The 70’s hit me hard when I was a young teenager. Never mind that it was the early 90’s at the time. I was in a love affair with a lot of 70’s reruns at the time.
One show that I rushed home after school to watch on TNT was Starsky and Hutch.
-David Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson (David Soul), plain clothes police detectives on the mean streets of LA with direction from their dedicated captain (Bernie Hamilton) and help from their snitch Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas), not to mention a sweet Ford Torino.
The cases were gritty, involving drugs and murder, with a stock cast of 70’s bad guys (pimps, pushers, thugs, mobsters, cons, prostitutes). And of course, there were plenty of pretty girls to go around.
This is one of the earliest occurences of bromance on record. It takes buddy cop to the next level. The chemistry between the two is undeniable and they actually showed a pretty wide range of emotions for a couple of macho cops.
Two outstanding episodes that stick in my memory that highlight this are “Shootout” and “The Fix”. Both are early in the series (first season). In “The Fix”, Hutch is kidnapped and injected with heroin. Starksy working Hutch through detox really makes the episode. In “Shootout”, Starsky is shot during dinner at an Italian resteraunt and Hutch is charged with getting him (and everyone else) out alive. Agains it’s the death’s doorstep scenes that make it.
The show is awash in “Hey! I know that guy!” guest stars, but did score several recognizable names including Joan Collins, Suzanne Sommers, Lynda Carter, Mare Winningham, Jeffrey Tambor, Robert Loggia, Rene Auberjonois, GW Bailey, Sally Kirkland, Kim Cattrall, Veronica Hamel, and Pat Morita.
As per most 70’s cop shows, it could be heavy on the action and one or the other of the two main characters (sometimes both) found themselves in peril, injured, possibly dying, several times in a season. It also stretched some credibility with some of the storylines and the revolving door of women in the guys’ lives were usually just good for an episode (though “Starsky’s Girl” was pretty poigniant). Huggy Bear, though, was good for the run and was often a fun bright spot to the episodes. Captain Doby brought some greatness as well.
This show is so a wash in 70’s goodness that it’s like good comfort food. It makes you wish that style was still alive.