Homicide: Life On The Street Season 1 Review

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The criminally little known gritty police series that set the bar for things like The Shield and The Wire.


This outstanding us police procedural remains a cornerstone of the genre — without it we wouldn’t have The Shield or (particularly) The Wire. Andre Braugher is the standout in a generally strong cast that includes Yaphet Kotto, Ned Beatty and Jon Polito, all playing Baltimore detectives on the same shift, doing underappreciated work where results come in at a trickle — often over several episodes.

There’s also a healthy procession of guest appearances, including Robin Williams, Luis Guzmán and a cameo from Baltimore native John Waters. Behind the camera, selected episodes are directed by executive producer Barry Levinson and Stephen Gyllenhaal, who manages to get pre-pubescent son Jake into the cast.