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Barney Miller

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56 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

1975-1982 I was in my 20s and 30s but living without a TV and mostly wearing homemade clothes and making my own granola, LOL.
So I've watched it as reruns and can't recall that episode.
However, even though the show was very socially progressive for its time, there was also no hesitation to demonstrate prejudices, with Wojo and Inspector Luger often representing the unelightened, Barney being more enlightened but still a regular guy of the times, Nick often being a target of anti-Asian remarks which he handled with wonderful aplomb, and Levitt being at times unelightened and other times a target which made him somewhat aware/woke. 
So. 
All that to say that I wonder if Levitt's short stature was part of the target of his plain clothes derision? IDK. Was he wearing boys' styles? 

Yeah, but Harris was a weird outlier. The show wisely didn't usually mock him for the typical racial reasons, but instead flipped him so HE was the one often doing the mocking. He was deliberately made a snob in many ways.  He certainly was the counterpoint to the others in terms of being fashionable. 

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Once Dietrich handed out party invitations.  Someone asked why he had put "black tie optional."  He said, "Most of us will be in jeans, but I don't want to inhibit anyone sartorially."

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1 hour ago, Kromm said:

Yeah, but Harris was a weird outlier. The show wisely didn't usually mock him for the typical racial reasons, but instead flipped him so HE was the one often doing the mocking. He was deliberately made a snob in many ways.  He certainly was the counterpoint to the others in terms of being fashionable. 

Could the show be considered ahead of its time for that episode in which Harris was racially profiled? 
 

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56 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Could the show be considered ahead of its time for that episode in which Harris was racially profiled? 
 

Is that the episode where Harris was shot at by a rookie white policeman @shapeshifter?

I feel that situation would have to have been played much darker now.

Speaking of Harris, on a lighter note, I like the way that he and Dietrich eventually come to routinely call each other "Ron" and "Arthur" as they become more friendly.

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28 minutes ago, roseha said:

Is that the episode where Harris was shot at by a rookie white policeman @shapeshifter?

I feel that situation would have to have been played much darker now.

Speaking of Harris, on a lighter note, I like the way that he and Dietrich eventually come to routinely call each other "Ron" and "Arthur" as they become more friendly.

Yes. That’s the one. I thought it did strike a more serious tone than most episodes, but I haven’t seen it in a while. 

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Just now, shapeshifter said:

Yes. That’s the one. I thought it did strike a more serious tone than most episodes, but I haven’t seen it in a while. 

Oh I think it did strike a more serious tone and I don't mean to say it didn't - though it's been awhile since I've seen it also - but I wonder if it was filmed today, would the story maybe take up the whole episode or become a two-parter?  

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Even though the show's attitude toward gay people looks insulting by today's standards, I remember when the show first aired, it was a HUGE deal how much better it was than anyone expected, and it was hailed as really favorable. 

 

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1 hour ago, possibilities said:

Even though the show's attitude toward gay people looks insulting by today's standards, I remember when the show first aired, it was a HUGE deal how much better it was than anyone expected, and it was hailed as really favorable. 

I see the show as very progressive WRT sexual orientation for its time. I think it would be disingenuous to show it as being more acceptable than it was because that would obscure the issue. I see the episode that deals with marital rape in the same light, perhaps because I was an adult in that era.

The diversity of the squad, OTOH, was not realistic, and instead mirrored the idealistic integration shown on many TV shows of that time, but better, IMO, because instead of a white male lead crime fighter and his black male crime fighting sidekick, here we at least have white Wojo a lower rank than the Black and Asian Sergeants.

Barney being white and the captain seems in keeping with the realistic nature of the show, although likely too, TPTB would’ve worried that the audience wasn’t ready for something else. 
However, at the time I lived in a majority white county with a Black Sheriff.  

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I see the show as very progressive WRT sexual orientation for its time. I think it would be disingenuous to show it as being more acceptable than it was because that would obscure the issue. I see the episode that deals with marital rape in the same light, perhaps because I was an adult in that era.

The diversity of the squad, OTOH, was not realistic, and instead mirrored the idealistic integration shown on many TV shows of that time, but better, IMO, because instead of a white male lead crime fighter and his black male crime fighting sidekick, here we at least have white Wojo a lower rank than the Black and Asian Sergeants.

Barney being white and the captain seems in keeping with the realistic nature of the show, although likely too, TPTB would’ve worried that the audience wasn’t ready for something else. 
However, at the time I lived in a majority white county with a Black Sheriff.  

