'CHiPs - The Complete First Season'
(Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / (1977) 2007 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: "CHiPS," which stood for California Highway Patrol, followed the daily beats of two state motorcycle patrolmen as they patrolled the freeway system in and around Los Angeles. Officer Jon Baker was the straight, serious officer while Frank "Ponch" Poncherello was the more free- wheeling member of the duo; both reported to Sgt. Joe Getraer, who gave out assignments and advice in handling the cases.
DVD Verdict: This show came out my first year of college. We'll get to that in just a sec. I just love big Kawis. The KZ 1000 police original B and C series bikes sounded so good. The Z type engine always got my attention with that cool sound from the straight cut spur gear on the crank that drives the transmission. Ok, tmi ha ha. I ran out and bought one as soon as used police bikes were available. Mine had only 30,000 on it and I rode that bike all over the LA area, even to the LA central CHP office where the show was filmed. Just visiting, no fix it cite. After all, I grew up in So. Cal. I've owned several KZ 1100s. "A" series, LTDs, etc. My neighbour owns an original '73 and '74 900 Z1R. The newer Bimmer R1150 RT0P is a great bike also, it's the police bike of the next generation after Kawasaki stopped building the KZ1000 P series. A faithful soldier that will be fondly remembered.
Oh yeah, on to the show. The characters work well, plots are fun and cinematography is tremendous! Cheers to John and Ponch. (Larry Wilcox, Erik Estrada) Great chemistry between the leads and Robert Pine, who played Sgt. Joe Getrare. The character reminds me of guys I've worked for in the past. Good sense of humor, down to business, and likable. My only problem with the series is that it got sillier as the seasons progressed and the disco music and beat get a little old after a while. It progressively got schmaltzy and the writing could have used some freshing up but it's still fun, great escapist TV. The pilot is the one of my favourite shows of the series. You really get to know and like the characters right off.
Finally, it's on DVD, albeit first season. This DVD set is nothing short of amazing; the picture is crystal clear; not digitally remastered; but it's in great shape. The audio is clear too. It looks like Ted Turner had a hand in this; I have to take my hat off to him and Warner; these are the network television releases; uncut and unedited; like they should be!
There are six disks; easy to navigate through; unfortunately there are no English subtitles. But there is the all important; "Play All" feature.
Some of the episodes have an opening introduction by Erik Estrada. It would have been nice to have Larry or Erik doing commentary; but I guess you can't have everything.
Looking forward to the subsequent seasons and a copy of the movie "CHiPS '99" which I have on VHS. That's also fun. Good writing, action, and lots of Kawasakis. If you love big bikes, lots of guy stuff, and pretty ladies with nice smiles, don't miss this one. Cudos to Rick Rosner. Nice shooting. This show still has wheels. Meanwhile, if you're a Chippie riding a Bimmer and a guy on a Blue BMW K 1200 GT waves, that's me. Happy riding and thanks for keeping us safe. Enjoy the show, it's worth every minute. This is a Standard Version Presentation and comes with the Special Features of:
Erik Estrada's Trivia Tips and Reminiscenes on Select Episodes
Erik Estrada profile Featurettee CHiPs: The Ride Out of Spanish Harlem