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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Silk Stalkings: Season 1
Silk Stalkings: Season 1
Starz / Anchor Bay // Unrated // September 28, 2004
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 2, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The First Season
In 1991 Stephen J. Cannell, the man who brought us television series like The A-Team and 21 Jump Street, introduced a new detective-based series that aired for eight seasons. This series is slightly different than other crime series, simply because this drama adds an element of eroticism. The show is set in Palm Beach, Florida and follows a pair of homicide detectives as they investigate high-profile crimes of passion. In the earlier years of this series, I remember it being a really great show, but now after watching the first season, my thoughts are slightly different. In comparison other crime dramas like Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, and NYPD Blue, it just doesn't compare. The aforementioned series are packed with intense drama that can leave you on the edge of your sit! Unfortunately, Silk Stockings just doesn't provide that same type of excitement. Perhaps it's wrong to even compare this series to the likes of Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, or NYPD Blue, simply because the erotic appeal of Silk Stockings makes it feel like a soft-core porn or something even worse like, Baywatch. Now let's take a look at why this first season didn't fair too well.

The primary reason that I found that this series didn't compare to other crime dramas was due to the cast. The two main characters are sergeants Chris Lorenzo (Rob Estes) and Rita Lee Lance (Mitzi Kapture). I found that these characters were not developed in a manner that I found appealing. For that reason, following them through twenty-two episodes simply wasn't exciting. Lorenzo is presented as a playboy, a pretty boy that almost no women can resist. Similarly, Lance is very attractive and could probably have any guy she wanted. The two use their physical characteristics during their investigations, which lead to a few kinky safe-for-television sex scenes. It also sets the foundation for the detectives' reputations. While they're not a pair of sex-starved detectives, their periodically "unethical" behavior during their investigations turns a few heads. We get to see this in the form of a conflict between Lorenzo and Lance with a couple of the district attorneys. Also, it becomes apparent that there's a lot of sexual tension between the pair. Sure they say that they're just best friends, but come on, turn on Barry Manilow and let the lovin' begin. Overall, I just didn't think that they were the most convincing pair to investigate murders.

Besides the very limited cast, I felt that the actual content of this season was not presented extremely well. The crimes of each episode generally revolve around passionate crimes of revenge, greed, jealousy, and lust. As well, these cases involve the more prominent residents of Palm Beach. These high-profile passionate murders are known as "silk stalkings". Each case promises to bring a basket full of snotty rich folks and plenty of scantly clad women in lingerie and other revealing forms of clothing. Of course, these are the same type of cases we see in other series, but the ways that they are presented just don't scream excitement. Because this series focuses upon high-profile crimes of passion, there isn't a great amount of diversity in each episode. We continually see them same thing in a slightly different context. While the repetitive angle can work with some series, it doesn't with Silk Stalkings.

This series also adds a mysterious appeal. Each episodes opens with the crime being committed. We see the what and the how, but the why and the who are left out. The missing answers are slowly revealed throughout the rest of the episode. However, there's more than one episode that the why and the who are a bit transparent. Before you know it, you're not longer watching the episode to find out the why and the who, but rather to confirm you're right. Ergo, the mystery element in this season isn't really strong. The further you get into the first season, the more it feels like each episode is lacking.

Furthermore, this series was once pretty risque. The erotic appeal of the show, with a lot of scantly clad women, was a key selling point of this series. I really used to enjoy its erotic appeal, not being afraid to show girls in skimpy lingerie, brazen bikinis, naked flesh, and bare bottoms. But the fact of the matter is that the erotic appeal just isn't there anymore. With television as it is, you can find the same thing on just about any channel. Thus the show loses its special appeal and is left with its actual content... a crime drama that I found to be slightly lacking in the entertainment department. The episodes are at best, good for a single viewing. However, the plotlines seem a bit too weak and a bit too much like the last. Fans of the series should be happy to see this pair back in action, but everyone else, if you're looking for a good crime drama, you'd better look elsewhere.

Episode Guide
1. Silk Stockings
2. Going to Babylon
3. S.O.B.
4. In the Name of Love
5. Dirty Laundry
6. Men Seeking Women
7. Hard Copy
8. Curtain Call
9. The Brotherhood
10. Blo-Dri
11. Intensive Care
12. Squeeze Play
13. Shock Jock
14. Witness
15. Domestic Agenda
16. Lady Luck
17. The Sock Drawer
18. Working Girl
19. Powder Burn
20. Internal Affairs
21. Basic Instincts
22. Good Time Charlie

The DVD

Video:
The release of first season DVD release of Silk Stalkings is in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. I was happily surprised with the quality of the picture. It was substantially better than I remember when it aired on broadcast television. For the most part, there was very little grain in the picture. I also noticed that there were no issues with poor frame rate, color distortions, or compression artifacts. However, during the darker scenes (there are a lot of them) a distinct grain could be seen in the picture. But again, the quality is much better than its original presentation.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. In terms of sound quality, it's pretty much similar to any other television release. The dialogue remains fairly flat. As well the music tends to feel the same way. Regarding the track's stereo capabilities, there is very little distinction between channels. Despite that, the audio track remains to be very clear and audible. For this release, it sounds very good. There are no subtitles with this release, nor is it closed-caption enabled.

Extras:
There aren't a lot of special features with this release. There are a total of five interviews. The first four are separate interviews with Rob Estes, Mitzi Kapture, Ben Vereen, and Stephen J. Cannell. The final interview is with both Ben Vereen and Stephen J. Cannell. Together, these interviews make up for a little less than forty minutes of fun. They cover the very beginning of the series, the two main characters, general thoughts and impressions, etc. Some of the content mentioned was a bit interesting. I enjoyed Rob Estes' comments about his role, as he seemed to endorse my thoughts mentioned in the review. In general, they weren't too fascinating and probably aren't suited for more than a single viewing.

Final Thoughts:
I remember Silk Stalkings being a very good series. I used to enjoy watching it in the past, but years later, my impressions of the series are much different. The entertainment value in the first season isn't really high. The episodes are at best mildly entertaining. They tend to be filled with a lot of repetitive content and in some cases the actual stories are a bit hollow. Overall, this first season release isn't a strong season. The episodes can make for some decent entertainment, but after you've seen an episode, you probably won't want to revisit it in the future. The bottom line is that this first season release would make for a decent rental, considering that you enjoy crime dramas with a slightly erotic appeal.

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