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Starsky and Hutch

By Tom Keogh

In the rough-and-tumble, wildly entertaining world of Starsky & Hutch, impatient cops--anxious to join a foot race in pursuit of a villain--throw themselves out of moving vehicles and roll to a bruising stop. Undercover detectives Dave Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson (David Soul), hardly imbued with the powers of Spider-Man, routinely scale walls, hop from rooftop to rooftop, and fling themselves down steep hillsides to stop bad guys from doing what bad guys do.

Two years before Hill Street Blues redefined the cop genre as a mesh of overlapping storylines and workaday frustrations, Aaron Spelling's Starsky & Hutch capped a five-year run (1975-1979) portraying LA's finest as madly heroic creatures of reckless determination and physicality. The Complete First Season reminds us how startlingly brutal this primetime series could be while maintaining a delightful, often incongruous, self-deprecating humor.

From the series pilot on, partners and best pals Starsky and Hutch work a fine line between predator and prey, relentlessly pursuing suspects while also snared by crime chieftains or short-sighted superiors. In "The Fix," Hutch's secret romance with the former girlfriend of a mafia boss (Robert Loggia) results in the lawman's kidnapping and forced addiction to heroin. Similarly, in "A Coffin for Starsky," a mad chemist injects the wisecracking cop with a slow-acting but lethal poison. "Jo-Jo," written by Michael Mann, finds our guys at loggerheads with federal officers over a dumb deal the G-Men make with a serial rapist.

The 23 episodes in this set are all fun, if sometimes shocking, viewing. Expect each character to take as much abuse as he dishes out. Still, the comic sight of Starsky and Hutch (in "Death Notice") trying to conduct business amidst busy strippers is well worth the surrounding violence.

Starsky and Hutch on DVD!
Starsky and Hutch is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One, Season Two, Season Three


1976 Ford 'Starsky and Hutch' Torino!

Read more about the Limited Edition 1976 Ford 'Starsky and Hutch' Gran Torino!

Photo by Dale Pratt of Jackson, Mississippi


Starsky & Hutch: The Complete Second Season proves the 1970s ABC series, in its sophomore year, both codified its earliest strengths while continuing to evolve into a sharper, wittier, and often darker show. Contributing to those improvements were the stars themselves: David Soul (who plays maverick police detective, intellectual, and health nut Ken Hutchinson) and Paul Michael Glaser (as Hutch's more impulsive, junk-food-junkie partner Dave Starsky), each of whom directed exemplary episodes in season 2. Series creators also struck a more entertaining balance between the comic and dramatic possibilities inherent in Starsky and Hutch's bluntly honest, fraternal relationship. A number of stories placed the guys in intentionally funny undercover situations: as garish gamblers in the two-part opener "The Las Vegas Strangler;" entertainment directors (named Hack and Zack) on a luxury cruise ship in "Murder at Sea;" gigolo-like dance aficionados in the playfully-titled "Tap Dancing Her Way Right Back into Your Hearts;" and, most amusingly, stunt men in "Murder on Stage 17."

Those are all good shows, and the duo often bicker within them, to great comic effect, like an old married couple. (Soul and Glaser's commitment to their schtick as well as their more emotionally raw collaborations is truly admirable.) But it's the relentlessly tougher episodes that prove each character's mettle and demonstrates the depth of Starsky and Hutch's mutual trust. Among these is the powerful "Gillian," in which Starsky discovers Hutch's classy new girlfriend is a prostitute and breaks the news to his shattered friend. Somewhat lighter but just as revealing is "Little Girl Lost," starring a young Kristy McNichol as an orphaned street urchin whom Hutch, lately in a misanthropic, anti-Christmas mood, takes into his home. Glaser's directorial debut, the harrowing "Bloodbath," gives Soul a lot of room for an intensely physical and psychological performance as Hutch scurries to find his kidnapped partner. Soul returns the favor with "Survival," in which Starsky desperately seeks his missing pal, trapped and slowly dying beneath a car wreck. All in all, a very good season, with (of course) Antonio Fargas still sharp as sidekick Huggy Bear.

 

Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our Starsky and Hutch forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Starsky and Hutch viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

Where can I begin. Two guys on the streets along with Huggy /Bear cleaning up the scum of the city. With their red ford these guys were the main men David /blonde and Paul curly hair really oozed cool and laid back. A must for all cop show enthusiasts.

--navinsanchez

Note: This is just a random sample of the Starsky and Hutch messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

Merchandise!

As you may remember, the creators of Starsky and Hutch were able to cash in on us fans by creating all sorts of toys. I had the electric car with the flashing light on top. It sells quite well on eBay. In fact, here's a listing of Starsky & Hutch items currently up for bid on eBay:

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: 1975-1979

Cast: David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser

Network: ABC

Genre: Police Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of ABC


Starsky and Hutch memorabilia!
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David Soul memorabilia!
David Soul Videos and DVDs!

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Copyright 1994-2017, Super70s.com. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
Privacy Statement
Review copyright Amazon.com and used by permission.