As a die-hard fan of “Starsky & Hutch”, I eagerly awaited the DVD release of the second Season.
This Season showed Paul and David in prime form (characteristically and otherwise) and acheived a nice balance between comedy and drama. The chemistry, still strong as ever, is what makes this show MAGIC, and there’s plenty of it here.
A nice mix of episodes..”Las Vegas Strangler”..and one that I barely remember seeing till this release, “Little Girl Lost”..which is now among my definite favorites.
Comedic moments abound in “Murder at Sea”, “Tap Dancing…”, “Long Walk Down a Short Dirt Road” and (especially)”Murder on Stage 17″, but that isn’t to say that this Season was turned into fluff. Despite First Season complaints that the show was too violent, the series still managed to hang onto their edge with eps like, “Vendetta”, “Gillian”, “Nightmare” and “The Psychic”, to name a few.
“Bloodbath”, directed by Paul..and “Survival”, directed by David, both were chock-full of angst and hurt/comfort, and showed that these two talented actors could do more than just look pretty for the cameras.
..and speaking of angst, “Gillian” is a definite tearjerker, as is “Starsky’s Lady”; both of which nicely showcase both actors’ ability to express raw, gut-wrentching emotion.
Through it all..I think it is the CHEMISTRY that makes this series fly. No other show (that I’ve seen) has ever had two leads so effortlessly feed off each other with the warmth, humor, compassion and genuine understanding that these two actors seemed to have. Their “dance” is a treasure to watch and a gift to us all.
As for the DVD, itself, I wish there were more extras, other than the typical DVD promos for other shows and Paul’s promos (which were also in Season One’s DVD) for each eppy. How about an extra on bloopers?..the kind committed by the actors, themselves..and not prop failures (as mentioned in the first DVD set). I’m sure every fan would love to see these.
Now..let’s get to quality. I DO have some complaints. As has been mentioned, the quality of “Murder at Sea” is erratic at best, in some places. The corridor scenes are noticeably blurry..as are other scenes here and there..and there is a scene with Starsky on deck that tends to jump a bit, from what I have seen from someone else’s set. I can’t remember if mine jumps there, too, but most likely it does. Worse, in MY copy of the DVD, there is a scene between Gillian and Starsky that skips a few frames and cannot be remedied no matter what I do. Things like this are a major annoyance, especially “skipped” scenes..and between problems such as these and mis-spellings (“Dobie”, “Starsky Slady”), it only leads me to believe that this DVD was a rush job. WHY? I’d rather it were done right than be released to coincide with that (dumb) movie.. (My apologies to those of you who liked it).
One last thing.. From what I understand, these eppies aren’t even UNCUT. A source told me, in fact, that several episodes are missing some scenes, not to mention that they’re not even in order.
These problems aside, the complete second Season of Starsky & Hutch is a must-have for any fan..be they an S&H fan, or a fan of 70′s crime dramas, in general. But lest anyone get the wrong idea, Starsky and Hutch was UNLIKE any other 70′s crime drama–it was BETTER. It defined the 70′s, it defined COOL..and imo, it is still hip to this day. That makes it a CLASSIC..a classic to be enjoyed through the ages.
Can’t wait for the next Season’s DVD!
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This is the entire second season’s worth of episodes, from a total of four seasons. With this set, you’re halfway to having every episode!
And this is arguably the best season of the entire run of the show, with the premiere season a close (very close!) second.
The surprise hit of the ’75 season, ‘Starsky & Hutch’ was a monster success for ABC, Spelling-Goldberg productions, the actors and everybody involved.
When the second season rolled around, Paul Michael Glaser as ‘Starsky’ and David Soul as ‘Hutch’ had settled comfortably into thier roles, and the writing and production staff finally got around to creating some stories written specifically for this show, as opposed to the first season’s episodes, which were all originally written for other shows, with the exception of only two episodes.
The insane level of ultra-violence (by 70s-era TV standards, anyway)was still there from season one, but instead of merely being action tacked needlessly onto the story-line, it was seamlessly written into each story as an integral part of the plot. In this way, even though there was still plenty of fist-fights, car chases and gun battles, they seemed less gratuitous and therefore did not detract from the story.