This was representing New York City.  It wasn't that unrealistic.  Almost anywhere else at that time, it probably would have been.  Mind you, even now, you're going to find racial issues in the NYPD, but there were definitely big inroads there in the 70s, and a black detective was hardly impossible. Nor was a Hispanic one (like Chano). An Asian one (and an older one) might have been slightly more out of the box.  

I suppose them all being in one precinct was the least likely part. 

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7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I see the show as very progressive WRT sexual orientation for its time. I think it would be disingenuous to show it as being more acceptable than it was because that would obscure the issue. I see the episode that deals with marital rape in the same light, perhaps because I was an adult in that era.

The diversity of the squad, OTOH, was not realistic, and instead mirrored the idealistic integration shown on many TV shows of that time, but better, IMO, because instead of a white male lead crime fighter and his black male crime fighting sidekick, here we at least have white Wojo a lower rank than the Black and Asian Sergeants.

Barney being white and the captain seems in keeping with the realistic nature of the show, although likely too, TPTB would’ve worried that the audience wasn’t ready for something else. 
However, at the time I lived in a majority white county with a Black Sheriff.  

Not to forget Captain Miller was Jewish, I can't remember if they ever stated a background for Detective Fish beyond old. And although none of them stuck you had among the first female detectives rotate through the squad. Set the show today there would be more women and a Muslim and the older guys like Fish and Yemana.

Wojo if anything plays like that old school NYPD method of winning a fight and getting your gold shield as a reward. Which works giving the show that when anything went down in the precinct the detectives grabbed the shotguns and went out in that pre SWAT team era. I don't know if they had a time in service along with a test requirement but you would expect Wojo to have a problem testing where Dietrich would easily pass if he cared to.

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3 hours ago, Raja said:

Not to forget Captain Miller was Jewish, I can't remember if they ever stated a background for Detective Fish beyond old.

Levitt was Jewish too. The writers were Jewish, so I can personally imagine they were aware of the tightrope they walked WRT mentioning those characters' religious backgrounds, especially because they were the same as the writers' ancestry. Today there would be --hopefully-- at least an effort to have writers as diverse as the actors and characters.

 

4 hours ago, Kromm said:

This was representing New York City.  It wasn't that unrealistic.  Almost anywhere else at that time, it probably would have been.  Mind you, even now, you're going to find racial issues in the NYPD, but there were definitely big inroads there in the 70s, and a black detective was hardly impossible. Nor was a Hispanic one (like Chano). An Asian one (and an older one) might have been slightly more out of the box.  
I suppose them all being in one precinct was the least likely part. 

Yes, it was having such diversity in one tiny precint that seems artificial. But I like that about the show. It works. Adds variety.

Also, a likely unintended advantage of having a diverse cast --especially on a show filmed at such low resolution and watched on relatively tiny screens-- is that the audience doesn't have trouble identifying the characters. Often I read on these boards about viewers having trouble telling apart, for instance "the two 20-something blond guys with beards" on a current show.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Speaking of the low resolution, I really wish they had made this show on film.   You can watch an old show like Perry Mason and it looks so much better.  Oh well.

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The most unrealistic thing was probably the compassion toward everyone they encountered, but I'll take it. 

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On 3/23/2021 at 4:59 PM, roseha said:

Speaking of the low resolution, I really wish they had made this show on film.   You can watch an old show like Perry Mason and it looks so much better.  Oh well.

The original pilot was made on film, and they decided that they liked the “immediacy” of videotape for the series. Too bad. All those old videotaped shows from the 70s don’t look all that great now.

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26 minutes ago, Kyle said:

The original pilot was made on film, and they decided that they liked the “immediacy” of videotape for the series. Too bad. All those old videotaped shows from the 70s don’t look all that great now.

My knowledge of video editing and programming is just barely enough for me to imagine that it shouldn’t be too hard or expensive to remaster the files in such a way that they would appear to have been made at higher resolution. But if I’m right, why hasn’t it been done?

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

My knowledge of video editing and programming is just barely enough for me to imagine that it shouldn’t be too hard or expensive to remaster the files in such a way that they would appear to have been made at higher resolution. But if I’m right, why hasn’t it been done?

You really can't fudge a higher resolution, short of some very time consuming, expensive computer enhancement.  More basic sharpening and removing video artifacts wouldn't be that hard, but actually adding data that wasn't originally there?  That's a lot. 

