Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Kromm

Barney Miller

Recommended Posts

The last few nights, we've seen Joe Regalbuto (Frank Fontana from Murphy Brown) as an over-zealous sanitation cop, Richard Stahl (who was on a zillion shows and movies, but his most steady role seems to be as Howard the Chef on It's A Living) and Barney Martin (Morty Seinfeld from Seinfeld) as a guy who punched a newspaper reporter for publishing his obituary when he wasn't dead.

Edited by funky-rat
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/7/2018 at 6:17 AM, The Crazed Spruce said:

If anyone's got Canadian cable or lives in the Hamilton, Ontario area, CHCH airs it at 5pm Eastern, 7 nights a week.

And just a few days after I posted this, it moved to 1:30 pm, Monday thru Friday. (And for what it's worth, they just started over with Season 1 this past week.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The show just started over on Antenna TV.  Monday night started with the first episode.  What sucks is that it was pre-empted on Tuesday for election coverage.  My husband had never seen the show, and started in to it last run around the time Fish left.  I'll have to find Season 1 episodes 3 & 4 somewhere for him to watch.  At least the episodes generally aren't linked, so he's not missing something key.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

My husband and I have started making a game out of looking for familiar faces.

We saw Rosanna DeSoto for the 2nd time last night (as a hooker, and in another episode as a woman being evicted from her building). He said "It's Ritchie Valens' mom!".

Also saw Nancy Dussalt, who was Muriel Rush on Too Close For Comfort.

Last night was Vic Tayback, who was best known as Mel Sharples from Alice, and the aforementioned Brett Somers as his wife.  I had forgotten just how funny "The Stakeout" was.  Wojo is just hilarious.  When he's all jacked up about bringing grenades and whatnot (just in case), and then they ask him if he brought anything to sit on...….

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, funky-rat said:

I'll have to find Season 1 episodes 3 & 4 somewhere for him to watch.

I think most of them are on YouTube. The format is crappy, but the versions on TV aren't great either. Sadly, they weren't thinking of posterity when they made them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I think I've now seen all the episodes. I wish there were more.

Everyone on the show calls Barney "Barney" but they all, including Barney, call everyone else by their last names. I don't know why that was so noticeable to me, but it never stopped striking me as funny in some way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/1/2018 at 11:46 AM, possibilities said:

Well, I think I've now seen all the episodes. I wish there were more.

Everyone on the show calls Barney "Barney" but they all, including Barney, call everyone else by their last names. I don't know why that was so noticeable to me, but it never stopped striking me as funny in some way.

It is the paramilitary thing. Even tough some were Sergeants and others just Detectives they were peers so last name only as most "troops" in a unit know each other and the name tag while in uniform reads.   Barney was the boss when speaking informally as 'Miller" would be for a peer and Captain Miller formally.

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/1/2018 at 1:46 PM, possibilities said:

Everyone on the show calls Barney "Barney" but they all, including Barney, call everyone else by their last names. I don't know why that was so noticeable to me, but it never stopped striking me as funny in some way.

1 hour ago, Raja said:

. . . military thing . . . last name only as most "troops" in a unit know each other and the name tag while in uniform reads.

In the second half of the 60s decade (close to the time of this show) when I was in middle school (we called it "junior high school") and high school, most (if not all) teachers called us (both girls and boys) by our last names--which I don't think is still done--and I don't know when it stopped (if it did).
Considering that 1960s teachers would have come of age during WWII, perhaps this too was related to the military culture
(which was popular and glamorized at the time--especially before VietNam, but its cultural influence may have held on beyond that unpopular war).
Also, there were often not that many different first names; there were typically 3 of us with my first name--it wasn't "shapeshifter," heh.
So using last names helped with that confusion too, but wouldn't be relevant in Barney's 12th precinct.

Share this post


Link to post

But Inspector Lugar participated in the same etiquette-- saying "Barney"  while "Barney" called him "Inspector"-- and would it really be more respectful for subordinates to call "Barney" by his first name rather than "Captain"?

Clearly they got along fine, so it's not really a problem. I guess I just don't understand protocol.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

In the second half of the 60s decade (close to the time of this show) when I was in middle school (we called it "junior high school") and high school, most (if not all) teachers called us (both girls and boys) by our last names

I'm not doubting the truth of this, but it doesn't at all match my experience (in the same period) or that of people I got to know from other schools. I associate the "surname-only" practice with military schools, or upper-class prep schools (especially the British ones I saw in TV and movies).

