Now there was a name from the past. "Barney Miller" was one of my favorite sitcoms from the 1970s, and also a fave of my father and brother's. I watched it too for most of its run, except for the season and a half that NBC ran "James at 15" opposite it, but that's a whole other discussion. "Barney Miller" is a gem rarely syndicated these days, and I really don't know why, because it holds up well, not the least bit dated, and I laughed almost at once when I started watching.
Regulars on the show included Ron Glass as detective and writer Harris, who the young folks probably know better as Shepherd Book of "Firefly" and Dr. Streiten on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." The kind hearted but naive Wojo was played by Max Gail, comedian Steve Landesberg was the cool intellectual Dietrich, and Gregory Sierra played Chano the first two seasons. There was also the brown nosing Levitt played by Ron Carey, and James Gregory (from the Matt Helm films) who played Inspector Luger. Jack Soo was Nick Yemana but passed away during the fifth season. Even Linda Lavin of "Alice" fame did a brief turn as Wentworth. Along with Barney, and Fish, who was spun off into his own series, these were the officers of the 12th.
Even after all these years, there are episodes that stand out for me. I remember two with the man who thought he was a werewolf. There was also the story involving the gay police officer. I also remember the special fourth wall breaking tribute episode to Jack Soo. Mostly I remember when Barney confronted Harris about his writing, a scene that hit me at my core. Harris was obsessed with pushing his book, "Blood on the Badge," and his assertion that he was a writer first and a cop second. Barney asked him, "What have you written lately?" bringing home the point that a writer writes. It's a mantra that powers me to this day.
Besides 'airing' on Crackle, "Barney Miller" is also available in a DVD boxed set of the complete series, which also includes the first season of the "Fish" spin-off starring Abe Vigoda. Great television, well worth seeing again, or for the first time.