Ed Driscoll

Patrolling The Vast Television Wasteland

Dave Kopel explores how the television of the 1960s and ’70s stacks up in retrospect in the cold light of the 21st century. The shows that Dave reviews are some of television’s most offbeat, unusual moments; however, for the most part, network television is far more formulaic. Witness the structural elements that make up the basic DNA building block of network programming, the television crime drama:

  • The Untouchables: Cops without color TVs
  • Dragnet: Cops without complete sentences
  • Hawaii 5-0: Island cops
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E: Global cops
  • Star Trek: Intergalactic cops
  • The Rookies: Cops without brains
  • Kojak: Cops without hair
  • Adam-12: Cops with a dull car
  • Starsky & Hutch: Cops with a cool–for the 1970s–car
  • CHiPs: Cops without cars
  • Barney Miller: Cops with a Fish
  • SWAT: Cops with balls
  • Hill Street Blues: Cops without balls
  • Miami Vice: Cops without neckties
  • Law & Order: Cops without social lives
  • NYPD Blue: Cops without pants
  • Geez–Newton Minow didn’t know the half of it!