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on December 1, 2006
The third season of SVU brought about further great stories of dark human drama which continually draws in a large audience. The role of Dr. Huang, introduced near the end of season 2, became a recurring character. This meant we'd see a lot less of L&O staples Dr. Olivet and Dr. Skoda, which is the only negative about Huang's intro, IMHO.

Season 3 had some of the best episodes. I especially like the episode "Stolen", in which Munch and Cragen continue an investigation originally started by the late Max Greevey from season 1 of the original Law & Order. Shows some nice continuity between the shows. But at the same time, this was a hard one for me to watch, involving the custody case and the boy being torn between his bio-father and the parents who raised him.

"Wrath" was another good episode, in which three seemingly unconnected murders point to a man who Benson once wrongfully busted, and now wants revenge!

One episode that surprised me though, was "Sacrifice", starring "Saved by the Bell" & "NYPD Blue" alumnus Mark-Paul Gossellar as a supposedly gay porn star who is discovered beaten half to death, and is very uncooperative with the detectives, to protect a secret which left me rather sad at the end. But it was good writing!

Another episode, "Ridicule" proved somewhat prophetic as Diane Neal, the future Casey Novak who took Alex Cabot's place in season 5, played one of three women accused of raping a male stripper. The defense lawyer in this episode was played by the great CCH Pounder.

The episode "Monogamy" features a guest appearance by the late John Ritter whose pregnant wife was viciously attacked in a parking garage, and the baby stolen. Can the detectives find the baby before it's too late?

But one of my personal favorites from this season was "Protection", guest-starring "Predator" femme fatale Elpidia Carillo as a single mother who's younger son was shot by her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend who is now gunning for her and her surviving son, while the Feds pressure her for testimony against him.

I'm not going to offer a review of all season 3 episodes, but these few samples should prove my point. Any L&O enthusiast who doesn't buy this set is missing a few screws from their heads. But I, like many, wish that Universal would take the hint and release the seasons of the various L&O's more quickly! I'm going to grab the first copy of this set I see! Are you?
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on June 26, 2015
I am a late-comer to the Law & Order phenomenon. I didn’t get interested in the show until about six months ago and now I have made it through season 10. I love the plot lines and the characters on the show. I don’t think you have to start with season 1 but I did find it helpful that I learned about Olivia and Elliot a lot in the first season. A part of me was worried that the plots would get redundant but they never do – Each episode has such a diverse range of supporting actors and actresses that they keep the show lively and entertaining. Definitely recommend buying the DVD series for people who have seen the series before and for those who have never seen it before.
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on December 24, 2006
Despite the fact that the show "Law & Order; SVU" is in its 6th season, we are just now getting season 3 on DVD (its even worse for the original series, Law & Order, which is currently entering its 17th season, but we've only seen seasons 1-4 on DVD).

Of the three spin-offs of Law & Order, (Criminal Intent, Special Victims Unit, and Trial by Jury), I believe I enjoy SVU as much as the original and season 3 is full of numerous outstanding episodes, including the ones mentioned by previous reviewers. A must have for L&O fans!

I've questioned a couple of individuals that are involved with NBC and are familar with the production crews on the various versions of the L&O series francises and it has been explained to me why they are so slow at releasing season DVD sets. It has to do with the value of selling episodes from past seasons of the francises and the ability to keep their price up to the independent distributors for those individual episodes.

Once a season DVD set has been released to the public, the value of selling the re-runs to the independent stations is greatly devalued. This includes a possible reduction of "$" to the individual actors involved as well (depending on their contracts). If the popularity of the DVD sets is good, chances are there's more money to made there, its all a gamble, but I would think that with the popularity of all versions of L&O, sales of the DVD sets has to be very high.

I've been told that the popularity of the DVD sets has been high enough to justify releasing them faster, but at the moment they will be releasing eposides from a specific season (reruns for distribution to the independent stations) of L&O progressively over a period of 8 to 10 months before they release that season's DVD set. You'll notice that episodes of SVU's 3rd season have been running quite heavily on the independent cable networks, as reruns, over that last few months and now we have the 3rd season's DVD set being released. Currently it seems that most of SVU reruns are from the 4th and 5th season (the 5th season on DVD was released last year), so I would suspect we'll see season 4, on DVD, sometime late next year.

Its all a matter of how popular the show is, rather it can be justified at releasing the seasons quickly or slowly rather they will make money (more) from the re-run distribution or from the DVD sets.

Its interesting that some shows have used the release of a season's DVD set as a way to increase a shows popularity, sort of a advertising method that you make money from, rather than pay for.

Excellent examples of this are CSI:Las Vegas, CSI:Miami, CSI:New York, and LOST, which in all cases they released a season's DVD set almost immediately after the season has finished. Saw an interview with one of the directors, or maybe it was a producer, of the show LOST, and he explained how the show popularity is so determined by the viewer having a full understanding of each character from previous episodes, it demanded they release each season almost immediately. This was because someone coming to the show after the 1st or 2nd season had already been broadcast, would most likely have little understanding of what was going on and would probably tune away, but with the previous seasons available for purchase, someone could buy the 1st and 2nd season and be up to speed in a short time and because of the addictive nature of LOST, selling the DVD sets gains just that many more viewers. Interesting theory?

