R4 . COLOR . 1003 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Law & Order is without question one of the most popular TV shows in television history. It isn’t flashy, it doesn’t inspire fans to wear costumes and almost every member of the original cast has departed the series. Yet after 15 years, the series remains a solid and entertaining drama that has spawned three equally successful spin-offs.
Fantastic "Law & Order" four
In its second season, the flagship show of Dick Wolf’s unstoppable franchise continues to offer intriguing storylines and strong characters with all the actors providing excellent performances. Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) gains a new partner in Sgt. Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino), while Cap. Cragen (Dann Florek) still oversees the ‘law’ portion of the program. The ‘order’ of the series continues with the two assistant district attorneys Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) and Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks), and district attorney Adam Schiff (Steven Hill).
If there is one word that describes Law & Order it would have to be dependable. While other dramas come and go or simply loose their debut allure, this series remains high quality drama. You know that if you sit down to watch an episode it will be solidly acted, written and will always be entertaining. There are no gimmicks and certainly no character development. Each episode focuses on the progression of case from the investigation of a crime to prosecuting those responsible. The first half of each show focuses on the detectives investigating the crime and the remainder of the episode involves the courtroom drama.
Law & Order is quality television and despite the emergence of the hugely rated CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise and new water cooler shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives grabbing most of the media attention, Law & Order remains a solid series. When all those shows are long off the air, it is highly likely that Law & Order will still be on the air offering dependable, quality drama.
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Law & Order is presented in its original tele-visual aspect ratio of 1.33:1 Fullscreen. The show is deliberately made to look grainy and muted, so it is never going to look clean and sharp. Film artefacts and grain are constantly visible in each episode, but are never distracting. The major imperfection affecting the image is awful aliasing, which causes major problems to the overall image. Overall, this is good presentation of the show, but it could have been better.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio package provides clear and audible dialogue directed strongly through the centre channel. Surrounds are sparsely utilised for background ambience and Mike Post’s score occasionally allows the subwoofer to kick into gear. There are occasional sync issues, which some episodes plagued by problems, but overall the audio provides solid sound.
The second season release of Law & Order only contains one extra.
Law & Order menu
Law & Order: The First Three Years is an excellent 30 minute featurette that features interviews with all the major cast members from the first three years. Everything from the creation of the show, cast changes and the writing of the series is discussed in substantial detail. Even though this is the only extra for this second season release, it’s a solid and interesting extra that offers a lot in its short running time.
Although both Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: SVU are excellent television shows, the original Law & Order remains the most outstanding of the franchise. Just like the show, this second season DVD release is solid. There is only one extra, but it's a good extra and the video and audio transfers present the show well. Overall, this is a quality release of a quality show