Originally broadcast in 1994, the second series of NYPD Blue was disrupted by the departure of star David Caruso (Detective John Kelly) after just four episodes--apparently under less than amicable circumstances. He was ably replaced as Detective Sipowicz's partner by Jimmy Smits as the smoother Detective Bobby Simone, and the series managed not to miss a beat. More streamlined and downbeat than its predecessor Hill Street Blues (also created by Steven Bochco), NYPD Blue continued second time around to mix near-the-knuckle detective work in pursuit of New York's... scummiest with more character and relationship-based drama. Although it's regrettable that its ethnic-minority characters such as Lieutenant Fancy are increasingly marginalised here, the series is more comfortable, and even has fun with, regular characters such as the nervy Detective Medavoy and his on-off paramour Donna Abandando. Andy Sipowicz's simmering, tough-nosed recovering alcoholic is increasingly and amusingly put to the test in a number of situations, including a murder investigation in a gay bar; being sung to at his own wedding by Nic Turturro's Detective Martinez; and a love scene in the shower in which we experience the dubious pleasure of seeing his bare bum. New female introductions, such as the strong but sympathetic Detective Lesniak, also helped to shake up the series with a much-needed oestrogen boost. There's also fun to be had in spotting a number of guest appearances by up-and-coming actors destined to make it in their own right such as Richard Schiff and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) and Debra Messing (Will and Grace). On the DVD: NYPD Blue, Series 2 DVD box set contains a number of extras, primarily a one-hour documentary in which the cast and programme-makers discuss the series episode by episode, the self-congratulatory mood only broken by some subtle digs at departing star David Caruso (apparently, he walked straight off the set following his final take into a waiting limo without any farewells). There's also a small piece paying tribute to the music of theme-writer Mike Post and an item covering the relationship between Sipowicz and Assistant DA Sylvia Costas, in whose marriage this series culminates. --David Stubbs [show more]
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The entire second series of this hard-hitting cop drama set in the 15th Precinct of New York and created by Stephen Bochco. The series broke new ground for US television shows, was notable for showing subjects not normally covered such as vigilante violence and bribery, and has gone on to win over 20 Emmys. The episodes included are: 'Trials and Tribulations', 'For Whom the Skell Rolls', 'Cop Suey', 'Dead and Gone', 'Simone Says', 'The Final Adjustment', 'Double Abandando', 'You Bet Your Life', 'Don We Now Our Gay Apparel', 'In the Butt, Bob', 'Vishy-Vanny-Vinny', 'Large Mouth Bass', 'Travels With Andy', 'A Murder With Teeth in It', 'Bombs Away', 'UnAmerican Grafitti', 'Dirty Socks', 'Innuendo', 'Boxer Rebellion', 'The Bookie and Kooky Cookie', 'The Bank Dick' and 'A.D.A. Sipowicz'.