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4 hours ago, Kromm said:

You really can't fudge a higher resolution, short of some very time consuming, expensive computer enhancement.  More basic sharpening and removing video artifacts wouldn't be that hard, but actually adding data that wasn't originally there?  That's a lot. 

Soon! 
(
I remember being scoffed at in the 90s when I suggested we needed to see more than one computer screen at a time.) 

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You’re right - they’ll eventually be able to do it. There are a bunch of shows that were only recorded on kinescope, which is even lower resolution that videotape. But they have the technology - expensive right now - to process those shows and add data so that they have the same frames per second as videotape.

Check out this video of a 1950s production of 12 Angry Men. It was originally saved on kinescope, but the frames per second were restored to what is the equivalent of videotape. It’s pretty amazing. 

 

 

 

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Oh it's already theoretically possible, I'm sure, although quite an incredible amount of work and processing time.  But being economically worth it is different.  Remember, Barney Miller is 74 hours of video.  74 times longer than that 12 Angry Men production.  It might be nice just to see a few of the most famous episodes done, perhaps. A best of approach. 

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2 hours ago, Kromm said:

Oh it's already theoretically possible, I'm sure, although quite an incredible amount of work and processing time.  But being economically worth it is different.  Remember, Barney Miller is 74 hours of video.  74 times longer than that 12 Angry Men production.  It might be nice just to see a few of the most famous episodes done, perhaps. A best of approach. 

Or just wait until it’s cheap and easy to do. I’m guessing within 10 years at the most. 

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They re-used actors a lot, I don't mean recurring characters, but I mean same actor/different character. Usually it's for the weekly cases but  sometimes they did it even for other kinds of  roles-- I noticed they had the guy who played Lt Scanlon in an episode where he was a COTW character and not in the Scanlon role, for example. I always find it confusing when someone I've seen before shows up and seems out of character, until I realize they're just re-using an actor for a different role.

 

 

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That practice wasn’t uncommon back in the 50s-70s. The producers would have a company of guest actors they knew were reliable and they’d come back again and again. Jeffrey Tambor, a very distinctive actor, guest starred on Three’s Company three times as different characters (not to mention starring on the spinoff The Ropers). Marcia Rodd, who played Maude’s daughter on an episode of “All in the Family,” guest starred as a different character just a few episodes before, and later turned up in a bunch of other Norman Lear series, and even on the “Maude” series as a different character. She was clearly a favorite of Lear’s.

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32 minutes ago, Kyle said:

That practice wasn’t uncommon back in the 50s-70s. The producers would have a company of guest actors they knew were reliable and they’d come back again and again. Jeffrey Tambor, a very distinctive actor, guest starred on Three’s Company three times as different characters (not to mention starring on the spinoff The Ropers). Marcia Rodd, who played Maude’s daughter on an episode of “All in the Family,” guest starred as a different character just a few episodes before, and later turned up in a bunch of other Norman Lear series, and even on the “Maude” series as a different character. She was clearly a favorite of Lear’s.

Many of the regular Law & Order actors were first seen on the show in guest roles. I have wondered if actors thought of their single-episode jobs as potential auditions for permanent roles.

A sort of opposite use of actors also more commonly practiced in the early decades of TV was to replace a character with a new actor when necessary, perhaps the most well known being the second Darren on Bewitched. However, unlike Jack Soo, Dick York didn’t die, although he was unable to work because of disability. 

But shows like Barney Miller that focus on work life more than home life allow for a turnover actors without awkward plot lines. Back in the 60s I don’t think the Bewitched network executives would have considered having Samantha and Darren divorce. 

TV series are unique in having to worry about continuity of actors, unlike Broadway plays, most movies, old radio shows, or even opera.

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On some shows, the actor reuse is even intentional. Especially anthology shows.  They'll label them a "troupe" and only use them. But I'm pretty sure I've also seen old shows where it's not an anthology, but where the main cast is always the same characters, but the one-offs are from a consistent troupe. 

Or yeah... especially up until the 80s, shows would just reuse actors for convenience.  The Love Boat did it constantly. 

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On 5/10/2021 at 4:27 PM, Kromm said:

On some shows, the actor reuse is even intentional. Especially anthology shows.  They'll label them a "troupe" and only use them. But I'm pretty sure I've also seen old shows where it's not an anthology, but where the main cast is always the same characters, but the one-offs are from a consistent troupe. 

