Something of a landmark series in the 80's, "21 Jump Street" focused on a series of undercover cops that specialized in crimes that involved young people. The officers were able to pass for young people, allowing them entry into the corridors of high school. As a result, the cases included such topics as gang violence, drug addiction, racial violence, teen suicide and more. The series, which became one of the first hits for Fox, is generally regarded as one of the first to focus on a lot of these and other controversial topics.
The show starred an early Johnny Depp (although Depp has apparently spoken out about his dislike for the series, it's certainly a star-making role that gave an early boost to his career) as Officer Hanson, the "lead" cop of the Jump Street team. Backing him up are Officer H.T. Ioki (Dustin Nguyen), Officer Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson) and Officer Doug Penhall (Peter Deluise). Overlooking the crew is Captain Adam Fuller (Stephen Williams, in an excellent performance). The series certainly seems to be running well in its second outing, as the actors seem to be more comfortable in their characters and the chemistry is improved.
14. 2- 1 In the Custody of a Clown
- A kidnapping is under investigation, while a custody hearing between the parents rages. But is the kidnapper someone the parents know?
15. 2- 2 Besieged (1)
- A 16-year-old crack dealer is murdered, resulting in an undercover investigation into drugs and prostitution by the Jump Street officers.
16. 2- 3 Besieged (2)
17. 2- 4 Two for the Road
- The Jump Street gang busts a bar serving alcohol to underage kids, then has to cope when one of their own is arrested for DUI.
18. 2- 5 After School Special
- Captain Fuller and officer Hoffs go undercover at a violent high school where students and faculty are armed.
19. 2- 6 Higher Education
- Ioki faces a paternity suit when a teen points to him as the father of her child.
20. 2- 7 Don't Stretch the Rainbow
- Violence threatens to errupt at a racially divided high school.
21. 2- 8 Honor Bound
- Hanson, Penhall and Ioki investigate a series of assults on gay men.
22. 2- 9 You Ought to Be in Prison
- Hanson is kidnapped, which puts his life and the life of a Hollywood heartthrob in jeopardy.
23. 2-10 How Much is That Body in the Window?
- When an Olympic-bound gymnast dies of steroid overdose, it's up to the Jump Street officers to investigate.
24. 2-11 Christmas in Saigon
- Officer Ioki is threatened with dismissal from the chapel when it's found that he's a Vietnamese refugee.
25. 2-12 Fear and Loathing with Russell Buckins
- Hanson experiences a late teenage rebellion, putting friends and fellow officers in jeopardy.
26. 2-13 A Big Disease with a Little Name
- Hanson befriends a teen AIDS patient he is assigned to protect.
27. 2-14 Chapel of Love
- The Jump Street officers play poker and remember their worst dates on Valentine's Day, while Hanson remembers when his father was killed on prom night.
28. 2-15 I'm OK- You Need Work
- Hanson gets trapped inside an in-patient adolescent abuse center when he's investigating patient mistreatment.
29. 2-16 Orpheus 3.3
- Hanson stalks a killer to avenge the murder of his girlfriend.
30. 2-17 Champagne High
- Hanson and Penhall go undercover to investigate students being bussed in from the other side of the tracks.
31. 2-18 Brother Hanson & the Miracle of Renner's Pond
- Hanson befriends a teen whose strong faith almost costs him his life.
32. 2-19 Raising Marijuana
- Hoffs falls for a guy on the wrong side of the law.
33. 2-20 Best Years of Your Life
- Penhall is forced to recall his mother's suicide when he was younger when the teen he's investigating takes his own life.
34. 2-21 Cory and Dean Got Married
- A young murderer and his bride take Hoffs hostage when they're busted at their wedding.
35. 2-22 School's Out
- The Jump Street cops must find temp jobs when school lets out for Summer.
VIDEO: "21 Jump Street" is presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio on this second season set. The image quality is below average, as the picture appears fuzzy and soft throughout the season. Some moments look a little crisper than others, but the majority of the show has a somewhat dated, noticably soft appearance.
Some minor instances of pixelation and shimmering are visible here-and-there, but the elements didn't show too much in the way of wear, with only some mild grain. Colors appeared flat and rather bland, while black level appeared weak. Although an 80's show like this isn't going to look outstanding to begin with, these episodes looked even somewhat below expectations.
SOUND: The 2.0 soundtracks are fine, with fairly clear dialogue and music. No noticable distortion or other considerable problems are encountered. It also must be noted that some of the music has been changed for this release due to rights issues.
EXTRAS: A DVD-ROM script for "Don't Stretch the Rainbow" and commentary from Peter DeLouise on "You Oughta Be in Prison".
Final Thoughts: "21 Jump Street" looks rather dated at this point, but the show does feature an early Johnny Depp and does approach controversial topics in an intelligent, engaging manner. The second season box set provides a limited amount of supplements as well as lackluster presentation quality, but "Jump Street" fans may still want to check it out.