DVD Review: ADAM-12: Season 2

Adam-12: Season 2
Shout! Factory
Release date: Sept 30th, 2008
MSRP: $34.99

Stars: Martin Milner, Kent McCord, William Boyett

When I was given Season 2 of Adam-12 to watch and review, I fully expected to suffer. I remember loving the show when I was a kid and I was afraid of being as disillusioned as I was when I tried to relive my crush on Dominick Luca by watching episodes of SWAT on Hulu.com. (It was painful. That show is simply awful.) But I was pleasantly surprised with Adam-12. I watched episode after episode with great interest.

Adam-12 is just a straight-up, cop-on-the-street show, unlike anything we have today. There are very few car chases, a couple of foot chases and shoot-outs but not as many as we see today. It’s just Malloy (Martin Milner) and Reed (Kent McCord) patrolling the streets, interacting with the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve. As in all Jack Webb productions, the stories are all based on actual cases from the files of the LAPD. One stand-out episode is Log 123 – Courtroom which deals with a case being dismissed on a technicality. This episode also includes a “Ride Along Fast Track”, a series of captions that explain procedures and points of law and the definition of the word “hinky”. I always wanted to know what that word means.

Season 2 extras also include commentary by two Los Angeles police officers who were on the beat when Adam-12 was on the air. It’s pretty amazing how few errors these officers caught. Most of them are small like when Reed and Malloy are sometimes seen out of their car without their hats on, probably because it looks better on camera. In that era, they would have been written up for being out of uniform. The real officers point out only one glaring error: In the episode Log 143 – Cave, Reed and Malloy comply when a suspect holding a man hostage with a knife demands that they put their weapons down. In real life, we are told, a officer never holsters his weapon when a civilian is in danger.

The show would be worth watching just to see actor Martin Milner as Officer Pete Malloy. Milner is always a pleasure to watch because he embodies his characters without a hint of technique. He’s the kind of actor who stands out even in supporting roles. (If you like war movies, check out him out in Sands of Iwo Jima and Halls of Montezuma.) He’s also a darned, good-looking guy. I always go for the guys with a unique look. You can look at Martin Milner and know exactly how he looked in his grade school photos. (If his partner, Kent McCord, were as darkly handsome in his school pictures as he was in Adam-12, it would have been just plain weird.)

Another extra included on this set is a photo tour of the LAPD Academy where Reed and Malloy would have trained. You might recognize this building from a number of television shows, including Charlie’s Angels and the perfectly dreadful TJ Hooker.

Order Adam-12: season two from Amazon.

Naomi Krueger