Or yeah... especially up until the 80s, shows would just reuse actors for convenience.  The Love Boat did it constantly. 

Since you've got Mr T as your avatar - Stephen Cannell, Don Bellisario, Glen Larson and most of the folks who went out on their own after working for them constantly reused the same troupe of folks as well.  Same with so many shows that shot in Vancouver in the 90s and 00s.

 

 

 

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I'm a little confused about the detectives vs the uniformed officers.

It seems to me that the kind of calls the detectives go on are often not really investigatory in nature, and I don't understand what the uniformed police are supposed to do if not these kinds of things.

For example, there's an episode where Barney takes a call from dispatch, saying that kids are playing on some scaffolding. He was going to send "a uniform" but Levitt persistently asks to be sent, so Barney says fine-- Levitt can go. When Levitt finds out what kind of call it is, he wishes he hadn't been sent, since this is the kind of thing that usually sends a squad car, not a detective. But then, when they have "jumpers" that's a detective's call. It seems to me like the same kind of thing.

And routinely we see detectives bringing in shoplifters caught in the act or handing other seemingly routine activity.

I also thought that "making detective" is an earned promotion and involved taking a test or some other kind of training, like other promotions in the department. But Levitt is consistently shown to be qualified to do the detective job, and thinks he's being denied it due to some kind of prejudice, possibly against his height. Barney says it's about staffing needs, which I take to mean budget constraints. I realize this is his character's schtick and it's supposed to be funny, but I guess it did get me wondering whether there is an actual process to become a detective, or whether it really is just a case of a Captain choosing or not choosing someone at random. 

I also notice that other than Harris, the later seasons are pretty much all white. Once Chano, Batista, and Yemana are gone, I don't think we see a single POC for the rest of the series. I think there was one Black man who was a drug dealer, and a Black boy who Harris takes in for questioning, but basically you'd think NYC was about as white as Friends made it seem. It's weird. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, possibilities said:

I also thought that "making detective" is an earned promotion and involved taking a test or some other kind of training, like other promotions in the department. But Levitt is consistently shown to be qualified to do the detective job, and thinks he's being denied it due to some kind of prejudice, possibly against his height. Barney says it's about staffing needs, which I take to mean budget constraints. I realize this is his character's schtick and it's supposed to be funny, but I guess it did get me wondering whether there is an actual process to become a detective, or whether it really is just a case of a Captain choosing or not choosing someone at random. 

I believe, I don't know, but I believe that there is a test you must take to become a detective, and another to become a detective sergeant and another to become an inspector etc. But just because you pass the test does not mean you automatically become that thing. There must be an opening for whichever and yes, that would be a budgeting thing since they would be paid more. Levitt will not become a plain clothes detective until there is an opening for one at which time all eligible would be considered for the position and the PtB would choose the one they feel is best. Same up the ladder. Wasn't there an episode where Barney put in for the next position up and did not get it? This is also why (and on TV used as a reason for) characters moving to other precincts, because a position opened up there that they could move into.

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Hmmmn...  I do recall Barney applying to become "Deputy Inspector" and not getting it. There was a whole plot about how he felt about that. Of course, later when his staff all wanted to apply for an opening in vice, he felt betrayed because they wanted to leave. But if he'd gotten the DI job, he'd have left them, too. So... kind of unfair to feel like he could leave but they were disloyal if they did.

 

Since Barney ALWAYS, and ONLY, chose Levitt for Detective duties when he needed someone, and NEVER tapped anyone else from the uniform squad, it seems rather absurd that Levitt felt Barney didn't approve of him. But, again, that's his schtick and doesn't have to make sense.

 

I also keep noticing that all the Detectives call the Captain by his first name, while he calls them all by their last names. It strikes me as a kind of reversal of the usual tendency to be more formal with your superiors, not less.

Edited by possibilities

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1 hour ago, possibilities said:

I'm a little confused about the detectives vs the uniformed officers.

It seems to me that the kind of calls the detectives go on are often not really investigatory in nature, and I don't understand what the uniformed police are supposed to do if not these kinds of things.

For example, there's an episode where Barney takes a call from dispatch, saying that kids are playing on some scaffolding. He was going to send "a uniform" but Levitt persistently asks to be sent, so Barney says fine-- Levitt can go. When Levitt finds out what kind of call it is, he wishes he hadn't been sent, since this is the kind of thing that usually sends a squad car, not a detective. But then, when they have "jumpers" that's a detective's call. It seems to me like the same kind of thing.

