A ‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot is finally in the making, but could it inspire ‘The Sopranos’ reboot in turn? Let’s see how!
Steven Bochco’s iconic 1980s cop show ‘Hill Street Blues’ is all set to get a 21st-century reboot! As you may have guessed, the show’s title signifies the blue uniforms worn by police officers in the US. The series has been credited with transforming the golden era of the small screen ever since its debut in 1981.
- Why ‘Hill Street Blues’ is still talked about today
- The reason behind the immense popularity of ‘The Sopranos’
- ‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot to inspire ‘The Sopranos’ reboot?
From its intelligent writing and documentary-style narrative to 98 Emmy nominations, the series paved way for future police dramas. It uniquely created elements that have continued to permeate the small screen even today.
Their use of handheld cameras, which resulted in shaky visuals, and a very large ensemble cast was one of a kind. The show’s combination of intense drama with comedic undertones has been lauded through the years!
Now, let’s look at ‘The Sopranos’! An ingenious gangster drama series, the show redefined television and compelled viewers with its craft and first-rate performances. The story was immersive and gave viewers a fresh perspective of the criminal underworld. We can all agree that Tony Soprano will always be one of our favourite television characters of all time!
Let’s look at what made them both special, now that rumours of a ‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot are making the rounds!
Why ‘Hill Street Blues’ is still talked about today
‘Hill Street Blues’ was a gritty and realistic look at the life of cops in a large (but unnamed) American city. Each episode kicked off with a ‘roll call’, which is like the police force’s version of a school assembly.
The roll call did have an important role though, to introduce the viewer to the events and characters of that particular episode. Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) would send officers into the streets with a catchphrase that became famous in all of television – “Let’s be careful out there”.
Co-creators Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll had prepared themselves with first-hand accounts of the tumultuous ups and downs of working in the police force. The show was stylised as a documentary and highlighted various important social issues.
The best thing about the series was how it spotlighted the personal struggles of the police officers and detectives. It magnificently reflected the emotional heaviness and the toll that working in a big city took on its people. Steven Bochco’s writing not only made the characters feel real but also let viewers feel empathetic towards them!
Don’t even get us started on the theme soundtrack! The theme song was iconic (it even got to number 10 on the US charts), perfectly representative of the show’s content. Gone are the 1980s when the theme songs of television shows alone could impress viewers! A ‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot would be nostalgic for every fan who loved it during its premiere in the 80s.
The reason behind the immense popularity of ‘The Sopranos’
If you’re a Sopranos fan, you know the show wasn’t just another glance at the Italian mafia. It was a magnified look at the people in our world. James Gandolfini’s portrayal of Tony Soprano, the mobster from New Jersey, had us completely hooked from the first episode itself!
The star cast also included Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano), Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante), Lorraine Bracco (Jennifer Melfi) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti).
It was one of the first contemporary shows to explore the themes of family, culture, and psychology, all together. Twenty-minute long dream sequences, powerful depiction of symbolism, and unexpected scenes of violence were complemented with their opposites – themes of love, honour, and respect for family.
Only ‘The Sopranos’ could have left a legacy strong enough, to be felt even a decade after its premiere. Tony’s emergence as a ruthless crime boss and, at the same time, a loyal human being and a family man was beyond revolutionary!
‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot to inspire ‘The Sopranos’ reboot?
‘Hill Street Blues’ was ground-breaking for the small screen, but took years to earn its classic TV status. ‘The Sopranos’, on the other hand, has been a big name in television history since the very beginning.
To fans, it’s no surprise that ‘Hill Street Blues’ is one of the best police drama series of all time. It was the first to portray cops as ordinary people, and not the superheroes we expect them to be.
The method adopted by the show to portray law enforcement, in contrast, is very different from what we see today. Their efforts in painting realistic characters is a key factor that led to the show’s successful influence.
Ratings during the first season of ‘Hill Street Blues’ were so low that a cancellation seemed inevitable. But it grew through critical acclaim, becoming a series that would set an unforgettable standard for police dramas to follow.
Another factor credited to its renewal is the high-end purchase of commercial time during the show. But if we seriously talk about reboots – a modern ‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot today just wouldn’t be as powerful. Replicating the gritty city decor, the 80’s feeling and a cast like the original can’t be all that easy. Lucky for us, we can just keep watching reruns!
What are you most looking forward to – a ‘Hill Street Blues’ reboot or ‘The Sopranos’ reboot? Let us know in the comments!