8 hours ago, possibilities said:

But Inspector Lugar participated in the same etiquette-- saying "Barney"  while "Barney" called him "Inspector"-- and would it really be more respectful for subordinates to call "Barney" by his first name rather than "Captain"?

Clearly they got along fine, so it's not really a problem. I guess I just don't understand protocol.

To me, this was just something the series decided to be unrealistic about (really, they would have addressed him as "Captain") for the sake of the audience -- because he was the title character of the series, and somebody thought it would be odd if his name was never heard.

Share this post


Link to post
41 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

I'm not doubting the truth of this, but it doesn't at all match my experience (in the same period) or that of people I got to know from other schools. I associate the "surname-only" practice with military schools, or upper-class prep schools (especially the British ones I saw in TV and movies).

To me, this was just something the series decided to be unrealistic about (really, they would have addressed him as "Captain") for the sake of the audience -- because he was the title character of the series, and somebody thought it would be odd if his name was never heard.

I think it was more a change in society during the period, and Captain Miller was at the forefront of that as he rose through the ranks. He would encourage less formality thus "Barney" to his command, where as Miller would seem weird as if they were peers. Inspector Lugar is a special case in that he thinks of Barney as among the generation of cops he mentored from the old days. And while Captain Miller was rejecting the old blue line ways he was not going to directly confront the old guard Inspector

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

n't at all match my experience (in the same period) or that of people I got to know from other schools. I associate the "surname-only" practice with military schools, or upper-class prep schools (especially the British ones I saw in TV and movies

It might have been regional too (Midwest/far north Chicago suburbs) like so many word usages in this sprawling country.

Another possibility for the show's convention of using last names for all the characters except Barney, might have been to emphasize his humanity, which I think was done in other ways as well.

I was alternately put off and amused by the other characters calling him just "Barn" later in the show, which seemed to serve to make him even more familiar to both his coworkers and the audience.

Inspector Luger kind of turned this use of the shortened nickname on its head by calling Harris "Har" and even shortening Wojo to "Woj" in spite of the fact that he was never close to any of them.

Edited by shapeshifter

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

It might have been regional too (Midwest/far north Chicago suburbs) like so many word usages in this sprawling country.

That seems a less likely hypothesis to me, as I was close by in the near north Chicago suburbs (Morton Grove, Skokie). But anything's possible, I guess.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Another thing that I found confusing was that they were a detective squad, but seemed to go out on routine calls. We occasionally saw them actually doing detective work, but a lot of the time they went out on things I'd have thought regular uniform cops would do.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, possibilities said:

Another thing that I found confusing was that they were a detective squad, but seemed to go out on routine calls. We occasionally saw them actually doing detective work, but a lot of the time they went out on things I'd have thought regular uniform cops would do.

As late as the most hated detective in the Law & Order franchise Nina Cassidy NYPD had a reputation, win a gun battle and get your detective shield. so before the time of ESU and the SWAT teams when something went down the detective squad broke out the shotguns and took over from that officer on foot patrol. So instead of working murder, vice etc the detective squad seemed to be the local quick reaction force as well as taking over the paper work burden of the patrols and eyes on the street.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/4/2018 at 3:54 PM, possibilities said:

Another thing that I found confusing was that they were a detective squad, but seemed to go out on routine calls. We occasionally saw them actually doing detective work, but a lot of the time they went out on things I'd have thought regular uniform cops would do.

 

On 12/4/2018 at 5:36 PM, Raja said:

As late as the most hated detective in the Law & Order franchise Nina Cassidy NYPD had a reputation, win a gun battle and get your detective shield. so before the time of ESU and the SWAT teams when something went down the detective squad broke out the shotguns and took over from that officer on foot patrol. So instead of working murder, vice etc the detective squad seemed to be the local quick reaction force as well as taking over the paper work burden of the patrols and eyes on the street.

And "beyond the win a gun battle, get your shield" thing most of the NYPD's detectives came out of the T.P.F. (Tactical Patrol Force) which was a riot-police/Anti-Crime/quick reaction force unit that was known for it's toughness which was another reason that detective squads served as backup/extra muscle. I'm not enough of a historian to know if that continued all the way through the Barney Miller era as it was a time of a lot of changes and reforms in the NYPD, but it was certainly the case throughout the 60's and into the early 70's and would have been there in any research they did and any stories the writers and producers heard.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/8/2018 at 3:48 PM, funky-rat said:

My husband and I have started making a game out of looking for familiar faces.