And routinely we see detectives bringing in shoplifters caught in the act or handing other seemingly routine activity.

I also thought that "making detective" is an earned promotion and involved taking a test or some other kind of training, like other promotions in the department. But Levitt is consistently shown to be qualified to do the detective job, and thinks he's being denied it due to some kind of prejudice, possibly against his height. Barney says it's about staffing needs, which I take to mean budget constraints. I realize this is his character's schtick and it's supposed to be funny, but I guess it did get me wondering whether there is an actual process to become a detective, or whether it really is just a case of a Captain choosing or not choosing someone at random. 

I also notice that other than Harris, the later seasons are pretty much all white. Once Chano, Batista, and Yemana are gone, I don't think we see a single POC for the rest of the series. I think there was one Black man who was a drug dealer, and a Black boy who Harris takes in for questioning, but basically you'd think NYC was about as white as Friends made it seem. It's weird. 

 

 

It comes from an era before SWAT teams and the patrol officer being on foot. The detectives being at a central precinct house with the shotguns served as the ready reaction force if anything went down. 

Besides the test winning a gunfight also earned you a gold detectives shield. Last seen by the female detective on Law & Order who replaced Fontana. So you were already proven in a fight situation. Different from the 25 year cop who never pulled his revolver while walking the same blocks 

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I spoke too soon wrt absolutely no POC other than Harris in the later seasons. There was a two parter in season 8 about a massacre in Chinatown. But still-- that's not much.

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We're down to the final round of Jack Soo appearances on Antenna TV. He hung on as long as he could, but he looked unhealthy here.

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On 6/8/2021 at 4:49 PM, 71dude said:

We're down to the final round of Jack Soo appearances on Antenna TV. He hung on as long as he could, but he looked unhealthy here.

I thought he died suddenly of a heart attack. Sad, either way.

---

I spoke too soon wrt the total lack of POC in later episodes. There were several others in addition to the ones in the Chinatown massacre episodes.

Unfortunately, it seems like they were all suspects/arrestees. Unless I missed it, all the staff, people filing a complaint against someone else, characters acting as victims or relatives of victims, innocent bystanders, and witnesses were white. I might have missed some, but FETV just finished airing the last episodes, and it really seems like this is how it was.

Oh wait-- there was also a mail order bride from the Philippines, who married Inspector Lugar.

I love the show and I have been watching it on a loop repeatedly, but it's hard not to notice things like this, and also the intense sexism. The show was ahead of its time in some ways, but it definitely is very dated now.

 

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7 hours ago, possibilities said:

I love the show and I have been watching it on a loop repeatedly, but it's hard not to notice things like this, and also the intense sexism. The show was ahead of its time in some ways, but it definitely is very dated now.

I’m glad the sexism here offends, because I believe it was intended to be unmasked as offensive. 
I appreciate that the show illustrates and exposes the sexism of that time. I assume that exposing the sexism was the point. While watching, I easily separate what’s being shown from the writers’ and actors’ and directors’ beliefs and sensibilities. 
I especially appreciate that Barney, Harris, and Dietrich voice progressive opinions in contrast to Inspector Luger’s. Wojo gives voice to the traditional sexist who is just opening up to a wider view of women (as well as minorities and other progressive issues). The female detectives are caricatures of feminists, but this is a comedy, and it uses comedy to make their feminist views palatable to a wider audience —the Wojos and Lugers in the audience. 
So while the sexism illustrated might stir up some of my old Ghosts of Resentment, I’m glad that it is recorded here for posterity in scenarios where the sexism is clearly absurd. 

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I'm not sure they actually were showing the sexism to dismantle it. In some cases, yes. But many times, they have "gags" like in the finale when Binder's wife is literally ducking and covering when he yells at her every time she speaks. It's exaggerated, but the scene plays it like a joke. No one is reacting to her, they're all just laughing jovially.

Also, they have the on-going gag of Fish acting like Bernice is a child he needs to humor, and while we ultimately know he loves her and is just pretending not to, his constant exasperation and insulting behavior towards her is never criticized or commented on, and I think the show definitely thinks it's funny.

I have been appreciating a lot of the things they do on this show, as being very progressive for the time, but not everything was. I was starting to keep a list in my head, as I've been rewatching the show for months and the more times I see it, the more things stand out for me. It seems to me that they sometimes are actually reinforcing rather than dismantling. Not always, which is what's interesting about it-- what they do or don't realize is bad news is not consistent.

