I take breaks to divide up the research for my Unschooled Master of Theology Program, trying to avoid burnout, and the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting my cop fix with NYPD Blue. It’s been several years since it was on television, though binge watching all twelve seasons is a great way to break up reading and research strain.
So, lets jump in and talk about one of the best shows in television history. Maybe the best show ever…
Best Show Ever
There are only a handful of shows I’ve watched over the years that I can justify saying they are the best show ever. Really? Ever? That seems rather far fetched. But, last night I finished up watching NYPD Blue and I’ve come away with that exact conclusion.
It literally is the best show ever.
Not just the writing or the plot, but the characters really make the show what it is. And, in the end, that is true for all great shows. Characters. Lieutenant Fancy. John Kelly. James Martinez. Greg, Diane, Bobby Simone, and, of course, Andy Sipowicz.
I’m not certain if the creators of the show intended it from the inception or if it just kind of took on a life of its own, but NYPD Blue is not really about cops. Yes, they are all cops and it’s about cops, but really the show is about Andy. About his life. The transformation he goes through from typical falling down drunk detective to, in the end, taking of the Squad and, as Bobby’s ghost told him, taking on the roll of Teacher.
He certainly had his fair share of troubles and heart aches. Losing a grown son to violence. Losing his second wife the same way. But, like the biblical character Job, Andy got it all back and then some. And, in the end, he settles his life being promoted to Sargent, getting the chance to command and be a Boss, to watch over those in his command. He sums it up best when trying to convince his superior to give him the job, “This is all there is. It’s the last job I’ll ever have. It’s the only thing I’ll ever want to do.”
Like Baldwin said just before leaving that final episode, “If you had any doubts that you could run this squad, you put those doubts to rest today, Andy. I’ll be proud to serve under your command.”
Best Relationship Ever
Through its twelve seasons on television, NYPD Blue sparked controversy, entertained, terrified and elated us all. But I will never think of a relationship more poignant, more uplifting than the relationship that developed between Andy and Connie. This is another one I’m not certain if they planned from the outset or if it just took on a life of its own. But the fact that Andy not only got a second chance with Sylvia and “the baby,” only to have Sylvia taken from him with the shooting in the courthouse, just goes to illustrate how frail life really is. It can be beautiful, it can be exhausting, it can be surprising.
But, despite all the loss Andy suffered throughout his life, he could hardly deny he was an unbelievably lucky man. I was first exposed to Charlotte Ross when I was a kid during the summers when I got hooked watching Days of Our Lives. But, when she came on NYPD Blue, she was a totally different character, older, feisty. I’ll never forget the episode where she’s in the bathroom of the bar and discovers the hidden camera and goes after the bar owner, dragging him into the stall to see he’d been caught red handed.
In the end, though, the magic between Connie and Andy was contageous. Someone might ask why in the world she would be attracted to, as he said himself “a mutt like me,” but I think I understand pretty well. She had a lot of loss in her life when she was young and I think that made it difficult for her to connect to people her own age. Now, here she was, working with this older man, this confident, assertive, effective man who, as she put it, “I feel safe when I’m with him.” She knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, at Andy’s side, she would always be protected and would always feel loved and safe.
It wasn’t the perfect fairytale, especially when Connie’s niece came into the picture after her sister was killed. But, they quickly made it work, and they tied up all the loose ends with a secret wedding and a third baby on the way.
Recommend for Yearly Watch
As with a lot of my favorite television shows over the years, I recommend everyone watch NYPD Blue. I usually watch it at least once every year or two and it’s just as good, as if I’m watching it for the very first time all over again.
It’s one of those few shows like the Sopranos or Law & Order that I can watch again and again and never grow tired of it.
Until the next time I watch it….
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Excerpt from Our Daughter:
“Okay, mom,” Randy said.
“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”
The woman turned and started back the way she came.
“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”
“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.
As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.
He was low crawling under the beds toward her.
A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.
“Hello, there,” Katie said.
Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.
“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.
For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.
“Why are – ”
Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”
Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”
“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.
“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”
“Why are you – ”
Randy stopped mid-sentence.
He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to her on all fours.
“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.
“What are you?” Randy echoed.
He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.
“What are you staring at me for?”
“I’ve never – ”
Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.
“Are you some kind of ghost?”
He looked around again.
“Are you – ”
He leaned in, talking in a whisper.
“Are you dead?”
A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.
“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”
Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.
She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.
Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.
Are you dead?
What kind of question was that?
The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.
The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.
He was his surgeon.
They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.
The pre-op room was empty again.
Are you dead?
What kind of crazy question was that?
The nurse came back through the double doors.
“It won’t be long now,” she said.
Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.
The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.
Buy my book Our Daughter and begin the adventure of a lifetime, as you uncover the mysteries behind Katie Cadora’s new life after the horrible accident that stole her mother away from her. Will she find sure footing again? Will the pain ever stop? Will she discover the secrets her new foster family are keeping from her? Is the boy’s question right? Is Katie Cadora actually dead?
Click here and grab your copy today and jump into this Witch Gnostic Heresy trilogy with both feet!
But, trust me when I tell you, there are deceivers in our midsts! Get started in this bone chilling suspense novel right away and find out why….sometimes….you’re just better off DEAD!