The action of this show is one of the stand-outs, and the series’ stunt-coordinator Charles Picerni must be given the lion’s share of the credit for making it seem so realistic and exciting. Not only was Picerni the stunt-coordinator, but he was Paul Michael Glaser’s stunt-man also. The fact that he looks remarkably similar to Glaser is one reason for the great realism.
The combination of Picerni and Gary Epper (David Soul’s stunt-man through the second season)helped to create the image of ‘Starsky & Hutch’ being the toughest guys on the Bay City police force! Boy, Starsky sure could throw a mean kidney-punch! And Hutch’s Ju-Jitsu inspired fighting style made fast work of any bad guy!
For the sharp-eyed viewer, the ‘third star’ of the show went through some subtle changes beginning in season two. Starsky’s beloved Ford Gran Torino, nicknamed the ‘Striped Tomato’ this season by Hutch, got a make-over for the new season.
Well, not so much a make-over, as a…do-over! The first season cars (2 of them) were 1975 Gran Torinos, equipped with standard small displacement engines (351 ‘Windsor’). All ‘high-performance’ was achieved with the courtesy of film tricks and sound effects. Notably, these first-season cars were equipped with body-colored(red) ‘sport’ mirrors on the doors, body-colored (red) bumper-to-body panels, and full-width cloth bench seats.
For the second season, the two 1975 Torinos were replaced with four brand new 1976 Gran Torinos, each custom painted by the production company in the famous red and white stripe scheme.
These new cars, however displayed the minor changes that Ford made in the product line from 1975 to 1976. Instead of the red mirrors as before, these new cars had shiny chrome-plated ‘luxury’ mirrors on the doors. The red bumper-to-body panels were now a fleet-grey color, obvious in the episode ‘The Psychic’.
Most importantly, these cars were all ordered with the biggest, most powerful engines available from Ford, the 460 cubic inch ‘Police Interceptor’ engine. Don’t get excited though…the realities of late-seventies emission standards did not allow any manufacturer to produce a true ‘high performance’ engine. Rated at just a measly 202 horsepower,these cars were not what anyone would consider ‘high performance’. However, the world of TV show production does not rely on reality…it creates its own! And through sound effects, incredible stunt driving and skillful editing techniques, Starsky’s bright red hot-rod was as fast and powerful as ever!
One change the new cars had that the stars themselves didn’t like were the new seats! Whereas the original cars had relatively-grippy cloth front seats, the new 1976 cars had nice black leather seats, all smooth and shiny…and slippery! Glaser and Soul, as well as the stunt drivers complained that they were sliding all over the seats as they did their ‘spirited’ driving scenes, so the production company switched the seats from the two original 1975 cars into two of the new 1976 cars.
If you pay very close attention, you will notice that the front seat upholstery does not match the rear seat upholstery in several scenes. If you look really closely, you may even notice that Starsky is driving on a leather seat, only to arrive on a cloth seat.
But in the whole scheme of things, this is all reletively meaningless. The thrust of this show is the stories, and this season doesn’t dissapoint! Some of the best, most memeorable episodes came from season two, and they are all here in thier glory!
‘Bust Amboy’ is the quintessential episode of ‘Starsky & Hutch’. It contains a little of just about every detail that made this show awesome: A…
Starsky and Hutch was the quintessential 70s action show. The editorial reviewer got it right that the second season improved on the first in terms of darker stories and character development. Of course there are the cliches’ but they handled them in unique and honest ways. The tag at the end of the episode Starsky’s girl is poignant and unusually detailed. I remember the second seasons episodes being attacked by the press as being too violent and graphic at the time. Nowadays, after shows like Miami Vice (which Glaser directed some episodes), and Hill Street Blues, the violence seems tame, but there were some attempts (unfortunatly successful) to tame the show down after season 2, and rely more on the comedic angle. Season 2 still has Huggy Bear without his bar, and that always bothered me why they took that away from his character. Season 2 also has the truly horrible spin off attempt, Turkey and the Bear, which thankfully never got picked up. Buy this DVD, you won’t be dissapointed. It’s great period piece drama, right before the advent of disco. I see that they are releasing this set in conjunction with the release of the movie version, so I hope they decide to release the 3rd and 4th seasons soon and not leave us hanging. Oh…and please PLEASE forget about putting out a CHiPs DVD!!!! That dreadful series was everything that S&H thankfully never became, bland, bloodless and deviod of any real emotion.