CULTURE: DVD Reviews: Legally Bland - Downside of the Detection Process; Law & Order - Season Two (6 Disc on Universal Playback) Pounds 44.99 **** Law & Order - Special Victims Unit - Season One (6 Disc on Universal Playback) Pounds 44.99 ** Law & Order - Criminal Intent - Season One (6 Disc on Universal Playback) Pounds 44.99 *** Out: Now
I used to love Law & Order. It used to be on after Married with Children and replaced a Vietnam drama series with a Paint It Black theme tune that nobody remembers.
I was doing my A-levels when it first hit our screens and would often traipse into college bleary-eyed after a hard night following the arrest and trial of murderers in the Big Apple.
Indeed, the dogged sleuthwork of partners Greevey (George Dzundza) and Mike Logan (Christopher Noth, the future 'Mr Big' on Sex and the City) and subsequent enthusiastic prosecutions by assistant district attorney Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) made Law & Order the best thing on TV.
And the show is nothing if not resilient. The characters may have changed over the years but 14 seasons later and the multi-Emmy winning series is still going strong - and not just the main series either. In a bid to exploit the clearly successful formula, the team behind the Law & Order franchise launched a couple of equally profitable spin-offsThe first was Law & Order - Special Victims Unit, which follows New York's sex crime officers, and Law & Order - Criminal Intent, which looked at investigations predominantly through the eyes of the offenders.
The first run of both these series have now been released on DVD along with season two of the original series and for many it will be the first opportunity to cast an eye over the these Law & Order stable-mates.
And they may possibly be disappointed. When the first series of Law & Order came out some 15 years ago it was seriously dark, sometimes emotional, endlessly riveting - and clever.
Now, Special Victims Unit is very watchable - the production values are as high as they've ever been but it just doesn't quite wash.
The very concept of a series that concentrates exclusively on sex crimes means that much of it can be very uncomfortable viewing at the best of times.
In Chat Room the team investigate claims that a teenager has been raped by a man she met on the internet. …