The Boston Phoenix
November 26 - December 4, 1997

[TV at 50]
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Detective Andy Sipowicz

NYPD Blue

[Detective Andy Sipowicz] A drunken, racist goon with a heart of gold, Detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) is the moral core of the jagged cop drama NYPD Blue. Never has such an undesirable character been so compelling a television hero. During his tenure on the beat, Sipowicz has trampled over people's Miranda rights, berated immigrants, gotten drunk on the job, been shot while rolling in bed with a prostitute, called a black activist a nigger, and beaten enough suspects to fill Riker's Island three times over. But lately he's sobered up, gotten married to a perky assistant DA, fathered a son, lost another, befriended his Hispanic partner, Bobby Simone (played by the comparably low-watt Jimmy Smits), and become an investigator nonpareil. Of course, Sipowicz won't ever go totally soft, but thanks to Franz's underrated, edgy mixture of grit and sensitivity, you can't take your eyes off of him. Even when he's kicking the tar out of some crackheads.

-- Jason Gay

Detective Andy Sipowicz Q Cousin Oliver
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Rin Tin Tin Beavis & Butthead Matthew Burton
Barney Rusty Williams Henry Blake
David Addison Edison Carter Johnny Carson

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