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All Episodes Talk: 12th Precinct Chatter

Can't believe it's taken me this long to find my way here.

Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

Favorite episode?

By far "Hash" was the funniest episode ever.

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I think it's either MeTV or AntennaTV that shows this.  I forget which night though.  I do still love it, and agree about "Hash" as being one of the funniest episodes.

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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That episode and the one with the guy who thought he was a werewolf are my all time favorites. I have not seen this show in years, none of the cable providers in our town carry a channel that shows it. I always thought maybe TV Land would start showing it but no dice. Sad really because it truly was a hilarious show.

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Some of the best writing in episodic television comedy.  You really had to listen to every word or you could miss something classic!  I can remember my dad laughing so hard there were tears running down his face!

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I remember an episode with Deputy Inspector Frank Luger in it.  There was something about a mail order bride from the Philippines and Luger suggested that she "ooze on back to Luzon."  I don't know why but I remember that line to this day and still find it hilarious.

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James Gregory (Inspector Luger) had the greatest delivery, didn't he?  I can still hear him saying, "Bah-ney.  You oughta be out on the street, whipping the citizenry inta shape."  Even in the '70s he looked old-school with the hat.

 

Most of the cast had distinctive ways of speaking, now that I think about it.

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Can't believe it's taken me this long to find my way here.

Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

 

I've been enjoying it from Shout!'s full release; it's been so good that I'm almost through the series (I'm on the penultimate disc, and I'm nearing the 3-part Landmark finale).

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Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

 

I've been catching it on Family Net at 230pm EST/1130am PST.  On weekends there's a one hour block at 7pm EST/4pm PST. 

 

ETA:   For some dish carriers, this can be Rural or RFD-TV.

Edited by magicdog.
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Antenna TV is carrying the show Sunday nights on my cable network (cablevision).

 

 

 

Can't believe it's taken me this long to find my way here.

Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

Favorite episode?

By far "Hash" was the funniest episode ever.

 

 

That episode and the one with the guy who thought he was a werewolf are my all time favorites. I have not seen this show in years, none of the cable providers in our town carry a channel that shows it. I always thought maybe TV Land would start showing it but no dice. Sad really because it truly was a hilarious show.

Kopeckne - that's how I think the werewolf spelled his name.  It's running later tonight.  I've got the DVR set!

 

Love the theme music.  Really takes me back to my childhood.

 

I think Jack Soo and Fish were my favorites with Harris a runner up.  Watching again as an adult, I can appreciate some of the other detectives as well including Wentworth who I didn't care for the first time around.

 

Luger with his "Brownie" stories and his hat.  The mail order bride episode where he has Barney write letters for him.

 

One thing that I find interesting is how the stories from the 70s are very much relevant today.  They just had an episode a couple weeks ago of when people were calling in fake robberies so they could shoot at the cops.  The hasidic riots.  Political corruption (OK, that's always relevant).  Favoritism, cronyism.  Etc etc.

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By far "Hash" was the funniest episode ever.

 

 

"Mushie, mushie!" 

 

"Squish, Squish!" 

 

"This is the best I've felt in 25 years and [the cure] just has to be illegal!"

 

"This is definitely hash,  Barney.  I can tell by the way I feel!"

 

 

 

the one with the guy who thought he was a werewolf

 

 

Too Funny! 

 

When it's announced a man who thinks he's a werewolf is coming in:

 

Nick:  "I better put some newspapers on the floor [of the cage]"

 

 

Later when Kopechne starts howling and is told by Barney to calm down:

 

Nick:  I think he's a real [werewolf]!   He had hair growing out of his face!

 

Barney:  That's a BEARD!"  Haven't you ever seen one before?

 

Nick:  "Not in my family!"

 

(Damn, I miss Jack Soo!)

Edited by magicdog.
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"Mushie, mushie!" 

 

"Squish, Squish!" 

 

"This is the best I've felt in 25 years and [the cure] just has to be illegal!"

 

"This is definitely hash,  Barney.  I can tell by the way I feel!"

 

Just saw that one last night!  Wojo brings in special brownies.  Nice girlfriend you got there Wojo!   I laughed when the robber described Fish chasing him across rooftops jumping 12 feet in span. 

