Watch L.A. Dragnet
- 2 Seasons
L.A. Dragnet is a crime drama television series which aired from 2003 to 2004. It stars Jack Webb, Barton Yarborough, Barney Phillips, Ben Alexander and George Fenneman. Set in Los Angeles, the series revolves around detectives Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) who are part of the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division. Together, they solve a wide range of cases ranging from murders to robberies.
The show has a unique style of storytelling, using a combination of a classic, film noir-inspired look along with modern investigation techniques. What sets this iteration of the Dragnet franchise apart from its predecessors is that it is based on real LAPD cases.
One of the most interesting features of the show is the way it tackles police work. It shows how detectives use forensic evidence, eye-witness accounts, and advanced technologies (for the time) like DNA tests, and computers to crack cases. Additionally, the show explores the personal lives of each character, humanizing them in a way that's more realistic than what we see in other cop dramas.
Jack Webb excellently portrays the straight-laced, no-nonsense detective Joe Friday, bringing him to life in a way that's both relatable and captivating. Webb himself became a legend in the TV industry, having been the creator of the original Dragnet, which aired in the 1950s.
Barton Yarborough plays Frank Smith, Joe Friday's partner. Yarborough delivers an understated, nuanced performance that compliments Webb's more overbearing character.
The supporting crew are equally talented, adding a unique depth to the show's dynamic. Barney Phillips plays Captain R.A. Lohman, the leader of the Robbery-Homicide Division, and he expertly balances being both intimidating and likable. George Fenneman plays a lab technician, the nerdy sidekick of the detectives, and provides comedic relief to the tense situations the crew finds themselves in.
The show's cinematography is exceptional, as it adeptly utilizes the city to capture the mood and atmosphere of the case at hand. Additionally, the show's visual style emphasizes the noir-inspired look, depicting the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in a way that is reminiscent of classic crime films.
The writing for the show is smart and thought-provoking, with each episode providing fresh takes on the police procedural genre. The show features a range of crimes, including murder, bank robberies, kidnapping and more, making it highly engaging and unpredictable.
The show's production value is up there with some of the best in the genre, with its sophisticated set pieces and keen attention to detail. The crew clearly went to great lengths to ensure authenticity in the portrayal of L.A.'s law enforcement.
The show's tone is mostly serious, although there are some moments of levity that are both well-timed and enjoyable. The focus on investigation means that the show is highly engaging and intense, and it doesn't shy away from showing some graphic and disturbing imagery.
In conclusion, L.A. Dragnet is a great police procedural series that expertly balances old-school mystery drama with modern investigative techniques. The show is highly entertaining, with excellent production values, acting performances, and well-crafted storytelling. It is a must-watch for fans of the police procedural genre.