David Milch's baroque cop
I've been watching episodes of season 3 of Hill Street Blues on Hulu, and discussing them with an adult "class" of a dozen or so people far flung (all by email). Here are some thoughts about the speech style of Lt. Howard Hunter and Sgt. Phil Esterhaus:
David Milch inherited the hyperbolic and circumlocutious speech of Esterhaus and Hunter, but he added the baroque grammar, upped the ironic euphemisms several notches, and made especially Esterhaus unforgetttably different from your usual TV cop.
About Hunter: I never warmed to that character at all. I enjoyed episodes in which Hunter's law-'n-order ideology directly conflicted with Henry Goldbloom's the-less-fortunate-are-not-to-blame liberalism, because at such moments other characters (including Furillo) had to take sides, and not predictably. But when Hunter's conservatism was ridiculed and left dangling as a non-starter (as in "Trial by Fury"--in the bathroom scene) I have the feeling that dialogue is being wasted for mere satire.