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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
The Ten Best TV Detectives of the 2000s 
Sunday, December 27th, 2009 | 02:13 pm [commentary, television]
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The Ten Best TV Detectives of the 2000s

This almost-over decade of the ‘00s was a big one for detectives, and the men and women who play them on TV. It was a decade that saw the detective explore new genre territory, and return to old stomping grounds long abandoned. It saw the procedural rise to dominate scripted television in a myriad of variations, but also the return of the old fashioned mystery. And it saw a flood of talented actors come to television to portray a small army of flawed, fascinating heroes.
 
Here, in chronological order of when they debuted, are the ten best TV detectives of the decade:
 
Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz), NYPD Blue (ABC, Debuted September 21, 1993) — Following the departure of original star David Caruso early in the show’s second season, Dennis Franz’s turbulent Detective Andy Sipowicz found himself at the center of the NYPD Blue universe. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened for both the character and the show. By the time Blue entered the 21st century, Sipowicz had weathered the forced retirement of one partner, the death of another, the murder of his son, and the murder of his wife. The show’s final seasons were a bit easier on Andy; he only had the death of one more partner to deal with, and from then on it was relatively smooth sailing. An arc emerged as the show wound to a close: the redemption of Sipowicz. Fans watched as the once unapologetically racist, alcoholic detective gradually beat back those demons, rebuilding his life with a new marriage and yet another partnership with a younger detective (this one surviving to the end of the series), and eventually ascending to lead the 15th precinct detective squad. One of the all-time great television characters, Sipowicz was often the only reason to even watch NYPD Blue in its final years. But, played so memorably by Dennis Franz, he was more than reason enough.
 
John Munch (Richard Belzer), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, Debuted September 20, 1999) — Unlikely as it seemed when the character first appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street in 1993, Detective John Munch has become the most traveled, and one of the most durable and long-lived characters in television history. After the end of Homicide, the character (and actor Richard Belzer) was transplanted from Baltimore to New York to join the cast of the first Law & Order spin-off, Special Victims Unit. His cynicism, often caustic sense of humor, and pronounced streak of libertarianism have served him well not only on SVU, but in guest spots on The X-Files, Arrested Development, and The Wire. Altogether Munch has appeared in eight shows on four networks, a feat of which no other character played by a single actor can boast. Munch even shows up in a Sesame Street sketch, making him the first character on this list to appear as a puppet . . .

Read the rest of the list at Associated Content.

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