DVD Review: STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO Season 3 (vols 1 &2)

Paramount/CBS Home Video
Release date: July 3rd. 2012

Season Three of Streets of San Francisco originally aired in 1974/1975, I was eleven years old and at that time in my life my family had one TV and we watched what Mom wanted to watch. My Mom loved crime shows, she watched them all. I saw enough episodes of the show as a kid to think it’s ok, but I’d rather be watching something else. Well, watching now as an adult in my late 40s I have a whole new respect for this show.

As with most television shows, Streets gets better as it goes, for what I would imagine are the typical reasons. The cast and crew get to know each other, the writers have a better idea how the actors will respond to what they write, and the whole production has a feeling of unity. By this stage in the life of Streets Michael Douglas and Karl Malden obviously have a great relationship, the chemistry they have on screen shows it. Douglas as Steve Keller is mentored by more experienced cop Mike Stone (Malden), but by season three Keller is coming into his own as a cop and Stone’s confidence in him shows.

Some of the cases they worked on this season were really clever, and all were well done. A murder on Alcatraz that took place 20 years earlier has the boys sifting through old reports and making a trip to the island, now national park. They also did a great episode in which we follow the path of a gun as it is stolen and leaves a trail of destruction behind it before it is finally melted down. It was a very cool, if not so subtle way of saying guns are bad news. Keller goes
undercover in a nuthouse, that was a lot of fun. There is also an episode with terrorists taking hostages that showed Stone as more than just a detective, but also a good strategist.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this latest release. It’s split into 2 volumes of three discs each. No extra features, but that’s not why I watch it. The only drawback might be the price tag, Though Amazon has a nice discount. This is classic cop show done well and if you are a fan of the genre you’ll really enjoy this.

Jon