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Currentfilm.com Review:

One of the most well-known and beloved shows of the late 70's/early 80's, "CHiPS" focused on a pair of California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers, Officer Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Officer Francis Llewellyn 'Ponch' Poncherello (Erik Estrada). Each episode saw the two in hot persuit of crime rings, car thieves, bikers and occasionally, helping out motorists in trouble.

One of the elements that still stands out about the series are the motorcycle chases, which are really rather impressive, especially considering the show's budget and age. These sequences are mostly pretty tense and filmed quite well, as they do a nice job of giving the audience the feeling of weaving through traffic on a bike while in persuit on a busy highway.

The stories aren't too vastly different from what you'll find in many of the other crime dramas from the era, but "CHiPS" at least doesn't take itself too terribly seriously, and offers some mildly funny one-liners and comedic moments scattered throughout each episode. The chemistry between Wilcox and Estrada remains another reason for the show's success and the duo's performances (as well as Robert Pine as Sergeant Getraer) were enjoyable. "CHiPS" may look its age, but I found the series still surprisingly fun years later.

1 Pilot 9/15/1977
2 Undertow 9/22/1977
3 Dog Gone 9/29/1977
4 Moving Violation 10/13/1977
5 Career Day 10/20/1977
6 Baby Food 10/27/1977
7 Taking Its Toll 11/3/1977
8 Green Thumb Burglar 11/10/1977
9 Hustle 11/24/1977
10 Highway Robbery 12/1/1977
11 Name Your Price 12/8/1977
12 Aweigh We Go 12/22/1977
13 One Two Many 1/5/1978
14 Rustling 1/12/1978
15 Surf's Up 1/19/1978
16 Vintage '54 1/26/1978
17 Hitch-Hiking Hitch 2/9/1978
18 Cry Wolf 2/16/1978
19 Crash Diet 2/23/1978
20 Rainy Day 3/2/1978
21 Crack-Up 3/9/1978
22 Flashback! 4/1/1978


VIDEO: "CHiPS" is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. Sharpness and detail aren't too bad, as the presentation looked crisp and clear throughout much of the show, save for a few soft-looking scenes here-and-there.

The real problem with the image quality was wear on the elements, which, while not severely distracting, is consistently spotted throughout a good deal of the running time. Specks, marks, scratches, hair, dirt and other debris are spotted at times throughout the episodes, with some episodes looking better than others. A few slight instances of artifacting and edge halos were also spotted. Colors looked a touch subdued, but seemed accurate to how the show has always looked, if my memory of the series is correct. Overall, the series did look somewhat more worn than I'd expected, but otherwise fine.

SOUND: The show's mono soundtrack fared pretty well, as while the show's classic score could sound a bit flat, it was still clear and without any distortion or other issues. Dialogue remained crisp throughout the show, with no issues.

EXTRAS: "Ponch's Police Tips" are short introductions to many of the episodes from Erik Estrada. There's also a short featurette on Estrada.

Final Thoughts: "CHiPS" remains surprisingly fun after all these years and is carried well by the two lead efforts. The DVD set offers okay image quality and fine audio, as well as very limited extras. Recommended for fans.

DVD Information

CHiPS: Season 1
Warner Brothers Home Entertainment
6 DVDs
Mono 1056 minutes
Subtitles: English
Rated NR
Dual Layer:Yes
Available At Amazon.com: CHiPS: Season 1 DVD