Call me crazy, but it really seems like nostalgia for '70s cop TV shows will never die. Movie and TV studios continue to mine the airwaves from four decades ago to reboot gone-but-not forgotten properties like Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and Hawaii Five-0, and the latest to get the reboot treatment is CHiPs. The new movie version sees Dax Shepard and Michael Peña portraying the famous motorcycle cops, but where can you watch CHiPs the TV show?
The original series aired from 1977 to 1983 and starred Erik Estrada as Ponch and Larry Wilcox as Jon, a couple of motorcycle-riding highway patrolmen tasked with keeping the peace on Los Angeles' wild freeways. It was considerably lighter in tone than many cop shows of the day, and focused more on the camaraderie between its leads than on serious crime-fighting; making it a true "buddy cop" series. But unfortunately, CHiPs isn't that easy to watch today. The series is not available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or any other subscription-based streaming service where people often discover lost gems like this. So where on Earth can you hope to watch CHiPs without either buying the series on DVD or just hoping to come across it on some random cable station?
You can actually watch the series online, in its entirety — but it'll cost you. YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play all offer every episode of the six season series for purchase. YouTube and Google Play offer the best buy if you're looking to just dip your toe in the water, with their single episodes going for $1.99 each compared to iTunes' $2.99. But if you decide you like the show and want to purchase full seasons, then iTunes is easily the best value, with full seasons priced at $14.99 versus $24.99 on both of the other two outlets (Google owns YouTube, hence their identical offerings to Google Play).
So before you see CHIPS the movie, which hits theaters on March 24, why not catch up on CHiPs the TV show first, and see for yourself why '70s TV shows are still all the rage.