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Starsky And Hutch: The Complete First Series Review

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The first season of the sexy and seminal series

★★★★

Minutes into an episode plucked at random from the first season DVD set, David Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (David Soul) have been bawled-out by their fulminating chief (Bernie Hamilton), stopped to grab a chilli dog, and jived into The Jungle Club to get the low-down from city-slick supergrass, Huggy Bear (Antonio Vargas). On the way out, a gyrating sex kitten gives Hutch the wink, despite the fact he’s wearing the entire United Colours Of Benetton in a single garment.

For those of a certain age, it’s an entire childhood encapsulated in a turtleneck. Lumbered amongst the detritus of ’70s kitsch, it’s a surprise to recall what a sexy and seminal series this truly was.

For the first time, cops were played as craggy-cool characters, the beats and whistles of their crime-fighting fuelled by the leads’ terrific chemistry and the crisp, wiseacre writing.

The action clicked, too — this is where they invented the bonnet bounce, the rugby-tackle bust and decreed that every car chase needed at least two 180 degree spins to count. Then again, it could just have been that scarlet Gran Torino, a white go-faster stripe borrowed from a jumbo jet, rubber-burning its way around LA. It’s why we all wanted to be Starsky: even if Hutch got the chicks, he got to drive.

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