Hill Street Blues

I used to watch the eponymous TV prog.

Mold-breaking, in its day.

But I remember a scene from one particular episode where hardened police Sergeant says to bitter undercover cop:

Let’s hope the temperature doesn’t climb any hotter. If the mercury gets higher so will the body count.

It was an observation that in warmer times people can be prone to lose their cool (ha ha!) and do things they might later regret.

I remember this scene because about 17.00 today in sunny south London (temp: 24.5c) I saw the logical in action.

Two car drivers, outside Camberwell, stopped to have a real ding dong in the middle of the road.

Neither vehicle had made contact with the other but, I suspect, one was keeping station too closely for the leading driver to be comfortable with.

Did I say ‘ding dong’?

It was a real slagging match.

And a fist was waved in the face of one driver,

Neither showed signs of backing down.

Neither did back down.

And then a passing police car pulled over and the driver of that vehicle intervened.

Then the matter was closed off.


Not why did he intervene.

Why did it happen?

Why do we let our self-control evaporate when we got warmer?

Why do we permit ourselves to become so… stressed out that we always seem to be living on the verge of blowing up when things we don’t like cross our field of vision?

I find it impossible to believe that this scene would have occurred in the dead of winter.

It was interesting to observe – and interesting to listen to.

But I’m thankful that we don’t carry guns as a matter of routine in this country.


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3 Responses to Hill Street Blues

  1. Andy says:

    Clearly you are a man like myself who draws from the wisdom shown in HSB.

    You may like to know about http://www.hillstreetblues.tv – which also has an egroup associated with it.

    Regads Andy

  2. Brennig says:

    Welcome Andy,

    Thanks for the info, I’ll drop by.

    It took me a while to get in to Hill Street Blues.

    I loved that a plot would run through multiple episodes (and sometimes a whole series); I think Hill Street was the first programme to use this kind of story-tactic.

    But the FOTW documentary-style (complete with bad lighting/gloomily framed scenes) irritated at first.

    But hey…

    Let’s be careful out there.

  3. Steven Bochco, co-creator and exec producer of Hill Street Blues, will be on interviewed by Michael Eisner on his CNBC, called ‘Conversations with Michael Eisner this coming Tuesday, September 30 at 9p ET and 10p PT on CNBC’s Conversations with Michael Eisner. It’s a great interview of Mr. Bochco’s career and all sorts of goodies about how the behind-the-scenes of Hill Street Blues as well as his other work. Please tune in and pass the word!!