Homicide: Life on the Street: Season 1 (1993)


Season 1
Homicide: Life on the Street

Critics Consensus

Homicide: Life on the Streets is a riveting police procedural that digs deep into the psychology of its detectives as well as the city of Baltimore.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 10

100%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 14

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 31, 1993

Lewis and Crosetti uncover a murderous woman's insurance scam; Pembleton reluctantly works with rookie Bayliss.

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Air date: Feb 3, 1993

A victim's ghost leads Howard to the evidence she needs to solve her case; Bolander and Munch check out an apparent homicide -- but the victim isn't quite dead yet.

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Air date: Feb 10, 1993

Thormann's bullet wound affects Crosetti; the Adena Watson case further frustrates Bayliss and Pembleton.

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Air date: Feb 24, 1993

Tim and Frank each follow a different hunch in the Adena Watson case; Stanley and Carol make another attempt at their relationship.

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Air date: Mar 3, 1993

Tim and Frank bring in the main suspect in the Adena Watson murder case and spend 10 hours in the interrogation room.

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Air date: Mar 10, 1993

A drug dealer is sought for a torture/murder; Pembleton and Bayliss are assigned to probe a police dog's death.

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Air date: Mar 17, 1993

Meldrick and Steve investigate the murder of a Chinese political refugee; Frank is picked to become a lieutenant of another homicide unit.

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Air date: Mar 24, 1993

A boy is accidentally shot by his sister, but parents keep the gun; Howard and Bayliss quit smoking; guest John Waters.

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Air date: Mar 31, 1993

While the squad works the graveyard shift, a renegade Santa Claus runs loose in the building; a mysterious candle is lit as a vigil to all the unsolved homicide cases.

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Tv Season Info

Critic Reviews for Homicide: Life on the Street: Season 1

Audience Reviews for Homicide: Life on the Street: Season 1

  • Dec 12, 2021
    Best police drama ever. My favorite TV series of all time.
  • Feb 16, 2021
    I am a big fan of Simon's "The Wire" TV show, and was intrigued to figure out how HLOTS would compare despite being 10 years older and produced under the relatively safe hands of network TV. But right from the very off, especially with the disconcerting opening credits, I knew this wouldn't be another bland cop show that followed the same A-B-C plotline, with everything safely resolved in the last 3 or 4 minutes, and everyone going home happy and smiling! Instead of seeing crimes happening and then seeing the police do all the Q&A afterwards, this show is very much geared to the latter rather than the former, which to my mind makes for more interesting TV. Not only that, but the main characters aren't your standard cop-show entities with blond hair, blue eyes, gleaming teeth and cute personalities. The detectives in this show are the ones you'd probably find in any real-time police station, which only adds to the realism,
  • Jan 01, 2021
    Fantastic. So original. So unique. Can't believe they actually did this on network TV.
  • Jun 19, 2019
    The first season of Homicide: Life of the Street is an unusually direct adaptation of its source material. Most television series which adapt a book or movie take the general premise, characters, and/or tone and change the plot details to better fit long format. Many of the cases depicted in the first season of Homicide, however, are taken directly from David Simon's nonfiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. I see this as a major positive due to my high opinion of the source material. The producers took an especially big risk in sticking close to the source material for the outcome of the Laytona Wallace/Adena Watson case, and I admire them for that. The new dialogue is well-written and fits seamlessly with the quotes from the book, although the expository dialogue occasionally comes off a bit stilted. One rather noticeable stylistic decision in the first season is the use of jump cuts and violations of the 30- and 180-degree rules during conversation scenes. Sometimes, this serves very concrete purposes - for instance, to show that a suspect is disoriented by a rapid-fire interrogation. At others, the purpose is less clear. Homicide: Life on the Street is far from an amateur production, so I assume this was a calculated stylistic decision, perhaps intended to further differentiate the show from the numerous other police procedurals on television at the time. Some of the jump cuts are effective, but others serve to disorient the audience during routine conversations. What distinguishes Homicide from the other police procedural from this era with which I have more than a passing familiarity, Law & Order, is its strong sense of continuity. Some investigations last several episodes, and most of the protagonists have character arcs, some of which continue past the end of the season. The episodes are more self-contained than those of The Wire, but this sense of continuity and progression is one of the strengths of the show. One of my main barriers to watching older shows is static characters and constant return to the status quo at each episode's conclusion, so I was pleased to discover that the episode structure in Homicide feels a lot more modern. The show also has a far stronger focus on its characters than L&O. The characters are heavily based on the real police detectives depicted in the book, but some of their character traits are altered to make for better television. Fortunately, these fictional characters are just as compelling as the detectives described in the book and are played by a solid ensemble cast. My personal favorite character is Detective Frank Pembleton, who is played brilliantly by Andre Braugher. Pembleton, based on former Baltimore homicide detective Harry Edgerton, is eccentric, opinionated, condescending toward people he doesn't like, and has difficulty working with others, but is also highly intelligent, cultured, and an extremely capable detective when a case takes his interest. He somewhat reminds me of Hercules Poirot if Poirot was a late 20th century police detective from New York. Homicide: Life on the Street has a strong first season. Good dialogue and interesting characters abound. Unfortunately, the season is marred slightly by questionable editing decisions and occasional forced exposition. Still, the show is already at least as strong as the best seasons of Law & Order.

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