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Crime Never Looked So Good: NYPD Blue Revisited

The 90s were full of gritty, crime dramas that captivated audiences with their realistic portrayals of the dark underbelly of society. One of the most iconic shows of this era was “NYPD Blue,” which aired on ABC from 1993 to 2005. In this article, we’ll revisit this classic show and explore why it continues to be a must-watch for anyone who loves a good crime drama.

The Premise of NYPD Blue

“NYPD Blue” takes place in the gritty streets of New York and follows the lives of the detectives of the 15th precinct. The show was revolutionary for its time due to its realism and gritty portrayal of police work. Throughout its 12-season run, the show tackled heavy topics such as domestic abuse, racism, and addiction, showing both the good and bad sides of police work.

The Characters of NYPD Blue

One of the reasons why “NYPD Blue” has stood the test of time is its cast of memorable characters. The show’s lead character, Detective Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz, is a recovering alcoholic who struggles with anger issues while attempting to become a better man. His partner, Detective John Kelly, played by David Caruso, is a ladies’ man who struggles to balance his work with his personal life.

Other memorable characters include Lieutenant Arthur Fancy, played by James McDaniel, who is the commanding officer of the precinct and a mentor to many of the show’s younger detectives. Detective Diane Russell, played by Kim Delaney, is a strong-willed woman who is a talented detective, while Detective Greg Medavoy, played by Gordon Clapp, is a lovable but bumbling detective who often provides comic relief.

The Impact of NYPD Blue

“NYPD Blue” had a significant impact on the television landscape when it premiered in 1993. The show was hailed for its realism and its willingness to tackle difficult topics head-on. It was one of the first shows to feature nudity and profanity on network television, paving the way for other shows to follow suit. “NYPD Blue” also helped to launch the careers of many of its actors, including David Caruso, who went on to star in the hit show “CSI: Miami.”

Why You Should Revisit NYPD Blue

Even though “NYPD Blue” ended its run over a decade ago, it’s still worth revisiting for several reasons. For one, the show’s stories and characters are timeless. While the show tackled many issues that were relevant to the 90s, such as the O.J. Simpson trial and the effects of the Gulf War, the show’s themes are still relevant today. “NYPD Blue” also set the bar for what a gritty crime drama should be, and its influence can still be seen in many of the shows that followed it.

Furthermore, “NYPD Blue” is an excellent example of a show that was able to balance drama with humor. While the show tackled heavy topics, it also had its fair share of lighthearted moments, thanks to characters such as Detective Medavoy and Detective Eddie Gibson, played by John F. O’Donohue.


In conclusion, “NYPD Blue” is a classic show that continues to be a must-watch for fans of gritty crime dramas. Its memorable characters, realistic portrayal of police work, and willingness to tackle difficult topics head-on make it a show that stands the test of time. So, if you’re in the mood for a show that will keep you on the edge of your seat while also providing some laughs, “NYPD Blue” is definitely worth revisiting.

Have you watched “NYPD Blue”? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.