Third Watch (1999-2005)
Cop shows and medical dramas are a dime a dozen. There are literally hundreds of TV-shows about the brave souls who try to keep our streets safe and our bodies in one piece. These series come in all shapes and sizes and many of them are very good. In spite of this Third Watch felt different and special. It wasn't just the fact that it covered both police, firefighters and paramedics. Right from the raw title sequence, featuring "Keep Hope Alive" by The Crystal Method, you got the clear sense that this was a show that wouldn't pull its punches.
Through a wide variety of stories, combining all three divisions, Third Watch was never afraid to expose its characters as deeply flawed human beings, unforgivably so at times. We could never be sure they would all make it home alive at the end of the day, the series killed of enough regulars along the way to make us afraid, every time a beloved character stepped fearlessly into another life and death situation.
Highest praise must go to the actors, especially Kim Raver, as the divorced paramedic Kim, who was both fragile and bulletproof. Bobby Cannavale starred as her partner Bobby, whose untimely departure provided the single most heartbreaking moment of the series. Skipp Sudduth played the jaded officer Sullivan. His season 3 and 4 storyline featured Roy Scheider as a Russian mobster - his best work of the last 15 years of his career. Jason Wiles' breakthrough was in Beverly Hills 90210, but you wouldn't know that from watching his portrayal of the headstrong Officer Bosco, who could only be tamed by his older partner Faith, played by Molly Price. I could go on.
Strong characters, strong stories, beautifully shot. Not to be missed.
Never forget to love it.