CHiPs – The Complete Second Season DVD Review

     June 22, 2008

Reviewed by Rob Klein

CHiPs season 2 is now available, a little more polished and even more 70s flavored than the first season! As the credits roll, we hear the familiar CHiPs disco-ed, four on the floor bass drum, kicking out the theme song with that Moog keyboard, oh yeah! Followed by close-ups of black cop-issue motorcycle gloves, aviator mirrored shades, polished boots, tight trousers and those super-cool highway patrol motorcycles.

In this season we were introduced to a white guy in a lab coat who had a wild Afro, who plays the CHP’s mechanic; CHiPs version of “Q” to Agent 007. Couldn’t place his name in the two minutes I had to devote to his character (sorry, whoever you are!) Well, his persnickety humor is just right for Ponch’s laidback vibe. Where this will go to in future seasons, we’ll have wait to see it unfold. The music also goes where no cop show had gone before, as the incidental music was written by Alan (Star Trek) Sylvestri.

This set gifts viewers with two thin DVD cases, so thanks for saving us space, unlike some other box sets. The set has with four DVDs, featuring 22 episodes. Bonus features are included, including a new featurette: The Real CHiPs with Erik Estrada and a fun feature-length episode: The Greatest Adventures of CHiPs, where a special achievement award is given to Ponch and Jon, and all the B-list actors on the show get the most lines they have had all season remembering how cool Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox (kind of) were in the last two seasons. I guess Erik and Larry needed a break as their infamous hatred of the other may have already begun to percolate.

I particularly enjoyed the character development with Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) in season 2. Jon is serious about his partnership, where Ponch seems to be just out to have some fun…the writers had lots to do with CHiPs. Jon Baker contemplates perusing another career for a time, or for at least 1/3 of an episode. He’s really deep- a thinker, he was never as thin on brains as he was on lips.

Airing from September 16, 1978 thru March 19, 1979, this season of ChiPs falls right into one of the most magical eras of TV, along with a 2nd TV renaissance with concurrent programming such as Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Three’s Company, BJ and the Bear, Battlestar Galactica, Charles’ Angels, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and The Dukes of Hazzard…we felt the magic of 79, with Farrah’s feathered hair, satin jackets, roller skates and rainbows. Yes, our lives were touched.

My co-reviewer Jennifer Smith got spanked in 1981 when she was six for following her idol Erik Estrada into Gelson’s market against her Mother’s wishes, because she was supposed to stay in the car. Oddly enough she ran into Erik Estrada at the Starbucks across the street from that same Gelson’s just last year! She told Estrada her tragic spanking story, and he charmingly asked if she had been spanked recently, then flashed his pearly whites. If you were to ask her today if the spanking had been worth it, Jennifer would just smile and say: “Hell, yeah.”

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