Starsky & Hutch (1975 – 1979)
The US spat out many car-centric cop shows in the seventies and eighties, and I’ve probably sat down in front of most of them at one time or another. These days that particular form of escapist entertainment is on life support, but for many years it was a very popular and successful television sub-genre.
As the latter half of the seventies kicked off, Starsky & Hutch was the leader of that particular pack, and Glaser and Soul respectively were unquestionably the coolest cats on the box… and that includes Starsky and his ridiculously passe cardigan.
Starsky & Hutch forces you to suspend your disbelief right out of the gates. Here are two Californian detectives whose best friend and long time informant Huggy Bear is about as close to a pimp as the production company could get away with without annoying the censors, and who spend their days chasing the bad guys in the most ostentatious and conspicuous cop car ever committed to the screen. In fact, the iconic Ford Gran Torino – nicknamed the Striped Tomato – quickly became such a big part of the show that it deserved to be given a title credit right after the two stars.
But for all the silliness that Starsky & Hutch presented on the surface, it was narratively quite a grounded show and managed to present some hard-hitting episodes and adult themes throughout its run.
And if you don’t think it has one of the funkiest TV themes of all time, you’re out of your mind.