DVD Review: NYPD Blue (Season 08)

Andy Sipowicz (Hill Street Blues‘ Dennis Franz) was a cop that suffered personal tragedy on the job and at home. There was no emotional refuge. He had suffered through the death of his work partner and also his wife over the last few years. NYPD Blue: Season 08 gives him another bout of suffering. His son Theo is sick. But as much as he is a good dad, Sipowicz can’t let this make him breakdown. He’s got enough pressure with Internal Affairs sniffing around the detectives. This once more is a season where you expect Sipowicz to completely crack. Can he really be this strong to hold up under such circumstances. Over the course of 20 episodes, this season of NYPD Blue puts everyone in the 15th Precinct on edge.

“Daveless in New York” has Internal Affairs doing their best to show that cops were involved with the illegal activities of Jill Kirkendall’s ex-husband. Nobody wants to get Kirkenland (Andrea Thompson) in trouble. “Waking Up Is Hard to Do” has cabbie getting killed. Now they’re just getting eliminated by Uber drivers. “Family Ties” has a tourist getting attacked in her hotel room. Manhattan was still a dangerous place under Mayor Rudy. Detective Danny Sorenson (Rick Schroeder) has the hots for Detective Diane Russell (The Leftovers)’ Kim Delaney). But can it really work out between them? “In-Laws, Outlaws” gets Sorenson furious when one of his informants get killed after he gets sprung at the wrong time. More importantly is that Sipowicz starts dating and finds a woman he likes. “Russellmania” has Sorenson’s temper blow a major case. Lt. Fancy (James McDaniel) has to take control of his out of control cop. Lt. Fancy however has bigger things in his future as he gets promoted to captain in “Flight of Fancy.” Sadly this also marks the end of McDaniels on the show. Not sure why he left, but the detectives missed him since his replacement is the abrasive Lt. Susan Dalto (Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Denise Crosby). She there to shake things up on the force. Nobody is happy.

The season ends with two other major departures. Russell can’t keep it together like Sipowicz. She has to turn in her badge to reclaim her sanity. She steps away on “Lost Time.” The downward spiral of Detective Danny Sorenson gets terminal on “Under Covers.” He’d always been a bit of a troubled character. After the departure of Russell, he’s not able to keep things straight. Things get worse when he goes undercover at a strip club. Danny vanishes and a stripper turns up dead in his apartment. This becomes another heartbreaking time for Sipowicz with another partner in trouble in the finale “In the Wind.” While the show hinted at a different NYPD Blue in the next season, little did they know that the Fall of 2001 would provide a more horrifying reality for New York City.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The show looks fine with the constantly swishing cameras. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The sound mixes the gruff voice of Dennis Franz and the hard driven soundtrack just right. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

No bonus features.

NYPD Blue: The Complete Eighth Season contains the end of the line for Lt. Fancy and Det. Russell. There’s also a hint that we might have seen the last of Det. Sorenson. It’s a time of change for a city about to be ripped apart by 9/11.

Shout! Factory presents NYPD Blue: Season 08. Starring: Dennis Franz, Rick Schroder, James McDaniel, Kim Delaney, Gordon Clapp and Esai Morales. Boxset Contents: 20 episodes on 5 DVDs. Rated: Unrated. Released: January 13, 2015


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