Starsky & Hutch: Season One

For those unfamiliar with the plot of Starsky & Hutch, it goes something like this: two undercover cops work outside of the rules to solve crimes while driving a red and white Gran Torino. It's possible that they are the worst undercover cops ever — there's no way that crooks wouldn't spot them as Narcs in a second — but they get the job done. There are a lot of gunshots, women in short shorts and screeching tires in every episode. The next most important feature of Starsky & Hutch is an informant named Huggy Bear. He might be a pimp, he might be salesman, but he's always cool. (Why crooks let Huggy in on any information is a mystery, since everyone knows he's a snitch.) It was the '70s version of gritty television — helpful junkies and perky go-go dancers — but it's still entertaining. To my surprise, it was also enjoyable for more than nostalgia's sake. Dave Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken Hutchinson (David Soul) are a great crime fighting team, making it possible to ignore the average scripts and often stiff acting. Having all of The Simpsons' episodes or The Family Guy at your immediate disposal is one thing but I don't know if it's necessary to own shows like Starsky & Hutch. How often do you need to see the "Starsky's been poisoned and has 24 hours to live unless Hutch can find the antidote" episode? (And I'm strong enough to admit that it's my favourite one.) The special features include featurettes about the making of the series, where actors discuss their motivation, and creator William Blinn talking about the evolution of the series. A "before they were stars" segment, however, misses some obvious choices, like writer Michael Mann. And even though there is a fair bit of information on the discs, I still don't understand why Starsky is wearing a curling sweater in California. Plus: Featurettes, original TV spots, pilot episode. (Columbia/Sony)