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Though obviously dated today.... a whole generation of kids watched this show and wanted to grow up and be Reed or Malloy, including me. The career that provided me with so much satisfaction was really inspired by this show. Despite what some may think, most cops got into the job with the same values and intents that hallmarked the characters on the Adam 12 show.
During my 25+ years in law enforcement, I was able to meet Kent McCord and Martin Milner at several charity events that they regularly supported. In real life, they truly are the good guys they portrayed on television. A picture of myself with them hangs on my office wall, and is one of my most cherished possessions.
One of my favorites was the episode when Reed's wife was pregnant, and the Reeds, Malloy, and his girl friend were trapped in a ghost town by a motorcycle gang. That episode still stands out in my mind. I enjoyed how the series dealt with more day to day stuff than the impossible situations shown in many other cop shows. It was amazing how a day's work could be squeezed into a 30 min show (22 w/o commercials).
After the first season of the show, there were changes. The 8 point caps that they wear changed to round. Reed's hair grow in every season. and they begain to wear nametags in the second season.
I like it.
I give it *****.
All I'll add is that it had the best casting of any TV show I've seen.
Even though the young Mr. Webb had the desire to become a Comedian and having his own Radio Show, much like his boyhood idol, Jack Benny, things don't always work out the way we envision them. (And the World can and may well be better off for it!) For it was his success with DRAGNET"Radio Show, which soon morphed into "DRAGNET" TV Series (1951-1959), that gave a great share of immortality to Jack in our American Pop Culture.
As time moved along, Mr. Webb became a creative force to several other Law Enforcement themed series. We saw his Production Company's Trademark of a strong, sinewy, sweaty, grimy hands pounding a flat lettering chisel-stamp, with the Hammer Striking and leaving the words: "A Mark VII, Ltd. Production", on quite a few series. Following the trail blazing accomplishments of "DRAGNET", we received several of these for our approval, as Rod Serling used to say.
So Mr. Webb brought us "O'HARE, U.S. TREASURY"(1971) with David Jansen, the longevity prone "EMERGENCY!(1972-79), and the equally long running, second most recognized as "a Jack Webb production "ADAM 12"(1968-75).
In "ADAM 12", Jack pushed the Envelope forward as far as the celluloid portrayal of Big City Cops goes. Using all the experience from his for incarnations of "DRAGNET", he let loose a sure winner with the TV Audience, as well as a continuing favourite with the Criticsizers (o.k., okay! It's 'Critics', I knew it all along!) In looking back to those years of the Late 1960's to the Early 1970's, we as a Nation (the U.S. A., that is, Schultz!)were all caught up in what was probably the High Water Mark of the 'Counter-Culture' Hippy/Yippie/Flippy Anti-Authority,Anti-Establishment, Anti-Cop media tirades of that period. This was the Era of Assassination, with John F. Kennedy (1963), Martin Luther King (1968) and Robert Kennedy (also '68), all dying at the hands of murderers with Political motivations. And there were other incidents such as the attempted Murder of Former Alabama Governor George Wallace in May of 1972.
In addition, we had subversive groups infiltrating Movements of War Protest, the Greatest example being the Rioting in the Streets of Chicago (" My kind of Town!") during that Week-Long Democratic National Convention in August 1968. Next would likely be their highly return in the following year of 1969 for their Self-Proclaimed "Days of Rage", October 5-11.
The same Left Wing Organizations also used their influence to turn Urban Rioting following events like the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to a sort of Urban Sedition. Aided by certain sensational headlines driven manipulators in the News Media, all blame seemed to be put on the Uniformed Police charged with doing something about it.
And always being a guy sympathetic to the thankless plight of the Cops, Mr.Webb set out to give us a dramatized version of just what it was like to be on the other end of that on- going struggle.
Essentially, Jack Webb rendered a series which could to be said is a "Dragnet of, by and for the Uniformed Police. In spite of some criticisms, such as being a little preachy in its story lines and stilted in the language employed, it certainly deserves to be rated as a top series of its time. And it certainly was a step up in the Cop Show Evolutionary Chain leading to some of the finest of Present Day Police Dramas. Next stage is represented by Joe Wambaugh's "POLICE STORY"( 1973-77).
And so, with that in mind, you can be sure to find that TV's Adam-12 was, by far, a lot less gun-crazy and violent as were most other cop shows on the boob-tube at the time.
With its stories ranging from the tragic to the trivial - Adam-12 conscientiously strove to portray a sense of authentic realism when it involved the day-to-day routines of police officers Malloy and Reed.
Produced by Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame) - Adam-12 proudly boasted that its cases were all actually taken directly from real police files (only the names were changed to protect the innocent - natch).
These shows were sans profanity, obvious sexuality and even real violence. Significantly they lacked CGI and much in the way of volatility type action (explosions, car crashes and so forth) and really seemed more of 'a training film' process for civilians. Call it nostalgic but I liked that time and manner. Great series! Worth watching today.
Jack Webb revived Dragnet at about the same time as this series started, but while the way the stories are laid out is similar, the youth movement gave this one more spark. Along with that, the rolling moving patrol car theme gave this one more hip than the more office grounded Dragnet. This series just plain had more action.
1-Adam-12, see the man at 19 Main Street for possible Liquor Store robbery. The patrol car radio would crackle out something like this at the beginning of every show. There would often be some car chases which would prove as popular on TV series as they were in theaters like Steve McQueens "Bullet" which was on screens when this show started.
This show was very solid & provided NBC solid ratings for quite a few years. I am not sure how well it would do on the DVD market, but think it could get some more fans if folks would check it out. It is a very good police action series from the late 60's era.
(PS- I'm only 14 too)
After the violence is ended Pete Malloy returns to Los Angeles and gets married where he decides to retire from being a policeman to handle a much safer job which is to teach a law class at UCLA. Jim Reed meanwhile decides to accept the promotion of being a detective.
Officer Pete malloy is a cop with many years experience (according to one episode from 1968, he claims to have spent 7 years in the force.) he's taken on a role with Officer Jim reed, a brand new cop that still smells like the academy, and that role is to serve and protect the Citizens of Los Angeles, California. along the way, they deal with many situations, like a 12 year old vandal, a pair of cop-hating friends, child molesters, and even a fellow cop who loves action more than serving the community.
This show should still be on television with reruns. it shows a father figure in malloy, a superior police officer who takes reed, a younger, less experienced one underneath his wing and trains him, much like a Jedi master and his apprentice. We don't have father figure characters like that anymore.
And we also seem to don't have those kind of police officers anymore. or so the media tells us.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet Kent KcCord and get his autograph. Does anybody remember McCord's real last name? McWhorter. Just a little bit of useless trivia I picked up years ago and still remember. This tells you that I watched way too much Adam-12, both growing up and whenever I can find it in syndication. I need to convince my wife to buy the series on DVD for me. Everyone please pray for me. It's almost Christmas and I am working on her again.
(And I am only 14)