutch was quite a breakout from the cop shows of the time. The studio was picketed for the amount of violence portrayed, which by today’s standards wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.
This is typical 70’s from the film stock to the wardrobe. The unique Ford Grand Torino was so popular that Ford ended up manufacturing a limited number of the replicas. David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser had s…ch good chemistry that even Michael Eisner, then in charge of programs for ABC, told the producers he wanted to “hang out” with the duo. Unfortunately both did such a great job with their character they were never able to break out of the mold, and their acting careers suffered. Glaser has had recent success with producing other shows for TV. Soul had a short-lived music career, ending up a “one-hit-wonder” with his “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby”.
The 1970’s didn’t offer much in the range of dynamic audio for television. This remastered audio is pretty good considering the source material. Dialogue is always clear and upfront. Some of the music comes off a tad distorted. There’s a distinctive warble noticeable in the music of several episodes, most notably disc one.
Each episode of Starsky and Hutch is presented in its original full frame format. When you consider the source material, these episodes have been transferred with a great amount of care. The only real flaw is the digital compression artifacts, because they saw fit to squeeze the season onto 5 discs instead of 6. Colors accurately represent the subdued palate of 1970’s film stock. Blacks are surprisingly deep on a few episodes. There are some film specks and score lines, particularly on the pilot.
“Behind The Badge” is the best of the limited number of features. It includes recent interviews with the cast and crew. Wait until you get a look at David Soul. I hardly recognized him. Age has not been kind.
Other extras include…
- “The Third Character” is a look at one of the Torinos used during the original show.
- “Starsky and Hutch The Movie” is a promotional look at the new film with Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. I don’t know about that thing. Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear?
- “It’s Harder Than It Looks” is a cute look at some of the continuity errors and flubs from the season. This was an original one.
- A Gallery and collection of original spots rounds out this limited collection of extras.
The foldout case is a pullout poster of the cool car and the discs are wheels. Menus are static and the standard fare.
I am really glad to see this set. It’s obvious the series got the DVD treatment because of the new film. I don’t understand the decision to use only 5 discs, though. The set is worth the money for the nostalgia alone. I hope that future sets don’t get cheated on discs. So take a trip back in time to the 1970’s and “I’ll do the driving”.
Special Features List
- Exclusive featurette on the new theatrical Starsky & Hutch
- Exclusive new interviews with David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser
- Three new featurettes: It’s Harder Than It Looks, The Third Star, Behind the Badge
- Original TV promo spots