An even better show to do that with is Columbo.  Although maybe an argument back for Barney Miller is it's a few years later, so more of those faces in the background are still working.

Oh, and if you can stand the cheese, Love Boat.  Not the big name guests who were contemporary stars, or the has beens who were nostalgia/stunt casting, but the 2nd string guest cast who helped fill out the episodes a bit. You can often spot people who later got more famous in those.

Share this post


Link to post

A place to link or embed clips.

 

To start... a clip which isn't "Ha ha" funny, but which is all about Abe Vigoda and Jack Soo being utterly deadpan.

 

 

 

And here's some great footage from one of everybody's favorite episodes... the Hash Brownie one.

 

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Kromm said:

To start... a clip which isn't "Ha ha" funny, but which is all about Abe Vigoda and Jack Soo being utterly deadpan

Deadpan delivery was highly valued then. Nowadays Fallon and others crack up.  I wonder if they feel the need to let the audience know it's supposed to be funny. I prefer deadpan.

 

3 hours ago, Kromm said:

And here's some great footage from one of everybody's favorite episodes... the Hash Brownie one.

And an excellent example of the correct use of the triple negative: "I ain't never gonna feel no better."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Re-watching, I notice they re-use actors for the cases of the week, fairly often, it seems.

Also, it always makes me laugh that Lugar calls Dietrich "D.D."-- I don't even know why he does it. They're not particularly close, and it's not his initials, since Dietrich's first name is Arthur. But it seems affectionate in some way that really has no apparent explanation.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, possibilities said:

me laugh that Lugar calls Dietrich "D.D."-- I don't even know why he does it. They're not particularly close, and it's not his initials, since Dietrich's first name is Arthur. But it seems affectionate in some way that really has no apparent explanation.

Sorry if "I don't even know why he does it" means you don't want any reasons, but on the outside chance that you do, I see it as Lugar substituting the appearance of a close relationship (in which nicknames are used) for his lack of real human relationships, due to his almost sociopathic lack of real empathy.

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, possibilities said:

Oh, I knew he did it to create a sense of familiarity that wasn't really there, but why "DD" when his initials are "AD"? The randomness is what makes me laugh.

This might be our answer (sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=318251):

Quote

I've seen several posts mentioning they were puzzled as to why Luger was fond of call Dietrich DD. I thought it was obvious-it stands for "Detective Dietrich"

notice I used the familiar "our" ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/20/2018 at 1:21 PM, Wilbur Whateley said:

Makes me wonder if we ever see downstairs, even for a moment.

Inside, no. But we do see the OUTSIDE in the original version of the credits. 

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/4/2018 at 12:54 PM, possibilities said:

Another thing that I found confusing was that they were a detective squad, but seemed to go out on routine calls. We occasionally saw them actually doing detective work, but a lot of the time they went out on things I'd have thought regular uniform cops would do.

The 2 part episode Homicide (1980) just aired where Inspector Luger was pushing for his favorites in the 12th into homicide unit and Barney pushing back, him being against specialty detective squads since they stop being police and see everything through the filter of their specialty. In the end they were all relieved to find themselves in the general pool and not seeing constant stream of murders

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Can someone explain to me how the rankings translate into specific job functions? When Barney finally becomes "deputy inspector" in the finale, what does that imply he will be doing for now on? I know it's a promotion, but what does it involve in terms of duties?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Calling any NYPD historian. The Inspector question reminds me of Wojo being dissatisfied when he finally made Sergeant and had the exact same duties he had as Detective 3. But then again every fictional NYPD Detective Sergeant except Olivia Benson on SVU seemed to have the exact same duties as plain detectives. Meanwhile uniformed Sergeants made a big jump from the duties of patrolman. And when those characters got promoted they made a big deal about him being a street cop in his heart needing the action as a field supervisor.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Watching the early episodes, I noticed that Harris was not a sergeant in the beginning. But I don't remember there being a story about him getting the promotion.

