Cop Rock is an American musical police drama series that aired on ABC in 1990. The show, a police drama presented as a musical, was co-created by Steven Bochco, who also served as executive producer. TV Guide ranked it #8 on TV Guide’s List of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time list in 2002. The periodical dubbed it “the single most bizarre TV musical of all time”.
Youngsters, let me introduce you to some of the weirdest fucking telly it’s ever been my misfortune to witness. Worse than Love Thy Neighbour, worse than Mind Your Language, worse even than when Dr. Who made Bertie fucking Bassett a villain:
Yes, Cop Rock out-weirded all of them.
You’d be watching some standard cop show and then, BOOM, out of nowhere, a FUCKING SONG! Like, a full production, cops dancing about and waving their hair everywhere song and dance number. Not just a little Radiohead-type mithering mumble about existentialism, a FULL SONG that recounts plot points and sometimes advanced the narrative.
And then, WHOOMP, singing stops, back to the intense police drama.
I’m straight edge and I seriously think that I never need to do hallucinogenics in my life because I’ve watched Cop Rock. Nothing’s gonna beat that, I could gargle shrooms for weeks, still wouldn’t be as deeply unsettling.
How did this ever get made? It was from Steven Bochco, ffs, who’d made Hill St. Blues, probably one of the best cop shows ever. So, we thought we were in safe hands. We definitely weren’t.
The show was a critical and commercial failure and was canceled by ABC after 11 episodes. Owing to the combination of its bizarre nature (a fusion of musical performances with serious police drama) and its high-powered production talent, it became infamous as one of the biggest television failures of the 1990s. The series’ final episode, which aired on December 26, 1990, concluded with the cast breaking character and joining crew members in performing a closing song. (That final episode featured Sheryl Crow appearing as a back-up singer.)
Tbh, I’m expecting a re-make any day now…