Thank you, WGN America, for bringing back Barney Miller, even if it is on at 1 am on Sunday night-slash-Monday morning. (Actually, this is a great time of night to watch a classic sitcom.) This show dates back to the pre-reality era in television, when people could actually write sitcoms and create characters. It also dates back to the late '70s and early '80s, before New York became Urban Disneyland and when the city was still pretty darn scary. New York is in better shape than it used to be, but the comedies about it aren't. (Seinfeld, of course, was the exception there.) Barney Miller was as outrageous as it was poignant and brilliant. There's not much of that left in television these days.
Plus, the show had one of the greatest theme songs in TV history. (One of these days, now that I've found out how to embed YouTube videos here, I'm going to run down a list of the greatest introductory songs in TV history. This one will surely be in the top five. Crank the volume on this so that you can hear the famous bass line at the beginning. This video doesn't have the best audio of all the Barney Miller clips on YouTube, but it does feature the version of the theme song I like best. Oh, and go ahead and enjoy the sweet late-'80s Volkswagen commercial that follows the tune. It's kind of a bonus. Enjoy.