Cop Rock: The Complete Series
Music Library MD962
Cop Rock, a true gift from the 90s. Steven Bochco and William M. Finkelstein have created a gritty police drama that also happens to be an American musical.
To give you an idea, the pilot opens with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) bursting into a home during a drug raid. Once all suspects have been apprehended and are being put into handcuffs, a beat drops and the ensemble of suspects break into a song expressing to the LAPD the amount of power they hold on the streets.
Being a product of its time, Cop Rock is very self-aware of tensions around police brutality, racial profiling, and analyzing the line of right and wrong. It touches on issues and conversations that we are still having to this day. Thematically, the show is a true drama, but the absurdism seeps in through the songs leading Cop Rock to float closer to a dark comedy. The pilot episode gives us a courtroom scene where the jury breaks into a gospel number to deliver their verdict.
In 2002 TV Guide ranked this show as #8 on their list of “50 Worst TV Shows of All Time”. After 11 episodes ABC canceled the show due to its critical and commercial failure. Cop Rock is infamous for being one of TV’s biggest failures in the 90s, but, thanks to a faculty request, we have it at UArts, ready to be checked out of the Music Library.
~ Recommended by Briana Gause, UArts Music Library Work Study Assistant