The brain child of Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll, the Hill depicted 'day to day' events in an honest way that had not really been seen on TV cop shows before. Every other TV Police Drama owes a debt to The Hill.
It’s hard to quantify the importance of this show, from it’s depth of characters, to its poignant and iconic theme tune. A sketch of some of the characters that defined the show are;
Capt. Frank Furillo
the Captain of Hill Street and the glue who held everyone together. Many a management style is characterised by the question "how would Frank handle this?"
Public Defender Joyce, was also Furillo's girlfriend and wife an adversary and confidante.
Sgt. Lucy Bates
a tough street wise cop, with a gentler flip side.
Frank’s wife and mother to his son Frank Jr. Frequent visitor and agitator.
Det. John (J.D.) LaRue
Recovering alcoholic, chancer and ladies man 'JD' was partnered with Neal Washington. Beneath his habitual mistakes there lay a great cop.
Det. Neal Washington
The cool cop who was nearly always right about things. JDs conscience and a real cops cop
Sgt Phil Esterhaus
His 'roll call' spawned the immortal catchphrase "Let's be careful out there."
Super cop and compulsive gambler in a dramatic storyline he loses his life when he stumbles on a robbery
Howard 'heads up' the EAT (Emergency Action Team) Squad this former military man is always ready with a tactical solution.
Lt. Henry Goldblume
The flip side of Howard Hunter. A sensitive and deeply dedicated community affairs officer. None more scrupulous
The show also had a number of 'future stars' appearing in minor roles and their quality is what added to the overall depth of the show. some of those actors; Wesley Snipes,Forest Whittaker,David Caruso, Lyndsey Cruise, Jennifer Tilly, Danny Glover, Andy Garcia, James Remar,Michael Biehn and Tim Robbins to name a few
There’s two kinds of Cop shows on TV; those before Hill Street Blues and those after.
Link to 4OD full length versions
I would advise starting around season 3/4