 

One thing I did notice in the rewatching of these episodes is how misogynistic they are.  A battered wife comes in and they ask her why he did it.  They shrug it off to the 'heat'.  Then when she hesitates to sign the form, they don't talk her through it, they walk her out.  Then lots of 'jokes' about using violence on women.  Sign of the times.

 

One of the funnier ones (which I've saved on my DVR) is when the guys cross dress to catch a rapist in Central Park.  Fish and Wojo. No words.  And when Wentworth gets jealous that the rapist picked Wojo over her... OK, completely not pc but funny.

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A battered wife comes in and they ask her why he did it.  They shrug it off to the 'heat'.

 

 

It's been a while since I saw this one, but I always thought of it as just asking what instigated the fight.  The "heat excuse" I've seen used (usually from non LEO) to excuse riots.  I think it may have to do with a theory that riots/violence were believed to have been linked to a rise in temperatures ("long hot summer").  Back then, not everyone had air conditioning either, which would have added to things.

 

 

Then when she hesitates to sign the form, they don't talk her through it, they walk her out.

 

 

I can't remember if she was a regular or not, as she might have tried to report her husband before.  They may not have talked her through it because either she had been there before, or she (and many women like her) kept refusing to sign the papers out of "love" or loyalty  to their men.  Sadly, cops see the same behavior in such women and probably expect them all to react similarly.  IIRC, the character was hemming and hawing for the majority of the episode.

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It's been a while since I saw this one, but I always thought of it as just asking what instigated the fight.  The "heat excuse" I've seen used (usually from non LEO) to excuse riots.  I think it may have to do with a theory that riots/violence were believed to have been linked to a rise in temperatures ("long hot summer").  Back then, not everyone had air conditioning either, which would have added to things.

 

 

 

I can't remember if she was a regular or not, as she might have tried to report her husband before.  They may not have talked her through it because either she had been there before, or she (and many women like her) kept refusing to sign the papers out of "love" or loyalty  to their men.  Sadly, cops see the same behavior in such women and probably expect them all to react similarly.  IIRC, the character was hemming and hawing for the majority of the episode.

Yea, I think it's just the era.  I don't know if she was a repeat visitor, they didn't seem to know her.  She did walk out and come back in about 1 minute later to sign the papers.  What I found cringe worthy were the comments between the detectives.  Even my beloved Fish made some comments about women in general, knowing their place, being able to take a hit etc.  It's been over a few episodes that the comments are pretty bad. 

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That one episode with the battered wife (at least she finally does sign the form) is by far the worst in that respect, over the whole series. I recall seeing general agreement on that point in other forums. I'm afraid I just skip it when I rematch the series. Other episodes I can shrug and acknowledge that sensitivities on some subjects have been made mainstream over time (no doubt we'll look insensitive in our turn, to people in the future). But that one episode does cross a line for me; it's just unpleasant to watch, and not in any way that was intended.

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There was another episode where a woman reports being raped by her husband and it had comments like "how can a man rape his own wife?" although I don't think those things were said by the cops, but it ended with no change either.  The woman went home with her husband, if I recall correctly.

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Some boring technical trivia from American Cinematographer. Danny Arnold wanted the set to look just like a dark dreary police station. Unfortunately this was a 70's sitcom shot on videotape and networks demanded these all be brightly lit. The set designer brought the light levels on the set down but ABC said they'd just crank up the gain on the cameras to brighten everything again.

 

You know those little desk lights? That was Arnold's solution. If they increased the gain on the cameras, the bright desk lights would leave "trails" whenever the camera panned. ABC couldn't find a way around this so they relented. That's why Barney Miller looked different from other sitcoms on the era.

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Just saw that one last night!  Wojo brings in special brownies.  Nice girlfriend you got there Wojo!   I laughed when the robber described Fish chasing him across rooftops jumping 12 feet in span. 

 

I believe that one also had one of the funniest lines. Harris tells Barney that it's definitely hash in the brownies while blissfully eating one. Barney takes the brownie and tells him to go home and "come back when you feel better."

 

"I'll go home, Barney. But I'm never gonna feel better."

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"anybody seen my legs? they're about this long...."

 

they had a long way to go with women's issues, but they were remarkably gay-friendly for the times, as I recall. there was a gay couple who were regulars. what were their names? they were always treated with respect--even Wojo, who was really uncomfortable with them at first, eventually got over it.

 

Harris on mugging detail, when he had to shave his moustache? Gold.

