Video: Deftly Dippy

POLICE SQUAD!

ABC, Thursdays, 8 p.m. E.S.T.

Since its infancy, network television has favored two big noises: bang bang and ha ha. This month no fewer than five new dramas and comedies deal with the policeman's lot. Only one of them intentionally offers the viewer anything to laugh at: Police Squad!, the best reason to stay home Thursday nights since Hill Street Blues moved there.

The triumph of Hill Street Blues has been to make the passive viewer pay attention—to the interwoven plots, the overlapping dialogue, the busy background of bodies and emotion. Police Squad!, a deftly dippy sitcom now midway through a six-week...

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