“In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders …” Season 2 has been called “The Lost Season” by Dick Wolf fans. These episodes were not included in some of the many syndication packages so have been seen less often in reruns. The show maintains its trademark tight storytelling. The addition of Paul Sorvino is both a good and a bad thing here. Sorvino is certainly a very f…ne actor and the character is one of Law and Order’s best. Still, much of the work seems below the accomplished actor, and he seems to either overact or just phone in the performance. It’s not really that hard to see why the mix didn’t last very long.
Detectives Cerreta (Sorvino) and Logan (Noth) investigate crimes under Captain Cragen (Florek) Assistant District Attorneys Stone (Moriarity) and Robinette (Brooks) prosecute the cases under New York D.A. Schiff (Hill). Each one-hour episode is broken into two parts. The first half hour follows the police investigation. The remaining time concentrates on the trial.
The set includes a standard TV Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. Again there is a certain lack of consistency here. Dialogue is usually up front and solid. There is a little more bottom sound on this set and the highs are a bit more even.
Law and Order: The Second Year is a 1990 TV program; therefore it is presented in “full screen” format. Most of the episodes are pretty solid. Some episodes, most notably the second, seem to contain a bit more film speck and artifact than the rest. Overall the show is shot pretty dark and grainy. This is a part of the show’s style, particularly in its earlier years. With all of that said, most episodes are faithfully transferred and look at least as good as they did originally.
There is really only one extra… Season 2 of Law and Order a quite candid 30 minutes. Much of the cast infighting and the early exit of Dzundza are addressed. Just 2 minutes of Chris Noth; I can see why Dick Wolf hates him so much. What an ego.
To save money this set contains 3 two-sided discs instead of 6 one-sides. I’ve heard debates about the durability of two-sided discs and I believe they do damage more easily, if only in that two sides are vulnerable. It is hard in a theatre setting to read the small ring labels to tell what side to play. Finally, forget about using your multi-disc changer.
Menus are pretty much the same as season 1. As with all of the Law and Order sets, you are forced to watch trailers at the beginning of the first disc. You will not be able to “menu out of them”. If I paid good money for a DVD, I don’t like to be spoon-fed advertisements. Include them, yes. Force them to be watched, no. Best you can do is fast forward.
Law and Order is 13 years young. A new version is about to enter the fall schedule, Law and Order: Trial by Jury. Can you imagine 4 hours of Law and Order EVERY WEEK? TNT has become the Law and Order network, running the show 5 or more times every day. There is a very real chance that the show will reach a saturation point soon. The early years, however, are an entirely different matter. The show has been slow in its DVD releases. Nearly two years elapsed since the first season was released. I could understand the wait if there were tons of extras. Keep buying them and maybe they’ll put them out faster. After all “These are their stories”.
Special Features List
- 30 minutes of interviews