Saturday, February 26, 2005


My all-time favorite cop show

In 1994, I spent the summer working for Revenue Canada in Ottawa. While there, I lived in a 4-bedroom apartment on the U of Ottawa campus. It was there I first discovered NYPD Blue.

I had read a lot about this show prior to seeing it. In 1993, it was hugely controversial, peppering its dialogue with what, at the time, were considered high-intensity curse words seldom, if ever, heard on TV. There was also talk of nudity and very mature storylines. If the show had tried to get by on shock value alone, it might have lasted a season, but there was more to it.

Oh, so much more.

During the past 12 seasons, the show (written by a variety of people, but primarily Steven Bochco, the creator of the great Hill Street Blues) has remained challenging, with tough cases as the main storyline, but fantastic characters as its foundation. Dennis Franz is the staple of the show as Andy Sipowicz, a character who it was impossible to like at the start, but you couldn't help but root for him as the series evolved. So many great moments, just in the first 6 seasons (solving the Bucci child abduction, his stormy courtship of Sylvia, transitioning from partnering with John Kelly to Bobby Simone, the never-ending race-based battles with Lt. Fancy) made him one of the best-defined characters on TV.

Then you have all the other great characters: David Caruso as John Kelly (possibly my favorite TV character of all time), Gordon Clapp as Greg Medavoy (the only other character to make it through the entire run of the show) and so many others. I have picked up the first two seasons of the show on DVD and will pick up the rest as they come out.

In honor of the show, here's a trivia quiz. I even have a prize for the first person to get all the questions right:

1) Name the actors who played the following roles:

Det. James Martinez
Lt. Arthur Fancy
Det. Janice Licalsi
Det. Diane Russell
ADA Laura Michaels-Kelly

2) Which cast member of The West Wing had a brief recurring role as a reporter in Season 1 of NYPD Blue and how did the 15th Precinct make him back off a story?

3) Which cast member of Friends had a brief recurring role on NYPD Blue and what happened to the character?

4) Who were the two PAA's employed by the 15th Precinct during the show.

5) Debra Messing of Will and Grace got her start in what short-term role on NYPD Blue?

6) Melina Kanakaredes of CSI:NY got her start in what short-term role on NYPD Blue?

7) List (in order) the characters and actors who worked as the Lieutenant on NYPD Blue.

8) List (in order) Andy's partners (character name and actor) on NYPD Blue

9) Daniel Benzali had a brief role as Teddy Hoffman on NYPD Blue. What show did that character spin off to?

and finally....

10) List ALL of Andy's wives (character and actor) and all of Andy's kids (character and actor). Hint, there are THREE of each.

Good luck. Contest closes Monday at midnight.