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Series / Cop Rock

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Think of it like Pitch Perfect crashed into The Wire, and there were absolutely no survivors.

Cop Rock was a 1990 police drama presented as a musical. Steven Bochco made it in an attempt to replicate the success he had with Hill Street Blues, the acclaimed gritty police drama. He largely reused its premise but in musical form. This experiment definitely didn't work, possibly due to the dissonance of cheery, happy songs appearing spontaneously in an otherwise relatively serious police drama. In the show, the ensemble cast mixed musical numbers and choreography throughout storylines, for example, bursting into songs during court trials. It's just as bizarre as it sounds, and became infamous for its strange premise and stranger execution.

It has the honor of being rated #8 on the TV Guide List of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time, and #29 in What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History. You could, of course, watch it for the camp factor without taking it seriously, and you might enjoy it. Heck, Bochco never regretted making it, calling it "the most fun I’ve ever had in my life".

Tropes used by the series:

  • Mood Whiplash: Everywhere, from the premise itself to the songs.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Definitely the "Alternate Universe" hypothesis fits here. Any attempts to make this fit into Adaptation Hypothesis go right out the window when people actually play musical instruments during "He's Guilty" and "Let's Be Careful Out There". At one point, a rookie patrolman starts singing while he and his veteran partner are out on patrol. His veteran partner stops him and tells him they're not allowed to break into song while driving.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Baby Merchant", an upbeat tune about child trafficking and illegal adoptions.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: During the musical numbers any characters not singing, dancing, or otherwise involved in the music usually just go about their business like it's an every day occurance.
  • Villain Song: "Baby Merchant" definitely qualifies; a a child trafficker singing about his "services."
  • What Does She See in Him?: Vicki and Ralph don’t seem to be in love or even like each other.