Harris: OK, Nick, go on--let's hear your witty comments

Yemana, in awe: you look lovely!

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"anybody seen my legs? they're about this long...."

 

they had a long way to go with women's issues, but they were remarkably gay-friendly for the times, as I recall. there was a gay couple who were regulars. what were their names? they were always treated with respect--even Wojo, who was really uncomfortable with them at first, eventually got over it.

 

Harris on mugging detail, when he had to shave his moustache? Gold.

Harris: OK, Nick, go on--let's hear your witty comments

Yemana, in awe: you look lovely!

Marty & Daryl.  One of my favorites was the Quarantine episode where a perp is suspected of measles and everyone in the room is on lock-down until the test results come back.  They wind up sleeping on cots overnight and Wojo wants to place Marty & Daryl at opposite ends of the room.

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I remember being annoyed by Marty at first -- I got indignant about having such stereotypically queeny portrayals on TV -- but over time I saw that the show had a longterm plan for the characters, in the vein of "can't we all get along?" 

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I have a vague memory of the episode where everyone had to sleep overnight in the precinct. Harris didn't just talk in his sleep but yelled in his sleep including an unkind remark about his boss. He yells "I wanna be somebody!" and wakes up to everyone looking at him. As usual Barney is not upset at all and tells everyone to disregard what they had heard.

 

I can't imagine a scene (a tone of serious comedy) like this in a sitcom on TV today. It's more like a comic moment in a serious drama.

Edited by scowl.
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I just saw this episode recently - it wasn't measles.  They were waiting for the tests to show if it was chicken pox or small pox.

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There was another episode where a woman reports being raped by her husband and it had comments like "how can a man rape his own wife?" although I don't think those things were said by the cops, but it ended with no change either.  The woman went home with her husband, if I recall correctly.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0519086/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_15

Barney Miller: Season 4, Episode 15 Rape (26 Jan. 1978)

 

That episode aired on 1/27 on ANT.  I'm watching it now.  It's so uncomfortable their reactions from the first time the woman tells them that she's been raped "Oh boy" to when she tells them who did that.  Linda Dano played the ADA.

 

Thankfully there is levity from Dietrich's complainant who got robbed by a priest in a confessional.

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Tonight's episode was when the squad room was vandalized and Harris suggests Levitt might be behind it.  Turns out it was Jim from Taxi whom Barney had given a littering ticket to back in 1961 (for throwing a half eaten hotdog in the street).  Funniest part was when Barney orders Nick to straighten up the files and Nick looks at the graffiti that says Miller is a MF-er (assuming) and then looks at Barney and says that he has nothing else to add.

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They showed the Jack Soo tribute tonight, introduced by the cast as themselves. I don't think I'd ever seen it before.  It was hilarious and sad.  and perfect.  That's how you do a tribute.

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They showed the Jack Soo tribute tonight, introduced by the cast as themselves. I don't think I'd ever seen it before.  It was hilarious and sad.  and perfect.  That's how you do a tribute.

I have it recorded - look forward to watching it.

 

Saw one with Seigal's department store (S6, E1, Inquisition) where someone busts up the elevator music system.  They bleeped out Muzak.  Wonder why?  NVM.  Googled it.  Seems Muzak wanted to be paid every time the episode aired.  Sheesh!

 

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=53189

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I have 35 episodes on my tivo right now--some little local station is running two episodes a day!! I'm a happy viewer. Last night I watched "Eviction".

 

What a great show. All the characters are real people, not cardboard stereotypes, and everyone changed and grew over time. I love it.

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An episode circa 1982 when the detectives needed to don plain clothes as it was Sargent exam day.

 

Luger: I'm not the same man I was in 1957.

Barney: Who is, Inspector?

Dietrich: Dick Clark.

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Scanlon sets up a trap with an Internal Affairs cop playing a drug dealer who offers the detectives a bribe.

 

Barney calls Dietrich and Harris in his office after the dealer offers him a bribe.

 

Harris: That's funny, on the way over here, he offered me the same deal.

Dietrich:  Me too. 3,000.

Harris: 3?  He offered me 2.

Dietrich:  Oh. Well, I'd be willing to split the difference with you.

Harris: Oh hey, well that's decent of you Arthur.

 

as Harris leads him to the cell:  C'mon chintzy.

 

Later...

 

Soo: In all the years I've been on the force, I've never been once offered a bribe.

