Barney Miller: An Underrated Gem

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Back when I actually cared to watch television, I always managed to skip Barney Miller. I never watched it during it's original 1975-1982 run. Syndication re-run's and DVD's allow you to travel back in time without necessarily being connected to the time in which the film or television show aired. Having seen a dozen or so episodes, I've come to the conclusion that the show is a bit of a lost gem of television history.

It's a cop show, but it's a funny cop show. Stories surrounding cops and the daily pains of their job (arresting criminals, endless paperwork etc) are given a much darker light these days with shows like The Chicago Code and Southland. Barney Miller treated life as a cop as being a bit of a day with The Marx Brothers with touches of drama sprinkled in for realism.

For those of you who want a laugh in these uncertain times, you can watch the show on Crackle (which carries the first two seasons). You can also get the first three seasons on DVD from Amazon (or Netflix). The clothes may be dated, and the times have changed since it's original run. One thing that hasn't changed however is the most essential thing that makes me watch this.

The laughs.

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