Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Law Order - The Second Year|
Actors: Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sam Waterston
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Law & Order, the groundbreaking, Emmy Award winning drama series explodes onto DVD - with all 22 gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines episodes of its second year contained in this must-have DVD collection. Paul Sorvino, Mic... more »
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Jr N. from TAMARAC, FL
Reviewed on 11/3/2015...
first season with Paul Sorvino .. great!
Law and Order - The Second Year: Revolving Door Starts
shadowdoc | New York | 05/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The second season of "Law & Order" marked the beginning of the "revolving door" with regards to the cast. The very first departure is prominently featured in the very first episode: Det. Max Greevy (George Dzundza) is killed. Enter Det. Logan's (Chris Noth) newest partner: Det. Phil Cerreta played by the dominating Paul Sorvino. The chemistry is different between the two officers, but it works well, perhaps even a little better than what previously existed.Returning once again are the other members of the ensemble cast including: Michael Moriarty as Ben Stone, Richard Brooks as Paul Robinette, Steven Hill as Adam Schiff, Dann Florek as Donald Cragen, and as mentioned above Chris Noth as Mike Logan. Reruns on most of the cable channels feature more recent episodes. It is nice to be able to go further back in time to see the early episodes that defined L&O as a remarkable series that would continue for 14 seasons and counting!Many of these episodes are "ripped from the headlines", though not all. This DVD features fresh new interviews from cast members such as: Paul Sorvino, Chris Noth, and Jerry Orbach (who would join the cast next season, but appears for the first time this season). The packaging is somewhat different. On the exterior, it appears very much the same, though the box is reduced in size. Inside, instead of 6 discs with 4 episodes per disc, there are 3 discs with 8 episodes per disc front and back. I guess that feature helps save space. Also of note, the artwork beautifully featured on the discs of the first season boxset are not on these 3 discs. They bare no artwork at all.If you're a "Law & Order" fan, this boxset is a must. And the interviews with cast members (I won't spoil the details) definitely make it worth the purchase price. So, sit back and watch some of your favorite early moments in the series that made it the smash hit that it is today!"
Second Year Not as Intense as the First, But Still Good
Ryan | 09/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a neat feeling it is to watch these older episodes and to experience the days when Law & Order was original and unique. The format of the program has never changed in the 14 years the show has been on the air. The first half of the program is dedicated to the police investigation (usually a murder.) The second half was dedicated to the prosecution of the criminals involved. Many fans of the early years like myself appreciate the subtle characterizations that the writers and actors brought to their parts. That kind of authenticity is lacking in today's cliché-ridden scripts with cardboard characters.
The best episode is, "Confession," in which Mike Logan (Chris Noth) crosses the line after his partner from the first season is murdered. Logan's struggle through the grieving process does not detract from the show's format, but only enhances it as Logan meets his new partner, Phil Ceretta (Paul Sorvino.) Other standout episodes include, "God Bless the child," "Heaven," "Vengeance," and "The Fertile Fields." Its strange to see Jerry Orbach playing a slick defense lawyer in, "The Wages of Love," a year before he would become the show's corner-stone character, Lenny Briscoe. Some of the content was watered down a bit after advertisers bucked the idea of hot-button story lines that were common in season one. Still, the material is gritty and realistic and the writing feels fresh.
The bonus documentary will appeal to old-school fans like myself. It includes interviews with Chris Noth, Michael Moriarty, George Dzundza, Dan Florek, Richard Brooks, Paul Sorvino and Jerry Orbach. Its neat to get inside of their heads a bit, though it is sometimes sad when you see the shape that Mr. Moriarty is in now.
The disks now contain eight episodes each (four per side.) This doesn't seem to cut down on picture quality much and the audio is still better quality than what you find on television. If you want to see Law & Order long before it was just another tired cop/lawyer franchise, buy these DVD's.
