Hill Street Blues

Season 1 Episode 1

Hill Street Station

0
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jan 15, 1981 on NBC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Precinct Captain Furillo tries to defuse a hostage situation despite the advice of his gung-ho Emergency Action Team leader and the temperament of a self-absorbed gang leader; public defender Joyce Davenport tries to find a client who has been lost in the bureaucratic maze; Detective LaRue gets a lapful of coffee; Sgt. Esterhaus confides to Fay about his teenage sweetheart; Officers Hill and Renko are shot in the line of duty.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Capt. Furillo is loaded with many worries including the fact that his son was playing with a gun and a hostage situation.

    8.2
    Certainly a different take on a tv pilot. As a cop show, “Hill Street Blues” doesn’t pull any punches and throws you directly into the action. We meet the characters but we don’t get a full rundown of what they are like instead we are show how they are like through the daily activities in the office. Furillo has an ex-wife who wants him to be with his son more. Furillo is in charge of a busy precinct. This isn’t the first day on the job for the characters instead we get as established characters.



    Furillo has to deal with a hothead young teen named Hector Ruiz who is holding down people in a meat market. We briefly meet the cops, Hill and Renko, a black and white cop who have a lot of friendship with each other. We also meet the gung-ho, gun obsessed loon Lt. Howard Hunter (who reminds me a lot of Actually Howard does come up with a solution to end the hostage crisis by using hypodermia to slowly eek out the suspect.



    Honestly this kid though Hector is a real punk and Capt. Furillo is very nice to him. I think this episode was a way of establishing just how benevolent Furillo is. Other stereotypical Captains would have ended the situation with guns a blazing taking out the punk with no future, but Furillo has a heart and decides to negotiate. I haven't listened to the commentary but Boucho who wrote this episode shows here that he really does know what happens in a cop's world.moreless
  • A remarkable start for a remarkable series

    9.0
    I hadn't seen this show for a long time when I renewed our acquaintance with the dvd of the first series. Hill Street Blues set the standard for so many shows that followed. (It may even be responsible for some irritating television trends. The shaky camera movements, for instance, that give the show a documentary style, are these days being used without reason, to many viewers' irritation.)



    Its strenghth is the ensemble acting and the surprising plot lines. This episode has two surprise endings. I don't understand why NBC had to think twice before ordering a full series.



    The acting is superb. Its realism makes some of the stranger plot lines believable. The only thing that may have dated the show is the character of Howard Hunter. His comic relief rather spoils the realism.moreless
Taurean Blacque

Taurean Blacque

Det. Neal Washington

Michael Warren

Michael Warren

Officer Bobby Hill

Charles Haid

Charles Haid

Andy Renko

Michael Conrad

Michael Conrad

Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (1981-1984)

Veronica Hamel

Veronica Hamel

Joyce Davenport

Daniel J. Travanti

Daniel J. Travanti

Captain Frank Furillo

Gary Grubbs

Gary Grubbs

Earps

Guest Star

Gary Van Orman

Gary Van Orman

Sneed

Guest Star

Paul Michael

Paul Michael

Proprietor

Guest Star

Panchito Gomez

Panchito Gomez

Hector Ruiz

Recurring Role

Trinidad Silva

Trinidad Silva

Jesus Martinez

Recurring Role

Nick Savage

Nick Savage

Pickpocket

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sgt. Esterhaus: Let's be careful out there.

    • Frank: I'm sending in Goldblume, see if we can open communication, diffuse the situation. It's by the book, Howard.
      Howard: (snorts) Goldblume! Goldblume couldn't diffuse a roll of kosher toilet paper.

    • Phil: But then I met Cindy. Overnight, my life turned around!
      Fay: (sniffling, drying her eyes from crying) Oh, yeah? All, that's terrific, I'm glad to hear that! Are you thinking of getting re-married?
      Phil: As soon as she graduates.
      Fay: She's a college student?
      Phil: High school. She's a graduating senior.

    • Esterhaus: You look flushed, Francis. I can keep shop; Cindy's at marching band practice until ten o'clock.

    • Dispatcher: Dispatch . . . We have a 911 . . . Armed Robbery in progress . . . See Surplus Store, corner Peoples' Drive, 124th Street . . .

    • Lucy Bates: (to the just-restrained Angel Dust-using suspect) Take it easy, baby, take it easy. Nobody's gonna hurt you, you hear me? We're gonna take you to the hospital, now. You understand what I'm saying to you? Huh? (with only a head-turn, to another restraining officer) Don't think I don't know who was coppin' a cheap feel durin' the fight, huh?

    • Furillo: Look at this! You got the address wrong on the warrant.
      Esterhaus: (overlapping) Captain, we never shoulda stopped doing these in pencil.
      Furillo: ...so when the man understandably objects to being arrested, Earps here hits him with a board!
      Earps: We had to, boss. We couldn't get his attention.

  • NOTES (11)

    • Originally, the characters of Hill and Renko were supposed to have died in this episode, but they proved so popular that the creators brought them back.

    • Hill Street Blues was the first weekly television series to receive $1,000,000 from the network to film a single episode.

    • The opening credit sequence was shot in Chicago.

    • Co-creator Steven Bochco and actors James Sikking and Joe Spano provided DVD commentary for this episode.

    • Gerry Black is credited in this episode as "Detective." He is not referred to as Detective Alfred Chesley until the second episode.

    • This episode was the series pilot, which was screened for "select" viewers in rooms specially-equipped with feed-back devices which allowed each viewer to signal (dis)approval instantly. The series was the lowest-rated show that was picked-up for the 1980-81 season, and NBC shelved it until its January 17th premiere as a midseason replacement.

    • This episode was aired in 1999 as part of a TV Land salute to Emmy award-winning shows of the past.

    • "Hill Street Station" was the original (or "working") name for the series, during its pre-pickup period. After NBC accepted the series, this name was applied to the pilot episode. Also, the series was originally going to be shot in black and white and in a style quite similar to a PBS documentary, but NBC nixed it.

    • The shockingly dramatic scene of Officers Hill (Michael Warren) and Renko (Charles Haid) gunned down in an abandoned apartment building by drug dealers, along with the chemestry they had with each other prior to the shooting made this #72 on TV Guide / TV Land's 100 Most Memorable TV Moments in December of 2004.

    • The series' end credits features the MTM cat wearing a policeman's hat.

    • The episode won 4 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series, Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series, Outstanding Film Sound Editing and Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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