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This old school Aaron Spelling cop drama holds up surprisingly well as a TV-on-DVD throwback....
Shout! Factory / 1168 Minutes / 1973-1974 / Unrated / Street Date: August 7, 2012
The Rookies on this Complete Second Season DVD box set offers up some seriously intense cop drama. As someone who wasn't alive when the show was originally aired, I had very little familiarity with the show - aside from knowing that Michael Ontkean from Twin Peaks was a cast members - but assessing this edition was no easy case of smirking through nostalgic retro TV-on-DVD: there's no question that The Rookies was squarely ahead of its time in providing deeply probing and often shattering televised narrative ferocity.
I mean, when you see Kate Jackson's lovely mug on the cover of a box set like this one, the knee-jerk expectation is that you'll giggle at the clothes featured during the season, enjoy the company of some familiar TV personalities on screen, and then move on to something else, but The Rookies frequently stopped me in my tracks. This cop drama has its fair share of the cliches that pretty much come attached to every cop drama new or old, but The Rookies: The Complete Second Season plumbs surprisingly impactful dramatic depths.
There's an undercover jaunt into a particularly nasty jail, drug problems (and their repercussions) of all kinds of shapes and colors, and even a singularly heartbreaking episode in which poor Kate Jackson's character gets shot ("NO! Not Kate!"). Is The Rookies the sort of TV-on-DVD set that you'll enjoy again and again as a perennial source of bob tube entertainment? Probably not. But compared to the summer DVD editions of TV shows old and new that have come through the turnstiles here at DVDFile, The Rookies: The Complete Second Season stands tall - it's responsible, sturdy, engrossing catalog programming.