On Blu-Ray: Police Squad

Police Lt. Frank Drebin’s slapstick adventures in the Naked Gun films made Leslie Nielsen a household name, but the show from which that trilogy spun, Police Squad, is the superior comedy product – cancelled after six episodes “because it required the audience to pay attention,” per some executive. Although available on Youtube for the curious viewer, the full series has been released on Blu-Ray disc for the first time, if you’re looking to drop some money on it. The package is worthwhile: it looks great, and includes commentaries by the the Zucker and Abarhams comedic team that masterminded the project. No additional special features from previous releases.

This isn’t much of a review. There isn’t a lot I can say about Police Squad beyond, simply, watch these fucking things. There are only six episodes, about 20 minutes long. Despite being heavily influenced by the cop shows of their time, it’s not like cop shows have disappeared in the ensuing 40 years. Neilsen’s deadpan delivery is perfect, and the gags, double entendres, and visual puns are endlessly hilarious. Shows like Arrested Development and The Simpsons owe everything to Police Squad and its Zucker / Abarhams cinematic brethren.


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Administrator of Midwest Film Journal. Previously a staff writer for TheFilmYap.com, Evan has been writing film criticism in the Indianapolis area for over half a decade. He is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. He also reviews Oreos.


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