Tony Baretta, streetwise cop and master of disguise, strolled into our living rooms each week to the sounds of Sammy Davis Jr. singing Baretta's motto- "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time". Bad guys beware- he's quirky, but always gets his man!
The 1970's saw a streak of shows about unconventional cops who, though quirky, were skilled investigators, dedicated to seeing justice done- even if they sometimes had to throw out the rule book (and, of course, get in trouble with their by-the-book superior officer).
Let's see, there was Kojak (quirk- omnipresent lollipop and
weird saying- "Who loves ya, baby?". Then there's McCloud (quirk- he's a cowboy in the big city). Ironside (he's in a wheelchair). The list goes on.
Baretta falls firmly in this tradition, but established its own identity that transcended the formula. Tony Baretta (Robert Blake) was an Italian-American police detective living in a run-down apartment building with sage old ex-cop Billy (the great Tom Ewell) and a seriously neurotic cockatoo named Fred.
Tony uses his street smarts, advice from Billy, his mastery of disguises and timely tips from his street informant, Rooster (Michael D. Roberts, who by the way, I would love to see in a cage match with Huggy Bear) to solve the crime o' the week. What sets this series apart is the unconventional acting style and personality of Robert Blake in the title role and the humor that permeates every episode. Lots of laughs in this series, but also lots of satisfying, well done action scenes. And bonus points for having the coolest theme song EVER!
this is one of the worst crime dramas of the 70's. i always thought robert blake was a little strange. i will never understand how he got this show. there were several of these dectective shows throughout the 70's. most of them were the same old crap rehashed over and over.
To be honest, I would have preferred to spend my time elsewhere than finish watching this. However, I kept thinking that there is great potential behind this and I was half right. There was potential to say the least but this potential was poorly exploited leaving a show that is half decent. Nonetheless, you really have to see Baretta to get what I'm talking about.
What other people say about Baretta doesn't bring it any justice. To give it anything less than a 10 would be an outrage. What's good about it? If you need me to tell you what's good about it, it means you can't even tell the brilliance behind Baretta. Nuff said.
A great show for its time. I remember watching Baretta when I was younger and loving the show. The theme song was always so catchy. I loved the bird. The show I remember showed how lonely some people are even when surrounded by people. For its time the crimes were exciting and thought provoking. The cast seemed to work well together. Their banter seemed to come naturally. It always held my interest. Even though the show had a conclusion after each show part of each show carried over into the next. Though the show probably would not do so well if brought back it was great for its time.
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