Barney Miller rocks

I’ve been catching episodes on WGN where they have been showing it on weekends. I’ve always loved this show, but it may have just advanced to number one on my all time list.

One of the things I’m noticing now: Hal Linden’s timing. He rarely gets the funniest lines, but he is a master of facial reactions. Watching Barney’s reactions - often off to the side of the screen - to the craziness or the one-liners that abound is worth the price of admission.

I’ve always favored the Dietrich character, but I’m now also noticing (and enjoying) Barney’s annoyance with him. His looks of exasperation when Dietrich demonstrates his knowledge are golden.

Something else: ever notice how Dietrich always seems to sneak up on Barney from behind when giving his input? Barney never seems to be the jumpy type, but he’s always startled when Dietrich speaks up (from behind).

Just felt like sharing.

I love it too. It’s very interesting to see NYC portrayed as so far in decline it would never recover. Who knew huh? Wojo gave Fish NYC bonds as a retirement gift and the bonds came due in 1999. The joke was which would give out first, NYC or Fish?

I love Fish’s “life slapped me right in the face, humanity.”

Harris’s arrogance and Wojo’s naiveness and Jack Soo too. I was suprised when Barney Miller left and he says “OK Yamana you’re in charge.” He was 2nd in command? Dietrich and Harris mismatched friends routine was also great writing

My favorite scene.

Also, the retrospective episode honoring Jack Soo.

Alas, no WGN! :frowning:

Barney Miller is my favorite TV show.

They also did a great job of combining self-contained episodes with long story arcs. Barney’s marital problems become a long separation become divorce talks but they reconcile, or Harris’s book (“Bob” for “Blood on the Badge”) goes from talked about to released to gets him sued for character defamation to aftermath, Fish’s impending retirement, Inspector Luger’s search for/securing of/relationship with his much younger Filipino wife, etc…

Also some great recurring characters: the wolfman who later decides he’s Jesus (or vice versa), the gay couple (this was not only WAY before many other shows had openly gay characters but they even dealt with one of them’s parental rights), “Ray” the bum, the gun nut (can’t remember his name- bald older character actor), etc… Plus they had some one episode characters that were fantastic: the housewife who created a bomb and innocently asks “does that sound like it would work?” or “Alfred Royce… the People’s Candidate”, etc…

Truly inspired show. I wish TV Land or some other oldies network would resurrect it because I don’t think it’s in syndication where I live.

My favorite lines were from the hash brownie episode-

Nick: Barney… Barney… Barney… was your mother from Kelearney?

and later

Nick: Mushy mushy.

Both were of the “you have to see it to know why it’s funny”. Same episode:

Fish: First time in twenty years I’ve felt good… and it was illegal.

Dude, I’ve been watching them on, this is one of those AWESOME shows that was before my time, but I still find it quite hilarious nowadays. I believe hulu has 3-4 seasons worth of episodes on it…

There needs to be an all Night Court/Barney Miller network.

Thanks. I’ve bookmarked the search.

I’d watch that…although I’ve been buying the DVD sets for both shows as they’ve been coming out (first three seasons so far for each).

I’ve been TiVo’ing and burning them to DVD. I hadn’t seen most of these in literally 30+ years and yet some of them I remember verbatim!

I don’t think he was supposed to be the same guy, they just wound up using the same character actors over and over. I’m waiting to see someone who’s really famous now, but so far I haven’t.

Something I found really surprising in Wikipedia: The show only had a real studio audience for the first 2½ seasons! After that it was a laugh track. Laugh tracks are usually obnoxiously fake, but they must have made an effort to make it sound realistic. It has to be one of the only 3-camera, videotaped shows without a live audience.

Also, Dennis Farina, who was a cop before becoming an actor, once said that Barney Miller was the most realistic police show ever, with 90% of the work actually being boring paperwork and administration.

Love the show.

Love the theme song - I thought that bass riff was the coolest thing ever (well, with the sax lead on Sanford and Son)

No mention yet of Wentworth? I thought Linda Lavin was great in that character.

That was the exact scene that has stuck with me all these years.

I love Barney Miller as well too bad the DVDs only go to season 3.

Two of my favorite Dietrich moments:

They bring in a device some college kid builds but the bomb squad guys and other detectives are stumped as to what the device is for. Dietrich walks in pauses while looking at the object and casually says, OK who brought in the atomic bomb, which is exactly what it was.

A wacko guy who claims to be a time traveler from the future is lead out of the squad room and stops by Dietrich’s desk and spies his name plate A Dietrich. He then adopts a reverent tone and asks, A Dietrich…Arthur Dietrich?? Yes, I am Dietrich responds and the wacko says he is honored to meet such a distinguished man and tells the Barney and the others that they should all be very proud and humbled to be working with such a great man while the detectives are rolling their eyes and really upset at this prospect because they half believe it. The look on Harris’s face is priceless. After the wacko leaves Dietrich deadpans, that he couldn’t have done it without them.

My SO and I brought season 1 with us on a recent vacation - we watched them back to back to back - it was awesome.

I loved when Barney’s wife is re-doing the kitchen so she keeps calling on the stakeout to ask questions - the stakeout where no one is supposed to know they are there, yet the deli man brings over lox and bagels, the landlady keeps showing the apartment, and the lady in the blue negligee shows up. Plus Fish’s wife Bernice comes in.

Barney finally gets the place to himself and decides to take a shower since he can’t at his house - only to have the deli man’s self-made burglar alarm go off. Barney bursts out of the bathroom holding a towel around his waist and grabbing a gun, yelling - “I’m coming! I’m coming!!”

The show was always funny, but Officer Levitt’s increasing role generally serves as a barometer of an increasing sentimentality and inevitable decline. The early years are the best there ever was, though.

One story that’s always stuck with me was Harris, inspired by Roots, hiring someone to trace his genealogy back to Africa, and then throwing a fit when it turns out that his ancestors lived in Scotland for as long as anyone could find.

I don’t know about Farina per se, but the book What Cops Know claimed in its preface that the cops interviewed rated Barney Miller as the most realistic cop show ever. But that was in 1991, before CSI: Miami.

Yes, I hated Levitt even when he was just the cop from downstairs.

Barney Miller is a timeless classic, for sure.

I remember watching the series finale at like 2 a.m. (syndication) in my sophomore year of college while I was supposed to be studying for my German final.

My all time favorite is an exchange between Deitrich, the intellectual poseur, and Wojo, the “dumb Polack”.

The two of them arrive at the precinct quite early one morning, and talk about the fog they saw on the way in. Deitrich quotes Heine or somebody, and Wojo replies with Sandburg’s “the fog creeps in on little cat feet” – possibly the only poem he ever read. The two share a quiet moment.

Then Harris walks in, and Wojo asks HIM about the fog. Harris says, “Yeah, its like pea soup out there.”

Deitrich and Wojo look at each other and sadly shake their heads. Harris just wasn’t in the moment.