Dietrich: Does that bother you?

Soo: I wouldn't take the money but sometimes it's just nice to be asked.

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Just watched the "Chinatown" episodes last night, in which Scanlon attempts to pitch woo to a sophisticated blonde, resulting in a harassment complaint, Jeez, what an ass. Great acting, though-- Murdock was a scream.  

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Just watched the "Chinatown" episodes last night, in which Scanlon attempts to pitch woo to a sophisticated blonde, resulting in a harassment complaint, Jeez, what an ass. Great acting, though-- Murdock was a scream.  

So creepy.  He played that well.  I get squicked out all these years later watching it on screen as if I am in the same room.

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The detectives bust a local 'dance' hall.  Wojo takes a shine to a new hoofer (which he spells as hooker).

 

Wojo to Mrs. Miller:  She's not a lady.  A lady doesn't take money from a man.  What are you here for Mrs. Miller?

Mrs. Miller:  I came to get money from Barney.

 

She really had some of the best lines.

 

 

One thing that was interesting is that I can't recall ever seeing another shift.  Barney always mentions the next shift coming on, but the detectives leave before anyone else comes in.

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Antenna TV just aired episode 7.22, "Liquidation," the last episode of season 7, in which Harris spends the episode being very drunk. Harris has been told by a judge that there will be no more appeals to his lawsuit (brought against Harris by a sleazy lawyer for defamation of character in Harris' book, Blood on the Badge, based on his real life police experiences) and that Harris now owes $32,000, which Harris does not have, and so he is ordered to show up at court the next afternoon with all of his worldly possessions. During Harris' drunken rant, he declares that he himself is "one mad n-----." I was surprised it didn't get cut in 1981, and even more surprised it didn't get cut today. I wonder if they thought that was the series finale, or if they knew it was renewed for one final year.

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I'm pretty sure All in the Family used the word.

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I remember that episode and was let down by that part. However, seeing as i watch the show everyday, it has become noticeable of just how extremely politcally incorrect things were. Most of them made me laugh but that one, no.

 

And then there was the one where two men had businesses near each other. One was a Jew and the other Palestinian. They constantly threw cultural insults at each other throughout the show until one came up missing. That's when it became clear they loved to hate each other.

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I remember that episode and was let down by that part.

Did you see it (and feel let down) for the first time back when it first aired in 1981? Or did you see it for the first time recently?

I didn't have a TV or watch TV from 1967 to 1997, so I'm just asking because I don't know what something like that meant back then? Was Ron Glass being edgy? I might try to do some research to see if I can find any newspaper or popular magazine commentary on the show from that time.

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I saw it first run. I don't remember any discussion on it but that doesn't say there isn't.

One other African American used it and that was Redd Foxx. He used it twice and one of those episodes was on earlier this week.

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I saw it first run. I don't remember any discussion on it but that doesn't say there isn't.

One other African American used it and that was Redd Foxx. He used it twice and one of those episodes was on earlier this week.

This online article documents the use of the word on Sanford and Son and a few others, but not Barney Miller: http://www.tvparty.com/70-n-word-on-tv.html

Even though I stated above that I didn't watch TV when Sanford and Son was airing, I actually do recall seeing parts of episodes at my parents' home, and I can imagine hearing Redd Foxx using the n-word, pronounced without the "r" as is mentioned in the article, so maybe I did.

Anyway, that whole episode on Barney Miller seemed a little off--like maybe they thought they were being canceled. At work, I have access to the Readers Guide to Periodicals covering that time period, so if I have time, I'll see if I can find anything.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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Your reasons why sound reasonable. Just wish

I could remember the general feel surrounding the show at that time. 

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Your reasons why sound reasonable.

I try to be reasonable, heh. Like Barney. And like Barney, sometimes I rant instead. I love the looks on his face when other characters say outlandish or foolish things to him. His reactions might be recycled, but they seem to stay fresh.

I wonder if Wojo had such a bad wig because it was a comedy, or what? William Shatner's hairpiece wasn't that bad. I keep thinking if they cast this show today, they would have a hotter, younger guy play Wojo. Maybe it was because they didn't want him to outshine Hal Linden/Barney? The episode in which they had a montage of Jack Soo's scenes (after JS died), Max Gail/Wojo didn't wear the wig, so I don't think he was vain about it himself.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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I remember learning that Max was a poet and well read. That cast was incredible.  Loved Dietrich. 

