Rookies: The Complete Season One – DVD Review

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Police work is something that I’ve always been interested in and wanted nothing more than to be a part of someday. Sadly it would never come to pass and that’s mostly because it just wasn’t a career I ever pursued, but wish I had. Crime dramas have become some of my favorite shows on television to watch and it sort of makes me wish I could skip through all of basic training and being a street cop just so a detective could be my initial position with the force. But then COPS comes on and who doesn’t want to take down a perpetrator with a billy club or well-executed tackle? It’s the beat cops that keep us all safe and travel the dangerous streets in order to bring criminals to justice. That may not seem like much, but a series like Rookies show us just how much more goes into all the work that they do.

Having mentioned COPS already, it’s kind of hard for those that have never watched Rookies to see what the difference is between the two shows. Rookies is virtually the same in many aspects, but the episodes focus on different rookie cops straight out of the police academy as they try to learn the job as it happens. They head out onto the streets with different FTOs (Field Training Officers) to make sure that they are doing things the correct way without getting themselves or fellow officers killed. No longer are they in the classrooms and studying out of books but they are dealing with real situations and dangerous suspects that makes it get very serious, very fast. This is real stuff people and it is not always the easiest things to watch because you will start getting a feel for some of these recruits and knowing them almost on a personal level. Next thing you know, they didn’t make the cut and are no longer with the force.

The first season of Rookies takes us into the lives of some new on the beat cops in the Tampa Police Department and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department near New Orleans. Throughout the season on television, episodes alternate back and forth between the two departments as we follow along with the rookies. I must admit that seeing the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department really kind of hits home because I lived in that parish for almost ten years. My brother-in-law’s father also worked for that department and knew plenty of the cops showcased in the different episodes. No matter what, though, the episodes are all entertaining and show a lot of things to civilians that they’d never even know about. Good stuff all around.

You’re going to have a lot of fun with this series if you enjoy real-life cop adventures and training. There is fun to be had as you see new friendships and partnerships created while also forming trust bonds as these men and women trust each other with their lives. At times you’re going to laugh and at times you’re going cringe as you even will feel a bit awkward when grown adults are yelled at and made to look like small children for messing up. Rookies even has its emotional moments when a department loses an officer in the line of duty and had me in tears. It’s a rollercoaster journey of emotions and education as civilians learn just what the life of brand new police officers is like.

Episodes

Disc One:

City Of Tampa Police Department: Class Begins
City Of Tampa Police Department: Size Doesn’t Matter
City Of Tampa Police Department: The Birth Of A Rookie
City Of Tampa Police Department: A Deer In Headlights
City Of Tampa Police Department: There’s A New FTO In Town
City Of Tampa Police Department: It’s A “Deadly” Profession
City Of Tampa Police Department: Command Presence
City Of Tampa Police Department: Finding The Cop Voice

Disc Two:

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: My Name On A Plaque
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: One More Time
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: The Shootout
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: Toy Gun
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: Riding Solo
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: Rookie Love
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: The Lost Rookie
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department: Step Up Or Step Off

The episodes are shown in Widescreen format but some of them seem to come across a bit compressed or squished. It’s not really all that big a deal, but it certainly is an obvious issue.

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and all sound comes through just about how you’d hear it when watching the episodes on television. All sound and dialogue is heard clearly and without any problems.

Additional Footage – Each disc contains about twenty minutes of extra footage for each department and it’s as good as the stuff you see in the episodes. The taser test is by far one of the most interesting things to watch.


Rookies is a television series that I caught onto some months ago and it automatically sucked me in. COPS has always been one of my favorite shows, but you only get small clips and such here and there. Rookies gives you background on these people as they train for a new career and go through all the rigors of becoming a police officer while making it entertaining in the process. This is about as close as I’ll ever get to joining the force because it is evident that I couldn’t possibly step into the shoes of those brave men and women. Everything is detailed here showing what people must go through to become a protector of the innocent and it is intriguing, educational, enjoyable, and intense all at the same time. Some extra footage, which you know there had to be plenty of, makes for a great special feature even though it’s kind of short. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this first season and find out what you’ve been missing.

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A&E Home Video presents Rookies: The Complete Season One. Starring: Various. Running time: 352 minutes on 2 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: April 28, 2009. Available at Amazon.com

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