People love a good cop show on television. The drama, the excitement, and the suspense often keep viewers on the edge of their seats. They’re looking for the extraordinary in these ordinary heroes, a reassurance that the good guys still win. It may be hard to settle on a list of favorites when there is such a gold mine to choose from. While there have been many programs over the years, there are five that stand out as the best of the best.
1. NYPD Blue
This hard-hitting, gritty program focused on the lives of police detectives walking the beat in New York City. Created by the team of David Milch and Steven Bochco, the show had a twelve year run. It had a cast known for excellence, portrayed officers in a realistic way, and made people think twice about the challenges officers face every day in the line of duty. There was no glamour in this series. Each week, New York’s finest put their lives on the line. The crimes they had to face weren’t pretty. The bad guys seemed to win from time to time, but the officers kept coming back for more. They never quit.
2. Miami Vice
Anthony Yerkovich brought this Florida-based drama to life in the eighties. Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas were the central characters, Crocket and Tubbs. As vice cops in the thick of drug traffic, they faced scum, drug lords, and wealthy offenders. High speed chases and a lot of fire power were the norm as the detectives brought a new sense of style to the world. Many big names in entertainment made an appearance, dazzling anyone who tuned in. Their trend-setting clothes became popular for everyone. Five seasons of glitz, glamour, and fast cars had fans staying home to watch.
3. The Shield
The name says it all, highlighting the symbol of a police officer and the weight each member of the force carries while on duty. Viewers had seven seasons to follow Vic Mackey and his fellow officers through jam-packed episodes that were always filled with action. This was a program where the officers pulled out all of the stops to get the job done. They might not do their job by the book, but neither did the criminals. Their main goal was to clean up the streets and keep people save. They’d do it any way possible.
4. Law and Order
Law and Order’s claim to fame is being the longest running crime show. Created by Dick Wolf, it is a formula for success with four spin-offs that were inspired by the original. The writing for these episodes cannot be surpassed and the cast is phenomenal. Talk about a hard-hitting drama.
5. Hawaii 5-0
Hawaii 5-0 is so popular that it’s on its second time around. The original production had a good run from 1968 to 1980. The reincarnation has also been doing well, running strong since 2012. While the new program has characters that remind us of the original cast, there are new characters. The classic theme music is still there, drawing viewers in for a trip to the tropics and the big waves. There’s sure to be excitement during each episode with fast action and an edgy cast.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Robert Handler is a forensic examiner who has written articles about online criminal justice schools that prospective students will find helpful.