T.J. Hooker: The Complete Series

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T.J. Hooker: The Complete Series
T.J. Hooker: The Complete Series
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In between Star Trek and Boston Legal, William Shatner also found success in another TV series that ran from 1982-1986 called T.J. Hooker. Thomas J Hooker was the character Shatner would play for all eighty-nine episodes. Morally sound and tough on the bad guys, Hooker played the good cop that brought justice to the city. This TV series comes to DVD completely now for the first time thanks to Shout!.

Co-stars included Adrian Zmed and Heather Locklear, as well as James Darren. The forty-some minute show featured all matter of crimes from robbery to murder, with the LCPD crew always ready to dispense justice. It many respects its formulaic and predictable, but the stories and acting are fine. Like many shows from the this era — Magnum PI, MacGyver, or Walker Texas Ranger that would come over a decade later — T.J. Hooker is like comfort food. The characters and plots are straight-forward, easy to follow, the good guys win, and you don’t have to think hard at all, just sit back and enjoy. For those times when there’s just nothing better to do, this show can help fill a lazy day, but it’s not must-see material. It’s a good tough cop show that’s not too over the top but also not too cute either, it’s mainly business, and that I think helps it in the test of time. I had never even heard of this show before being asked to review it, and while I have just scratched the surface of the 73+ hours of content in this set, what I have seen is pretty good.

TJ Hooker: The Complete Series comes well packaged by Shout! with an outer box holding five standard sized DVD cases. Twenty-one discs in all, and stated previously, it’s the first time the series has been completely available on DVD, I think before only seasons one (which is just five episodes) and two were released. As we see sometimes with Shout! releases, there are no captions, which is not too surprising but a little disappointing especially if you consider the age of the show and some of the nostalgic views who may be watching it. Even more surprising is the complete lack of extra features, though — I’m sure getting Shatner and Locklear back for a roundtable would have been prohibitively expensive, but including some production stills or old commercials or something like that would have been a nice bonus for series fans who have waited so long to get the complete series on DVD. Beggars can’t be choosers I suppose, but for anyone who enjoys this show, it’s nice to finally have a complete set option.

As with any complete series set, if you’re entertaining buying it, you have probably seen the series in some capacity or have nostalgic memories of it. For me, I went into this show without prior knowledge but found it to be pretty good and watchable over thirty years since it first aired. Shout! has done fans a service by pulling this together, even if the release itself is a little underwhelming for lack of extras and captions. Bottomline, if you’re in the mood for a good old cop show, you can do a lot worse than T.J. Hooker.
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