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Homicide: Everything

December 7, 2006

At last. Look what I got for Christmas: The complete series set of Homicide: Life on the Street. For the last few years, every season set of the show had been priced to torment at $70-80. I owned only one set, the first one, and longed for the rest. All told, I would’ve spent more than $400 collecting the whole set, and I’d still miss out on everything in this one — not just the $150 price tag.

This isn’t just a cheesy cardboard box with the previously issues season sets in it. This is a clever sliding box built to work like a filing cabinet, with the tabs and a metal handle and everything. Each season has been repackaged into a plastic case (instead of the perfectly fine ultra-thin cases in the previous sets) with the boxed-set text on it. Episode synopses are on those little cardboard tabs that separate the seasons into sets.

Best of all, this set’s got a bonus disc with Homicide: The Movie (the bittersweet two-hour send-off for the show) and all three Law & Order crossover episodes, which aren’t on your individual season sets. Waiting for these sets is sometimes unbearable — I couldn’t have held out for the pretty fabulous West Wing set that’s out now — but sometimes it’s worth it.

Homicide hit me like an electrical charge. Like a bolt from heaven, it activated something in my head and guts. I caught up with the show when Lifetime was airing repeats in late-night, after discovering it in what must’ve been the fourth season on NBC. I watched it in the basement and wrote for hours afterward. It was nectar squeezed from the brains of actors and writers and directors and oozed out of my television.

After Neuromancer, David Simon’s seminal Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets is probably the book I’ve read the most. I saw Homicide and immediately started brainstorming and writing my vanity RPG dream-project, Jovan, which I’ve been cultivating, pitching, redesigning and dreaming about for, egads, ten years now. It’ll probably never see the light of day. But I can watch any episode of Homicide I damn well please and enjoy the next best thing to completing a dream project — dreaming about it.

If you like this show, get this set. If you didn’t like Homicide, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Noise: “Woman on the Tier,” Suzanne Vega

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