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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » NYPD Blue Season 2
NYPD Blue Season 2
Fox // Unrated // August 19, 2003
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted August 25, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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THE EPISODES

Most people know that David Caruso left NYPD Blue after only one season, but only fans of the show remember that he actually appeared in the first four episodes of Season Two before making his departure. And that's how this nice box set of NYPD Blue Season Two begins, with officer Janice Licalsi (Amy Brenneman) on trial for the killing of a mob boss (which happened in Season One) and with Detective John Kelly (Caruso) also finding himself in a world of trouble when he lies on the witness stand to help Janice.

Caruso leaves at the end of Episode Four, and in Episode Five we are introduced to the new kid on the block – Detective Bobby Simone, played by Jimmy Smits. Smits proves not only to be the perfect replacement for Caruso, but he actually elevates the show, and from a personal perspective, his character has always been my favorite of all the partners Detective Andy Sipowicz has had over the years.

In addition to breaking in his new partner, Season Two also further develops the relationship between Andy and lawyer Sylvia Costas (Sharon Lawrence), and the two finally get engaged in Season Two, with the final episode of the season focusing on their wedding.

Watching Season Two for the first time since it initially aired on ABC, it's kind of impressive how gritty the series still is, especially considering that this season is almost ten years old now. But it's also interesting that a show that was so controversial at the time (due to language and occasional nudity) now seems fairly typical when compared to other network cop shows…and I'm using the word "typical" in terms of style, not in terms of plot and storyline, since I believe NYPD Blue (or at least these early episodes of the show) are vastly superior to much of what we see in the cop genre on TV today.

THE DVD

Video:
The video is presented in full frame, and is in reasonably good shape. There is the occasional piece of dirt on the print, but not so often that it becomes distracting. Viewers may notice that a lot of scenes seem to have a grainy and dark look, but those familiar with the show will immediately realize that this is the intended look of the episodes, rather than any problems with the transfer.

Audio:
The audio here is a 4.0 Dolby track, and it sounds good, although not outstanding. Even though NYPD Blue is a cop show, it is one that is dialogue-heavy and not one that has a lot of shootouts or fights (Unless, of course, Sipowicz is banging some "skell's" head off an interrogation room table!).

Extras:
FOX has done a nice job with the extras on this box set. There are four episodes on each disc (except the sixth disc, which contains the last two episodes and the bonus features) and for every four episodes, there is one which contains a Commentary Track by either the writer of the episode or the director of it (sadly, no actor commentary…but perhaps there will be in future season releases).

The sixth disc contains the wealth of the bonus material, including an hour-long Season 2: A Season of Change featurette, which goes through each episode in Season Two and has comments by the actors, writers and creator Steven Bochco about each and every episode. Also on Disc Six is a seven-minute featurette called Wedding Bell Blues which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Andy and Sylvia's wedding. There's also a seven-minute segment entitled The Music of Mike Post, in which the composer talks about his opening theme score and the music he uses in the series. Finally, there's a Script To Scene Comparison section, in which viewers will be able to read pages from the shooting script and then jump to that scene to see how the words on the page compare to the final filmed version.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Fans of the series should be quite happy with this box set, and those who are new to the show since it has been released on DVD should also be quite pleased. FOX seems to be the leader in releasing quality box sets of their television programs, and this set is comparable to releases of programs like The X-Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the amount of material and content provided on these discs.
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