The Cop Show that Changed the Genre

by Dorothy Burk

18 October 2012

Andre Braugher's brilliant portrayal of Det. Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Street changed the way viewers thought about the good cop-bad cop divide on TV.
 

When Homicide: Life on the Street first aired in 1993, police procedurals were still stuck in a Jack Webbesque world where bad cops were rare and the men in uniform couldn’t be questioned.

In the second season of the critically acclaimed drama, badass good cop Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher) changed everything when he used the force of the badge to extract a false confession from an innocent man. Though the confession was later thrown out, the show revealed the tightrope police walk when searching for a suspect who is one of their own.

The episode remains as haunting today as it was when it first aired almost 20 years ago.

Interrogation, Pembleton Style

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