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Telly Savalas as the iconic Kojak finishes his show's run with this simple but retro-fun TV-on-DVD set....
Shout! Factory / 1550 Minutes / 1977-1978 / Unrated / Street Date: September 11, 2012
In all his super-bald crime drama glory, Telly Savalas chews the hell out some scenery in Kojak: Season Five, and it's never enough. Yes, this detective series is cheesy, and the show's fashions and dialectic euphemisms are painfully dated, but who doesn't love Lieutenant Theo Kojak? He's a smooth-talker, an ass-kicker, and he always seems to get his man - and he usually celebrates doing so by offering up a wink and a point that ladies love.
On this box set - which chronicles the show's final episodes - Theo and company are faced with a host of tricky and dangerous scenarios. There's a divorce proceeding that goes really, really badly (I Could Kill My Wife's Lawyer), a couple run-ins with cranky, aggressive gamblers (The Captain's Brother's Wife), and a couple tales of internal affairs issues that lead up to the series finale, In Full Command.
These episodes as standalone crime dramas are pretty thin and not entirely convincing - by 1978, Kojak's greatest cases were behind him - but there's enough old-fashioned major-network television starpower gravitas in Telly's dapper portrayal here to keep things enjoyable. Kojak: Season Five won't exactly light up DVD bestseller charts, but Telly - if you can hear us: We love you right back.