A slight change in formula - but still essential viewing
calvinnme | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season 2 of Law and Order saw the first departure of one of the main characters. The series was originally set to film in Los Angeles, but when creator Dick Wolf won his fight to shoot it in New York, actor George Dzundza did not want to relocate his family there, and this led to Dzundza leaving the show. Thus Dzunda's character, Max Greevey, is murdered at the beginning of the first episode of the season, "Confession", an episode that deals much more with the main characters' personal lives than is typical. For example, this is the only episode in which we actually see Greevey's wife. It also deals with the effect that the murder has on Greevey's partner, Mike Logan. This episode is the first appearance of Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, a clinical psychiatrist who performs consultation work for the 27th Police Precinct and District Attorney's office in Manhattan. In this case, she is working as a grief counselor and helping Logan deal with his partner's death. Her's is a recurring role that makes guest appearances until 1997. This episode is also the first appearance of Logan's new partner, Phil Cerrata, played by veteran actor Paul Sorvino.
Because of sponsors pulling support due to the controversial subjects tackled in the first season, the network suits got involved and demanded that the show be toned down. Thus the heated discussions on topical subjects that so commonly occurred between the various cast members during the first year's episodes and made for great dialogue were largely eliminated. Instead, the "ripped from the headline" format became much more commonly used. Often, starting in this season, you'll see a particular episode that is clearly borrowed from a prominent murder case. However, the outcome of the case is often different than what actually occurred in the case from which the script was borrowed. To quote the show's creator Dick Wolf - "We take the headline, not the body copy, because the first half of the show is supposed to be a murder mystery and the second half is usually a moral mystery...it's not supposed to be the actual case".
Among the more interesting guest appearances is Jerry Orbach as a defense attorney in "The Wages of Love". Jerry Orbach goes on to play wise-cracking detective Lenny Briscoe from the middle of season three until the end of season 14. "Aria" is the first appearance of Tovah Feldshuh as high-powered defense attorney Danielle Melnick. Melnick is a recurring character throughout the series, doggedly devoted to defending her clients to the point that 11 years later she is willing to go to jail for her principles and is shot by friends of the client she is trying to defend.
The stand-out episodes include "Vengeance", in which an ex-con who is doing the medical billing for a gynecologist uses his access to patients' personal data to pick out his next murder/rape victim. D.A. Ben Stone not only has to fight the ex-con's wife who is giving him an alibi, believing that her husband is being accused because of his past, he has to fight the murdered girl's parents who are trying to have the accused extradited to Connecticut, based on a stretch of the law, because at the time Connecticut had the death penalty and New York did not. In an episode that is prototypical of D.A. Ben Stone's desire to make new law, "Sisters of Mercy" is the case of a troubled young woman who has an affair with the director of the home for recovering addicts in which she is living because the director says that if she doesn't she will be put out on the street. Stone and Robinette go for first degree rape, a charge that requires them to prove a direct threat of physical violence. Stone argues that since expulsion would have forced the girl back onto the street where she probably would have been killed, the threat to expel constituted a threat of violence. Although everyone, including his boss Adam Schiff, tells Stone that the judge will set aside the verdict because he won't share Ben's enthusiasm for making new law, Stone proceeds and wins.
The season finale, "Working Stiff", is one of those rare episodes in which D.A. Adam Schiff gets more than a few lines, and we really get some insight into his character. A powerful businessman is found murdered, and at first it looks like the murderer is an elderly cancer-striken union member whose pension and health insurance were gutted by the businessman's corporate dealings. The union member, played by Eli Wallach, does not deny the allegations and wants to represent himself at trial just so he can make public all the things the victim did to the other union members. When the case against him falls apart, further investigation reveals that the businessman was about to be indicted by the Justice Department, and that this knowledge was leaked to powerful people who stood to be damaged by it, among them Dwight Corcoran, a former governor of New York. Schiff and Corcoran are old friends, but this does not stop Schiff from making the final necessary connection between his old friend and the murder. Hill's portrayal of Schiff is subtle yet brilliant in this episode. There is also a parallel drawn between the union member and Corcoran - they are both destined to meet a slow and lonely death albeit on the opposite sides of justice. If this episode had been made in 2002 instead of 1992, you would swear that it was "ripped from the headlines" of the Enron scandal.
This second year of Law and Order just goes to show that the early years of the show hold up over time and are still essential viewing. Highly recommended."