LA Law - Season 5 on DVD

Monday, 19 August 2013 00:00
Posted in TV DVDs
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LA LAW - Season 5 out on DVD nowAs LA Law enters the second half of its celebrated eight-year run, Season 5 injects more new blood into the show and keeps the regulars on their toes. Amanda Donohue Natasha Wylde in Emmerdale) is welcomed onboard as CJ (full name Cara Jean Lamb), a mischievous English lawyer who gets offered a job by McKenzie Brackman after humbling them, and John Spencer (Leo McGarry in The West Wing) plays Tommy Mullaney, a working-class attorney who occasionally uses unconventional but equally effective methods to win his cases.

The Emmy award-winning legal drama picks up from last season: prickly Rosalind (Diana Muldaur – Dr Pulaski in Star Trek: The Next Generation) has been ousted as senior partner but then takes the firm to court for wrongful dismissal. The repercussions of that law suit ripple through this season, as do decisions on who becomes a new partner,  the faithfulness of Arnie (Corbin Bernsen) to his new wife and renewed friction between Stuart (Michael Tucker) and Ann (Jill Eikenberry) over Stuart’s ability to work following a dramatic health scare.

The producers, including David E Kelley and Steven Bochco do not attempt to stray too far from their tried-and-tested formula of a soap opera crossed with court-room drama, and tonally the show keeps its winning mix of serious, though-provoking topics and more humorous antics.

As prime examples, episodes 11 and 12 feature plotlines about a soldier being court-martialled for refusing to fire on civilians in Panama, a chilling tale of a murder suspect (Andrew Robinson – Garak in Star Trek: Deep Space 9) with multiple-personality disorder, and the amusing case of a couple trying to get out of the purchase of a haunted house.

The entertaining, incendiary interplay between the firm’s lawyers during their morning catch-up meetings is always a joy to behold, acting as a quick, economic introduction to the episode for viewers but also reminding us why we have come to love these characters so much, through their bust-ups, shared victories, relationship challenges and moments of weakness.

Season 5 is another very strong chapter for the series and is a must for fans of slickly-produced U.S. TV drama. If I must come up with a criticism, it would be the trifling annoyance caused by 45 seconds of panning across the city that typically comes right after the title sequence, announcing this week’s guest stars. As much as I enjoy Mike Post’s music, I would prefer it if the makers cut to the chase!

Unusually for LA Law box sets, this one does actually include a special feature – a celebration of the 100th episode. The picture quality of the episodes is still quite soft but fans who have been eagerly picking up these box sets will be quite accustomed to that by now!

LA Law - Season 5 (1990-91) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Revelation Films. The entire six-disc, 22 episode season has a running time of 17 hours approx., carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £34.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

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