I don't know why I'm so caught up by this show. But I am.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎12‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 8:10 AM, Raja said:

Calling any NYPD historian. The Inspector question reminds me of Wojo being dissatisfied when he finally made Sergeant and had the exact same duties he had as Detective 3. But then again every fictional NYPD Detective Sergeant except Olivia Benson on SVU seemed to have the exact same duties as plain detectives. Meanwhile uniformed Sergeants made a big jump from the duties of patrolman. And when those characters got promoted they made a big deal about him being a street cop in his heart needing the action as a field supervisor.

I don't know about the police, but I do know some people who work for the state where I live.  There are varying "levels" of some jobs, and the differences between them, save for pay and a few other perks, is minimal at best.  They choose your level based on testing, and the higher level you are, the more priority you have for transfers, promotions, etc.  I would assume with police it would be similar.  Once you make the jump from uniform/beat cop to detective, I would imagine the rest of it is minimal as you move up the ranks, until you hit something like Captain.

Share this post


Link to post

Barney is already a Captain, though. Deputy Inspector is something above that. I think it was implied that he wasn't going to manage a precinct anymore, but they didn't say what he was going to do.

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/24/2018 at 12:19 AM, possibilities said:

Can someone explain to me how the rankings translate into specific job functions? When Barney finally becomes "deputy inspector" in the finale, what does that imply he will be doing for now on? I know it's a promotion, but what does it involve in terms of duties?

Typically a Deputy Inspector would be working in a position that involves supervising more than one precinct, either on their own or on the staff of a chief. It's the first rank where there is no civil service exam required or union, so there is also more dealing with the "political" aspects.

 

On 12/24/2018 at 8:10 AM, Raja said:

Calling any NYPD historian. The Inspector question reminds me of Wojo being dissatisfied when he finally made Sergeant and had the exact same duties he had as Detective 3. But then again every fictional NYPD Detective Sergeant except Olivia Benson on SVU seemed to have the exact same duties as plain detectives. Meanwhile uniformed Sergeants made a big jump from the duties of patrolman. And when those characters got promoted they made a big deal about him being a street cop in his heart needing the action as a field supervisor.

I'm not an NYPD historian, but I do have some familiarity with the subject. I think the biggest reasons that there doesn't seem to be a difference in fiction is that the differences tend to be in the parts of the job that don't make for good story telling. I don't think most viewers want an in-depth exploration of leadership as a senior detective vs. supervision as a sergeant or the new paperwork they fill out. As far as Wojo is concerned in the real NYPD a detective who is promoted to Sergeant goes back to uniform after training so it wouldn't be an issue!

Edited by wknt3
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 1:59 PM, possibilities said:

Barney is already a Captain, though. Deputy Inspector is something above that. I think it was implied that he wasn't going to manage a precinct anymore, but they didn't say what he was going to do.

Correct, but Wojo was saying that when he went from Detective 3 to Sergeant that he didn't really notice any difference, and as someone else here mentioned, a lot of it is in the paperwork you're responsible for, etc - stuff that doesn't make for good TV.  I had said that the differences moving up the "lower" ranks were probably not great UNTIL you reached something like Captain, where you'd be responsible for supervision, scheduling, etc.  Just judging on what Lugar does on the show, I'd say Deputy Inspector is a go-between for the commissioner and the precincts.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm finding the sexism harder to tolerate on 2nd viewing. They keep having women coming in to report sexual offenses and they universally mock the women. It's upsetting. I just saw the episode where a lonely woman accuses Deitrich of lewd behavior because she's attracted to him? What the hell? Then there are a few women who complain of their husbands assaulting them, and the guys laugh about it. It's disturbing.

I liked all the women detectives they introduced, but none of them lasted more than a few episodes.

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, possibilities said:

I'm finding the sexism harder to tolerate on 2nd viewing. They keep having women coming in to report sexual offenses and they universally mock the women. It's upsetting. I just saw the episode where a lonely woman accuses Deitrich of lewd behavior because she's attracted to him? What the hell? Then there are a few women who complain of their husbands assaulting them, and the guys laugh about it. It's disturbing.

I liked all the women detectives they introduced, but none of them lasted more than a few episodes.

I always see these plots as pointing out sexism rather than excusing it, just like I don't think making Wojo an at times stereotypical, not-to-bright, Polish American is supposed to excuse "Polack" jokes, because at least as often they have Wojo dispense folksy wisdom that totally eclipses Barney's.
However, at least on these boards, I seem to be pretty much alone in this opinion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×