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"One Adam-12, One Adam-12..."
Shout! Factory / 600 Minutes / 1974-1975 / Unrated / Street Date: April 10, 2012
For someone unfamiliar with Adam-12, I have to admit that I was expecting something light and fluffy from this Final Season set. The cover - a simple Photoshop affair - makes this collection seem like a goofy, retro nostalgia kick, a compilation of episodes that focus on moderate tomfoolery and some zany police squad in-jokes.
But Adam-12 in its waning hours is some serious shit. As we follow officers Malloy (Martin Milner) and Reed (Kent McCord) on their missions in and around southern California, this show isn't afraid of tapping into some wild, often gritty scenarios. There are undercover jags that almost ruin marriages for boys on the force, some teenagers going on a joyride in trucks filled with radioactive material, snipers, reefer smugglers - hell, we even get a crazy cult showing up to ruin the party.
It must be said that even if Adam-12: The Final Season doesn't engage in terms of offering consistent cop drama programming, there's nevertheless an edge to it that leaves a solid impact. I don't know that you could call Adam-12 realistic television in any serious way, but there's a lived-in sensibility to these episodes that connect more often than many viewers might expect. I know I was both surprised and intrigued by this.