Police Woman: First Season (review)

Here’s TV history right here, folks: Sure, Pepper Anderson pretended to be call girls and streetwalkers and mobster molls, and the series slammed through a lot of salacious subjects — white slavery, girl bank robbers, porno movies, women’s prisons, and more — but Angie Dickinson’s bold and brassy lady cop managed to make some serious feminist inroads nevertheless, holding her own against all the guys who never expected much of her but quickly learned to respect her cool-under-fire competence. These 23 episodes, dating from 1974, are a veritable TV time capsule: not just the source of the first celebrity crush for every Generation Xer with a taste for curvy blondes, this series serves as the cultural headwaters of everything from Charlie’s Angels and Cagney & Lacey to Agent Scully and Law and Order: SVU’s Detective Olivia Benson. This tidy, fan-oriented package includes the Police Story episode that introduced Pepper, fully digitally remastered audio and video is as gorgeous as Pepper herself, and commentary on select episodes from — yes! — Angie Dickinson. Praise the Lord and pass the LAPD-approved ammunition.

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