was a drama series about two Los Angeles homicide detectives, sergeants Rick Hunter and Dee Dee McCall. It was created by Frank Lupo
and produced by Stephen J. Cannell
, and ran on NBC
for seven seasons starting in 1984.
Rick Hunter (played by ex-football player Fred Dryer
) has a reputation for being a Cowboy Cop
, which makes him less than popular among his superiors. While he does tend to bend the rules and disregard orders, he only does so to get evidence against the bad guys, and his intuition never fails in picking out who is a bad guy or who isn't. He would never stoop to manufacturing evidence or framing an innocent.
Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer
) is Hunter's partner. As tough as she is good-looking she is sometimes called the "brass cupcake". She is just as pro-active as Hunter when fighting crime and doesn't hesitate to get into physical fights with the criminals, but she is less hot-headed and often acts as a calming influence on her partner. In the last season, McCall left the series and was replaced by two other female detectives.
This show provides examples of:
- Action Girl: McCall. Despite being much smaller than Hunter, she was just as active in fights and or chasing down criminals on foot — often in high heels.
- The Alleged Car: Any car driven by Hunter would either be this, or become this during the episode. Sometimes it would literally be falling to pieces. Because of his reputation for wrecking cars, the police department would always give him the worst vehicle available. On the occasions where he, through luck or trickery, could obtain a new car, he would invariably get in a car chase and wreck it.
- By-the-Book Cop: Sgt. Bernie Terwilliger thinks Hunter is a disgrace for the department and never fails to point out any time he breaks a rule. Unfortunately, Terwilliger is not that good a detective himself. In the second season, he gets transferred to Internal Affairs, a job which brings him into frequent confrontation with Hunter.
- The Cast Showoff: Besides playing McCall, Stepfanie Kramer also had a career as a singer. She shows this off in an episode where McCall goes undercover as a singer.
- Catch Phrase: Hunter's "Works for me".
- Chase Scene: Most episodes had several, both by car and by foot.
- Cowboy Cop: Hunter has this reputation among his colleagues, and some journalists.
- Da Chief:
- Hunter's immediate superior in the pilot episode, captain Caine, views him as a dangerous loose cannon and a Cowboy Cop, and threatens to take his badge away.
- His captains in later epsiodes tended to have a more sympathetic attitude to Hunter. Despite frequent irritation over Hunter's insubordination and liberal attitude to the regulations, they tolerated this (up to a limit) because of his good results. They would do their best to keep Hunter in line with varied success.
- Dirty Harriet: McCall would often go undercover as a streetwalker or callgirl, especially during the first season.
- The Eighties:
- Hunter's version of the decade is less garish or glitzy than that of Miami Vice, but there are lots of examples of Eighties style, fashion and music.
- McCall's clothes, hairdos and colourful makeup are all typical of the Eighties.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Car chases would often end with one car catching fire and/or exploding.
- Fair Cop: McCall. Her good looks not only made her a suitable Dirty Harriet, but also attracted romantic attention from both desirable and undesirable quarters.
- Watch the Paint Job: Sometimes Hunter manages (by audacity, oversight or sheer luck) to requisition a new car from the department, rather than the Alleged Car he will usually be given. The people in charge of the car pool will invariably be very upset about serial wrecker Hunter getting his hands on a pristine vehicle, and there is a lot of angst over in which shape he'll return it. Of course, the car is totalled or at least severely damaged during the episode. This leads to another show of angst and anger when the car is returned.
- White Sheep: Hunter comes from a Mob family but chose to join the police. In the first season, he uses his connections to get information from his relatives, who also try to use him. Downplayed in later seasons.
Episodes of this series provide examples of:
- Dress Hits Floor: There is an episode where a rich woman robbed by some criminal finds him and bargains for return of some jewelry piece. When the robber suggests she is "wired", she drops her clothes to the floor to prove she is not. This leads to Karmic Death of said robber, at the hands of the woman's jealous husband who wrongly assumes she's having an affair — she is, but not with the burglar.
- External Combustion: Happened to a journalist who was convinced that Hunter was a dirty Cowboy Cop dealing out vigilante justice. The real culprit used this to frame Hunter for the murder.
- Follow That Car: Detective DeeDee McCall did this in an episode, with the grizzled cab driver replying "I've been waiting twenty years for someone to say that!"
- Rape and Revenge: When McCall is raped by a foreign diplomat, who uses his Diplomatic Impunity to flee the country, Hunter tracks him down in his homeland and ends up killing him.