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Arnold Ripner I think was the ambulance chaser that Harris owed $320,000 to.  I didn't see the episode when it first ran but I saw it last year and again today. 

 

There is so much about the show that would not fly today.  It's so very politically incorrect but I think it mirrors the times.  There isn't a minority that doesn't get skewered.  Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Arabs, Polish, Irish, Italian, Asians, Germans, fat people, short people, and most of all --- women.

 

Always thought it was funny that Wojo was supposed to be a stud - I thought that was a joke but he was supposed to be one.  The 70s were an odd time.

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That was during the series' "edgy" period, with season-long arcs about making porn and so on. It has a different "adult" atmosphere that wasn't an altogether welcome change for some (like me, I'll admit).

 

As for the word, as recently as 15 years ago it was understood as something usable for dramatic emphasis in the proper context (or in quotation marks in historical discussion). Now it has become literally unsayable.

 

I don't recall any danger of being canceled at that point. It was Danny Arnold's to end the series when they eventually did, it wasn't a network cancellation.

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It was Danny Arnold's to end the series when they eventually did, it wasn't a network cancellation.

Thanks for this bit. It does seem like his name is the key to research on the series. Here's an interview with him (the Barney Miller pertinent talk starts after the 8 minute mark): http://www.bobclaster.com/radioshows/Danny%20Arnold.mp3

As for the word, as recently as 15 years ago it was understood as something usable for dramatic emphasis in the proper context (or in quotation marks in historical discussion). Now it has become literally unsayable.

I wondered if the President's saying the word in an interview last month would change that (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2015/jun/22/obama-n-word-wft-marc-maron-audio), and when I saw the Barney Miller "Liquidation" episode, I even wondered if it would've been bleeped or not aired at all if Obama hadn't spoken the word a month prior. ethalfrida mentions upthread that they also just aired the Sanford and Son episode with that word too. I guess you'd have to be a fly on some network wall or even a mind reader of some network exec or censor to know for sure. Or maybe there will be a casual mention of censors' decision making processes on NPR's show, On the Media, sometime soon that mentions this week's airing of the episode. Edited by shapeshifter.
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Today the last two parts of the three-part series finale aired on Antenna TV.

Monday they start over with the pilot, "Ramon."

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One thing that I find interesting is how the stories from the 70s are very much relevant today.  They just had an episode a couple weeks ago of when people were calling in fake robberies so they could shoot at the cops.  The hasidic riots.  Political corruption (OK, that's always relevant).  Favoritism, cronyism.  Etc etc.

New York is New York, no matter the century!

 

Actually joking aside, New York is pretty different from then, but the human condition overall doesn't change much.

 

That said, the show as I recall treated issues like homosexuality, race, drug use, etc. with a lot more respect than a lot of other shows in those days.  I seem to recall jokes aimed at transgender though that in my recall weren't as nice (although they might have simply been people in drag or straight up cross-dressing--shows in the 70s didn't do a very good job of distinguishing any of these things from the other--they just drag in some man they'd arrested dressed as a woman and milk it).

Edited by Kromm.
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...the show as I recall treated issues like homosexuality, race, drug use, etc. with a lot more respect than a lot of other shows in those days.  I seem to recall jokes aimed at transgender though that in my recall weren't as nice (although they might have simply been people in drag or straight up cross-dressing--shows in the 70s didn't do a very good job of distinguishing any of these things from the other--they just drag in some man they'd arrested dressed as a woman and milk it).

There were several episodes in which each of the various squad members had to take a turn to dress in drag for the purposes of entrapping muggers. Even though this running "gag" would likely make LGBT folks literally gag, for its time, it wasn't done too insensitively, IIRC from the episodes I caught during the recent re-airing.

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The show had good writers, at least better than a lot at that time. I especially loved Marty. I think he may have been the first openly gay character who was not wrtten extremely buffoonish. 

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Marty was written awfully broadly at the beginning of the series, and I wasn't happy about that. But his return later in the series was better, as if the writers (and the world) were wising up. And then the episode in Season 6 with Ofc. Zatelli outing himself to the squad (after an anonymous letter) was really good, as if they were trying to make amends for insensitivity in the first season. I especially appreciated that Zatelli wasn't a one-shot: he was an established (if tertiary) member of the squad who had both earlier and later appearances.

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