Homicide’s Seventh Season

People who know me very well know that I love my Homicide: Life on the Street. Last year when they finally released the entire series in a single set, I pre-ordered. And those who know me well know that I don’t pre-order jack! Since that beautiful autumn day when the kind delivery man brought my beloved DVDs to my doorstep, I have been slighting season seven, refering to it in my mind as “The Homicide Spin-off.”

But this week I started watching that spin-off. In some ways, I still feel that it lacks some of what I loved about the preceding seasons: that perfect blend of color-drained melancholy and droll humor. And the absence of Andre Braugher is tough on me, even to this day. But this week I have been developing a new appreciation for this least-loved season.

Last night I watched “The Twenty Percent Solution,” directed by Clark Johnson. I had dismissed this light-hearted (well, as light-hearted as a show called Homicide gets) episode. But last night I laughed openly and gleefully at many points. The episode begins with my one of my favorite Homicide scenes ever: the making of the definitive list of hip Jews. When Sammy Davis, Jr. comes up, he’s rejected because, as Sheppard and Mike Giardello argue, black is hip. Falsone protests:

Falsone: So you’re saying all black people are hip?
Lewis: Name one who ain’t.
Falsone: George Washington Carver.
Mike Giardello: Please. How many things can a white man do with a peanut?
Munch: Shelled or unshelled?
Falsone: I got one. Meldrick Lewis.
Munch: Well, he is black.
Bayliss: Yep.
Mike Giardello: But not particularly hip.
Bayliss: Nope.
Lewis: What you talkin’ about Willis?
Sheppard: Point taken.

That’s a great scene that you just have to see for yourself. Plus, the episode stands alone, which I just love. Anyway, “The Twenty Percent Solution” has made me want to take another look at season seven, which I shall! 🙂


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