- Time is Running Out for the Future of Game of ThronesPosted 7 days ago
- HBO Grants Game of Thrones Epic Season 4Posted 77 days ago
- Dispute Gets Game of Thrones Actor The Tyson VS Holyfield TreatmentPosted 84 days ago
- Game of Thrones: George R. R. Martin Makes a Cameo in Season 4Posted 87 days ago
- Jon Snow & Ygritte Get Cozy In Game of Thrones Portraits!Posted 89 days ago
- Watch The Newest Game of Thrones Trailer!Posted 91 days ago
- Game of Thrones Season 3 is a Beast Waiting to be StirredPosted 92 days ago
- Game of Thrones Recap: Get Caught Up On Season 2Posted 99 days ago
- Game of Thrones Extended Season 3 Trailer Has Bears, Sex, Flaming Swords and Everything ElsePosted 106 days ago
- Game of Thrones: Shadowed Cast in New Season 3 PostersPosted 107 days ago
NYPD Blog – Brown Appetit (1.03)
When it premiered in 1993, NYPD Blue was a fairly standard TV police drama, except for having the most swearing heard on broadcast TV at the time and more naked butts per episode than a diaper commercial. As we will see in this on-going, episode-by-episode recap, NYPD Blue was a trailblazer for more adult programming on network television not merely for its frank depictions of sex and violence and its use of language, but also because it paid careful attention to the broader themes of masculinity, heroism, father/son relationships, and inner human turmoil.
Season 1, Episode 3
Original Air Date: October 5th, 1993
Three episodes in, and the one thing firmly established is the god-awful episode titles. Just about every episode has a really, really bad pun for a title (This one specifically refers to Sipowicz surreptitiously getting his archenemy Giardella to eat a dog turd; oh, for fun), but fortunately, the viewing audience remained blissfully unaware of these titles. Chalk it up to the writers giving themselves a little (very little) humor for every drama-filled episode.
We’re also getting closer to a regular routine for the detectives and the show. Sipowicz gets taken off desk-duty after he and Lt. Fancy reach an understanding: Sipowicz is an asshole, but he’s a good cop. And he’s actually less likely to get up to shenanigans if he’s actively working. That’s the theory anyways, and it does bear fruit for now, though that can’t last, not with this time-bomb. This scene also firms up Andy’s surrogate fatherhood to John Kelly: when he’s making his case, Sipowicz points out that he “raised that kid.” Neither the death of Kelly’s father nor the (at best) strained relationship Andy has with his own grown son have been mentioned yet, but even without those plot-points, there’s little doubt that Andy and John act as father and son, to each man’s benefit.
Speaking of surrogate daddies, Officer Licalsi’s dad shows up at the beginning of the episode to come clean to her that he was on the take for his 22 years on the job. He wants her to hear it from him before his indictment is made public, and he expresses relief that she was never approached by Marino and his crew. Of course, we know that’s not the case, but Janice can’t confide in anybody about all this. Kelly is still pissed off at her for murdering Marino, the guy behind it all, and getting away with it, and she sure can’t call Loveline with this jackpot. But then her dad goes and has a gun-cleaning “accident” at the end of the episode, giving Amy Brenneman some pretty ace Emmy-reel material with her mourning speech. Kelly’s heart begins to melt, and we can see that it’s pretty likely these two are going to give it another go. Now that Licalsi doesn’t have her daddy anymore, Kelly’s gonna have to fill that void. It’s kind of a drag that Licalsi’s psychology would be so transparent, y’know, so obvious. It’d be nice if she could be a strong, feminine cop who needn’t run to Kelly every time she needed a hug. Hell, it’d be nice if she ever actually got to do cop stuff on this show, but I’m hard-pressed to think of any role her character plays on this show besides Kelly’s on/off girlfriend. But then again, she is a human being, which is played nicely, so it’s not out of character or anything. Just kinda ho-hum.
As far as police work goes, this episode almost breaks down into the standard two-case formula to which the show will stick for almost every episode of its run. The first involves a little old lady who’s brutally beaten, robbed, and murdered in her own home. Kelly and Martinez eventually track down the DiLeo brothers, a couple of junkies, one of which is played by a very young Michael Rapaport, which is nice to see even if he ain’t given much to do. Their mother, the victim’s friend and neighbor, doesn’t want to give her sons up to the cops, but it’s Sipowicz of all people who gets her to move. He plays the prayer card—“Do you believe in God, Mrs. DiLeo?”—and it actually works.
This is the first time God’s been mentioned on the show, and though it’s a bit odd in retrospect that Sipowicz would cite Him as an authority, the scene actually plays out well enough to fit in with Andy’s later anti-God tendencies. Like Andy knows this old lady will be Catholic enough to tumble for that move, but that just means he’s an astute judge of human nature, not a holy man himself (which he ain’t). I don’t wanna give too much away here, because there will be plenty of time to discuss Sipowicz’s (and my) raging atheism later. Suffice it to say, the Lois Eisler murder is Andy’s reintroduction to regular detective work, and though Martinez is sad that he has to go back to Anti-Crime, at least Kelly gave him a nickname.
The other “case” is actually some moonlighting Kelly is doing as a bodyguard for wealthy society wife Susan Wagner, played by Wendie Malick. Malick is mostly known, then and now, for her comedic work, from Dream On to Just Shoot Me to Hot in Cleveland, and she is as much of a delight on this show as she is on those others, even if it’s a very different sort of role. Kelly is supposed to be protecting her from general New York dangers, I suppose, but it turns out she needs more protection from her rich asshole husband, who apparently only comes home from his extramarital trysts to beat the shit out of her. The minor role of a beaten housewife, rich or poor, has been a primetime TV staple since at least the ‘70s, yet I’ve never seen it played with such delicacy and dignity as Malick brings to this part. Thanks again, NYPD Blue, for being such a comfortable home for great character actors. This, I believe, will be the legacy of David Milch: writing perfect parts for actors who should be household names, but likely never will be.
Oh, I almost forgot: this episode marks the first appearance of Detective Greg Medavoy, as played by Gordon Clapp, likely my second favorite regular actor on this show. Medavoy doesn’t have a whole lot to do on this episode, but he’s pretty much a total package. Apparently, the way Clapp won this role was by stammering and repeating himself during his audition. This tic would serve to bring about the Medavoy character in one tidy little bundle. For example, his only role in this episode is that he needs Andy to dog-sit for him while Andy’s on desk-duty. We know nothing about Medavoy here, but from the way he stammers and pleads, we know he’s pretty much a nebbish. Plus, he’s kind of a slave to his domestic situation: can’t leave the dog at home, the wife’s out of town. Medavoy will constantly have to overcome these sorts of things throughout the series, like he’s the writers’ punching bag, but some of the most fun episodes are watching him work to overcome this stuff, and how great Clapp is at getting us to emotionally invest in the most unlikely homicide detective in the great city of New York.
Okay, kids, I know I said we’d go into David Schwimmer’s brief tenure on this show, but the clock on the wall tells me we gotta wait for next time. Until then, good night and may God bless.