L.A. Law Season 2 DVD Review
Created by the television-series whiz Steven
with Terry Louise Fisher, L.A. Law
was one of the most successful series of the
80's and early 90's with a run that brought it to 172 episodes across
seasons and into award winning territory with four Outstanding Drama
wins and a total of fifteen Emmy's on the whole. The success of the
was nothing short of exemplary. Season 2 was one of the show's earlier
successful TV seasons with a lot of the character moments that made the
huge hit. Shout Factory's collection of season two contains the entire
episode run of this groundbreaking success.
The second season continues to focus on the legal
and personal lives of the characters involved with the firm of
Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. The season's wide cast of actors includes
of the talented Jimmy Smits, Harry
Hamlin, Susan Dey, Michelle Greene, Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry,
Rachins, Susan Ruttan, Michael Tucker, and Richard Dysart. The star
one of the huge reasons behind the series' tremendous success with the
creatively ambitious performances adding a lot of distinctive to the
quality writing and serving the storylines with class.
This season adds some new players to the ensemble
young associate Jonathan Rollins (Blair Underwood) joining the ranks
and a developmentally
challenged clerk, Benny Stulwicz (Larry Drake) who is disabled but
to help out at the firm and do his absolute best. Exploring the new
adds some new fun and fascinating elements to the season and keeps
at a fast and appropriate pace.
Some of the key storylines of the second season
(Jimmy Smits) relationship with an intelligent but complicated woman
with a bad
past relationship which leads to a complicated storyline for those
the ongoing relationship and wedding planning for Ann Kelsey (performed
excellent confident and grace by Jill Eikenberry) and Stuart Markowitz
Tucker), who happen to be married (to this day!) to each other in
real-life. This romance that
continues to brew and develop between these characters during the
season remains a undeniably
great aspect of the show.
The storyline of Douglas Brackman Jr (Alan
becomes a large focal point of the season as he learns about a
of his father he never knew and discovers a brother whom he never met
It begins to unravel in an odd way and is a bit melodramatic as a
over the season, but this character still has a big part in the season
it was a somewhat over-the-top direction for the show to take).
Season 2 was the last season that involved
Louise Fisher, who was fired from working on the series after season 2
and who had filed a
lawsuit against his co-creator Steven Bochco. Still, these behind the
dramatics aren't felt in the quality of the program itself as it
remains a quality television production. Sure, there are a few episode
storylines are going to play better than others (as is par the course
everything in production for television) but the show is a constantly
well-written, performed, and quality creation that has a lot of
smarts at each turn.
The series is complex and it often amazes with its
during some of the storylines (the season finale, which guest starred
incredible James Earl Jones in a fantastic guest part as an attorney
edge fighting with spirited determination from his own sense of racial
is a fascinating end to the season. Jones delivers one of the best
performances that I have seen on any show and it helps to end the
season on a strong note.
Of course, the main cast of characters is the star
attraction and they help these stories to be just as wonderfully
possible with their remarkable acting chops. The series relies heavily
performances - both the writers and the directors recognize this as a
component, as the audience gets more than just the cases and obstacles
characters face at the law firm but the behind the scenes moments
characters lives that brings a good grounding to the series foundation
helps it to be a relatable, enjoyable, and compelling program that
exceeds most of
television's other procedural based series.
Conceptually one might think the show wouldn't
be too different from some other network programs, but somehow it
constantly finds itself being much more. It's the actors and the depth
writing which audiences responded so positively to back when the series
premiered on air, and it's why the continued appreciation and fandom of
series continues to this day. L.A.
Law has characters you can care about,
connect to, and embrace in exploring while at the same time offering a
compelling storyline specific to each episode. The series finds a great
between being episodic in structure and having a continuing story
is rarely spotted in television. L.A.
Law has held up as a quality program that
is still worth seeking out - both for newcomers and for those who seek
themselves with the series.
The first thing a fan will notice about the set's
quality... is that it really isn't good. For those who saw any of
Season 1 on
DVD, it's apparent that some minor improvements have been made.
source footage is terrible quality-wise and there's not a whole lot
can be done about that. In creating the show, L.A. Law was always edited on
videotape and the episodes presented on DVD are essentially around VHS
(well, slightly better as there is a lack of some of the same massive
compression). One shouldn't expect much from these DVD transfers as a
The episodes look dated, are lacking in definition,
are ultimately merely acceptable at best.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio fares almost about the
a average and uninvolving stereo presentation that has weak clarity and
refinement. The dialogue is easy enough to hear and understand, though.
Considering the fact that this is the most important aspect, this is an
acceptable audio presentation but simply one that show's it age.
overhaul of the original audio elements (should they even be available,
they might not be) it would certainly take considerable work for it to
better than it is here.
Unlike season one on DVD (which featured new and
interviews with cast members), this set contains no bonus
L.A. Law is a quality television program
excellent performances, solid writing, and a number of well developed
storylines and concepts. It was one of the most popular programs during
early years and this second season set is a good representation of why
series was such a huge success. The DVD
picture and audio quality isn't fabulous given the dated source
it's nice to be able to have the series on home media in the United
the first time.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.