Law & Order – The Third Year (1992-1993)

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Jerry Orbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe
Paul Sorvino as Sgt. Phil Cerreta
Chris Noth as Det. Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren
Dann Florek as Capt. Donald Cragen
Michael Moriarty as Executive Asst. Dist. Atty. Benjamin Stone
Jill Hennessy as Asst. Dist. Atty. Claire Kincaid
Richard Brooks as Asst. Dist. Atty. Paul Robinette
Steven Hill as Dist. Atty. Adam Schiff
John Fiore as Det. Tony Profaci
Leslie Hendrix as Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers
Carolyn McCormick as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet

Special Features:
Jerry Orbach Tribute

Jerry Orbach Profile

Deleted Scenes

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is the description from the DVD cover:

“Powerful, timely and gripping, Law & Order has become television’s most celebrated and widely acclaimed crime series of all time. Get ready for another thrilling season of ripped-from-the-headlines cases as all 22 episodes of the groundbreaking third season come to DVD for the first time ever.

In the hugely popular third season, Emmy Award nominee Jerry Orbach joined New York’s toughest team of prosecutors and investigators: Richard Brooks, Dann Florek, Steven Hill, Michael Moriarty, Chris Noth and Paul Sorvino. In the complex process of determining guilt and innocence, lives often hang in the balance: Law & Order: The Third Year is on the case.”

Law & Order – The Third Year is not rated.

The Series:
Seeing as how Law & Order has been on the air since 1990, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen the show at one time or another. If you’ve seen the show, then you know it’s an excellent crime drama. It’s possibly the best ever aired on TV. If you haven’t seen it, here are a few reasons why you should check it out.

First of all, it’s a unique crime drama / mystery / courtroom drama. The show follows a murder from the initial report of the victim all the way through the trial of the suspect. Most shows simply end when the suspect is arrested, but half the drama on Law & Order takes place within the court itself. The case is never clear cut and the story typically takes a few twists and turns along the way. Law & Order also frequently patterns their crimes or court cases after those in recent headlines. (This has gotten them into trouble in the past at times.) Another good thing about the show is that the story is entirely contained within one episode. You don’t have to have seen any previous episodes to follow the one that you’re watching and the story is completely wrapped up by the end. This makes it very accessible for audiences, especially if you’re only picking up the third season of the DVD.

Law & Order also has a great cast. Over the years it has changed significantly, but I think that the rotating lineup of stars has kept it fresh and interesting. There’s always a different lineup of personalities while, at the same time, they stick to the winning format of the show. This third season starts with the excellent Paul Sorvino, but midway through Jerry Orbach came on board and replaced him. Orbach was a great detective character on the show and was on it for a number of years before his recent death. His debut in this season makes this DVD set one very much of interest to Law & Order fans.

If you’ve seen Law & Order over the years, then you know this is a set worth adding to your collection. If you’re just a fan of mysteries, crime dramas, or courtroom dramas, then you’ll find this worth viewing, too. The show’s 15 year running time and multiple spinoffs is proof of that.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD:

Jerry Orbach Tribute – A number of the Law & Order cast and crew from past and present pay tribute to Orbach. They tell stories about him while behind the scenes footage of the actor rolls.

Jerry Orbach Profile – Clips of an interview with Orbach before he died is shown along with more behind the scenes footage. It’s a nice but brief tip of the hat to the actor.

Deleted Scenes – These deleted scenes don’t really add much to the shows that they are clipped from. Most are very brief and seem to have been removed for running time alone.

The Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of crime dramas, mysteries, or courtroom dramas, then you’ll want to add Law & Order – The Third Year to your collection.

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