Created by: Paul Stojanovich and John Langley
Starring: the men and women of law enforcement
- Includes the discs: Cops: Shots Fired, Cops: Caught In the Act, and Cops: Bad Girls
- Bonus Footage: Too Hot for TV
Released by: Fox
Anamorphic: N/A; content appears in its original 1.33:1 format
My Advice: Rent it if you need to feel morally superior.
The police procedural has been a staple of television since the beginning, from Dragnet to Adam-12 to Hill Street Blues. So filming actual cops catching actual criminals is a no-brainer. Still, the success of Cops is impressive with the show in its fifteenth season. Of course, the cinema veritÃ© style is engrossing, but I think it has more to do with seeing crooks acting like complete dumb asses, especially in front of the police. And while most reality shows reward their participants with cash and prizes for their stupid and reprehensible behavior, Cops arrests them and sometimes adds a nightstick beating or a zap with a tazer. It just feels right.
[ad#longpost]So Fox has issued three DVD compilations so you can have that feeling of ethical superiority at any time. They are Bad Girls, which focuses on the female of the criminal species, Caught in the Act which focuses on crooks who are somewhat exhibitionistic in their crimes, and Shots Fired, which focuses on when police need to use overwhelming force in the form of bullets or electricity.
Each DVD gives a sampler on its subject. For instance, Bad Girls goes from a skank dancing half-naked on a car hood to a catfight on a front lawn to a mother running drugs with kids in the back seat. Still with fifteen years of shows available to the editors, you think they could have found some more interesting clips. There are really only a couple of clips in each disc I would rate as wild or outrageous. In Caught In the Act, you do see a cop car get smashed by a drunk driver with the cameraman in it, but you also get cops just happening onto a house with marijuana growing in it, but no perp to arrest. Most of the clips are too low-key to really catch your interest. Since this is the first DVD release for the series, you’d think they want to put their best foot forward. And what’s worst, the clips are censored. That’s right, just like when they were broadcast with the bad language bleeped out and people’s naughty bits blurred out. If you’ve going to bother putting the warning labels on, you should be able to see it all raw and uncensored.
But then the DVD couldn’t advertise the sole feature of extra footage that is uncensored. The so-called bonus footage is just scenes from the show without bleeping or blurring. Frankly, yawn. If I want to see naked people I’ll rent porn, and foul language is nothing to get excited about. Especially with the inarticulate idiots that are cussing out the police–they’re not even cursing in new and interesting ways. With Cops still putting out new episodes and in syndication on several different channels, I’d skip the DVDs and hope they put out some better ones later.