They were three hipper-than-hip undercover cops with a touch of menace and plenty of attitude. They walked the walk and talked the talk--and an entire generation stepped into line. Julie, Linc and Pete--Peggy Lipton, Clarence Williams III and Michael Cole, respectively--changed the television landscape. Now, take a journey back to the turbulent '60s and relive the phenomenon known as The Mod Squad, a bold TV series that redefined fashion, from hairstyles to language. "Solid."
One Black, One White, One Blonde..................
The early cop show format, as defined by shows like Dragnet, was certainly entertaining, but let's face it…sometimes those flatfoots could be a bit square. The cops doled out justice, but they didn't have a lot of fun doing it. It seemed that the description of TV cops might never include the word "cool," until (whew!) The Mod Squad showed up to save the day. This influential action drama brought the cop show into the era of flower power by making its cops young, hip, and full of attitude. As a result, it became a big hit and one of the few cop shows with a big audience of youngsters.
The "Mod Squad" of the title was a trio of fashion-forward juvenile delinquents: Pete had stolen a car, Linc had been arrested during a riot, and Julie was a runaway from San Francisco. All three were on probation when they met Captain Adam Greer, a tough but sympathetic cop. Greer proposed that they join forces to form a special "youth squad"—they would go undercover in the thriving Southern Californian youth subculture and ensnare adult criminals who preyed on the kids. The three hipsters agreed, and The Mod Squad was born.
Although they did the work of police detectives, the Modders didn't do things in conventional police officer style: they didn't carry badges or carry guns, and they didn't "fink" on kids their own age. They also got to carry out their police work against colorful and exciting backdrops like go-go clubs, motorcycle rallies, and (of course) the beach. They spoke in the cool slang of the day, the most notable example being Linc's habit of saying "Solid" to show his approval of something cool.
The premise of The Mod Squad might have seemed too good to be true, but it did have a basis in fact. The show was inspired by the experiences of creator Bud Ruskin, a former L.A. policeman who had been part of undercover narcotics squad made up of youthful cops. His experiences turned out to be a goldmine, as The Mod Squad...