I definitely think they use Lugar, Wojo, and Scanlon as examples to undercut certain attitudes, and also sometimes they show various other characters messing up and being called on it. But sometimes, not.

This was the 1970s and early 80s and I was around then, and some of what they show was outdated even in that era. 

They air a lot of issues that aren't talked about in network tv even now, which is amazing to me, in a good way. I just think it's inconsistent.

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Episode 4.17 "Eviction - Part II" originally aired February 9, 1978.
Barney is temporarily relieved of duty and so Nick briefly becomes Acting Chief until someone else is sent over. 
At that point, dialog between Yemana and Dietrich mentions death. Less than a year later, Jack Soo (Nick Yemana) died of cancer at 61.

Wikipedia indicates that Soo would have just received his cancer diagnosis around the time this episode was written:

Quote

Death of Jack Soo (wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Miller#Death_of_Jack_Soo)

Towards the end of the fourth year, Jack Soo was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was absent for the last five episodes of the 1977-78 season. To help fill the void during his medical leave, actress Mari Gorman was brought in for three installments as Officer Rosslyn Licori. Cast member Ron Carey's role of Officer Carl Levitt was also expanded at this time to compensate for Soo's absence. Soo returned to Barney Miller at the start of the 1978-79 season but his cancer had already metastasized and spread very quickly. As a result, he was only able to complete nine episodes that year. By the time he taped his last appearance which was the installment "The Vandal" that aired on November 9, 1978, Soo's illness was quite evident in his rapid weight loss. Two months later, he died on January 11, 1979 at the age of 61. The fifth season finale "Jack Soo: A Retrospective" aired on May 17, 1979 and was a tribute to him. For this installment, the cast of Barney Miller led by Hal Linden appeared as themselves on the 12th Precinct office set as they fondly shared stories and reminiscences about Soo as an actor and as a friend. At the end of the episode, the cast raised their coffee cups in loving memory of Jack Soo.

--and, based on an interview with writer Tom Reeder, it seems possible that Soo may have informed show creator and writer Danny Arnold of his diagnosis, who may have inserted into the script the dialog about death between Yemana and Dietrich, which, if so, makes it a bit poignant.
Here's the dialog:

  • [Dietrich] Uh, Nick?
  • [Yemana] Yeah.
  • [Dietrich] Hey, listen. I wanted to tell you that I think you did a good job, you know, taking over.
  • [Yemana] I didn't get a chance to do much.
  • [Dietrich] Yeah, well, you didn't blow nothing.
  • [Yemana] I got a new tie.
  • [Dietrich] Uh, look. I-it's like William Henry Harrison. I mean, he was president for only a month or so and had a rather short, undistinguished term. Uh, but then again, I mean, he didn't do anything wrong, you know?
  • [Yemana] He had only one month?
  • [Dietrich] Uh, yeah, he sort of, uh... Died.
    He caught a cold at the inaugural ball.
  • [Yemana] Well, at least I didn't die.
  • [Dietrich] Hey, that's the right attitude.

Thinking more about this, I wonder if the sober tone of the actors in this episode may indicate that they also knew of Soo's cancer diagnosis (which, in the 1970s, was typically a death sentence) --rather than just reflecting the seriousness of the drama related to Barney being relieved of duty for refusing to use violence to enforce the eviction. Steve Landesberg (Dietrich) seemed even more subdued than usual in the B plot too.

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The show was never the same after Yemana was gone. It's like they kept trying things to replace him, but their hearts weren't in it and so none of the new directions really took. Eventually they just let there be a gaping hole. It might not have been the best approach to writing, but it's not wrong, either.

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By sheer happy coincidence, I had read recent comments here and while channel surfing last night came across the episode Hash which may be one of my favorites of all time for any series.  I watched the whole rest of the episode and l laughed like a lunatic.  So many great moments - Fish being Mr. Macho both with the arrest of the burglar and with the patrolman/Bernice, Wojo wanting Barney to be divine, a totally relaxed Harris, Levitt trying to use it to buddy/buddy with Barney, the actor/critic commentary from the cell, Barney's reactions throughout and Jack Soo just owned the episode culminating in his return to his Broadway roots with "Almost Like Being in Love". 

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3.12 "Smog Alert" is airing on Antenna TV. Fish has to wear a mask because of the air. I did a little double take, because, you know: mask 

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