I suppose this won't work with L&O though, because after 16 seasons on TV, it doesn't need any explaining and by now they have their fan base pretty well established I would think, but I would still like them to release the seasons faster, as releasing them (a season) every 12 to 14 months is driving me crazy.
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on March 14, 2013
In 1999, the public was introduced to Sex Crimes, uh I mean Law & Order: Sex Crimes, I mean Law & Order Special Victims Unit. In the year 2000, SVU returned with old faces, new faces and more controversial topics that would've been too much for the first year of the show. And in 2001, the year the country was devastated from attacks by radicals, SVU returns with Detective Stabler, Benson, Munch and Tutuola, Captain Cragen and ADA Cabot as they take on the disturbing cases in a world where the victims are usually women and children and some cases men. I agree with one of the other reviewers when they mentioned the downside of B.D Wong becoming a recurring character(and eventually a regular for some reason) primarily being that J.K Simmons and Carolyn McCormick wouldn't make appearances (at least not until recently for Ms. McCormick's Dr. Olivet). Unlike the season finale for season 2, most of the episodes aren't as fast-paced. For the most part they stick to one main topic or a bunch that might be related. From a serial killer targeting and attacking Asian women to Max Greevey's unsolved case or women ganging up and raping a stripper to an urban rooftop serial killer burning his victims. The episodes are well written, most are very dramatic and the most disturbing cases will leave you with a knot in their stomach. If you are a fan of this show, then you will buy the 3rd year of Special Victims Unit. It makes up a part of the golden years of the series and will be worth every penny. If you are like me and started watching this show much later on like around the 7th or 8th season, then you weren't getting everything that this show could be. But now you will get to see the the true grit and the raw disturbing topics that most other shows didn't come close to covering the way SVU did.
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The Special Victims Unit of the L&O franchise is brilliantly conceived and executed, featuring standout performances from its gifted regular cast and marvelous turns from its guest stars. The third season is no exception.

Tackling controversial subjects such as priests abusing young boys to the issue of fetal deaths, this series often doesn't come out the way you expect. This season's stellar season includes strong turns from Mary Steenburgen, Estelle Parsons, John Ritter, Henry Winkler, Eric Stoltz and Emmy-nominated Martha Plimpton.

Creator Dick Wolf keeps things moving at their usual pace and the stories grab you and hold your interest. Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer, Stephanie March, Ice-T and Dann Florek continue their impressive performances making SVU a marvelously entertaining series.
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on September 9, 2011
Being the only Law & Order series I like, they did a great job with it, though I didn't discover it until probably the eighth season or so before I finally began watching. The characters are terrific, and eventually I decided to start buying the series on DVD. I just ordered season four, so I have a long ways to go, later this month season 13 begins, and since two main actors are leaving, I'm not sure if there may be a 14 next year, though I hope there will be. Better have it on DVD before it disappears eventually. One of the best shows on TV, the only good one NBC has. And the storylines are so well written, just overall a terrific series.
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on November 30, 2013
I'm a SVU fan. I like the characters and how the action plays out within most of the shows. I won't say that one season is better than another, but I will say that as the series matured, it got better.
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on September 2, 2013
I have all the seasons and enjoy the show. It has a lot of drama. I like that the episodes go from catching the perp and then prosecute them. There is a great story line and keeps you watching from start to finish.
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on April 5, 2015
One of my favourite TV shows is Law and order svu
all the storylines are brilliantly written for each Episode
but i do not agree with all the scenes in how they were Directed from season 3
with the Surveillance episode which is Great episode lots of suspense well written
but poorly Directed
in the last scene before the credits start it turns out Terry willard's Landlord/Girlfriend was doing the stalking and attempted murder
i was pissed off thinking that's it, the character that actress plays is obviously mentally Disturbed and showed no remorse
so few more extra scenes should have been filmed or maybe cut as Deleted scenes and added in the extras on this dvd set
at least 2 scenes before credits rolled
scenes where she is actually arrested and another scene where she is found Guilty in court and sentenced to life in prison
and then the credits would start then that would make sense.
the ending scene ruined the storyline, another few extra scenes should of been filmed for sure, very ridiculous
there's few other episodes that are similar where the killer is finally found but then the episode ends with the credits
stupid endings which makes fans like myself pissed off and annoyed

for season 3, the Discs are inside slim plastic cases no extras tragically, seasons 1 & 2 had bonus extras
i guess not all seasons will have special features which is stupid.
3 stars for season 3 based on poorly Directed episodes for some certain episodes few extra scenes should have been filmed.
and no bonus features
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VINE VOICEon November 17, 2012
I enjoy the Law & Order SVU series. In fact, I don't actually like the other Law & Order shows, just this one. And I think that's much to do with the characters and actors that are in this show. Sure it always has a gripping plot, but they are what make the show.

Law & Order SVU follows the Special Victims Unit of New York as they solve the tough cases. The ones that involve rape, child abuse, and elder abuse and other such hard topics. These detectives are among the elite, not only because of how well they solve the crimes, but because they deal with depravity day after day to try to make the city a little safer.

Characters:
Christopher Meloni: Elliot Stabler
Mariska Hargitay: Olivian Benson
Richard Belzer: John Munch
Ice-T: Fin Tutuola
Stephanie March: Alex Cabot
Dann Florek: Don Cragan
B.D. Wong: George Huang

The base characters of this show have always been among the best out there. There's real chemistry between all of them. And it's hard to picture one of them without the other. Christopher Meloni, as Stabler, delivers a very good performance. He genuinely cares about the issues, and that is reflected in his acting. Not to mention, he's a pretty good guy in real life too. Hargitay as Benson has always been the heart of the operation, and while it can get her in trouble some times, she adds that soft note to the story. Ice-T adds the comic relief to this series, but he even has some dramatic points in this season. Belzer too has that comedic side to him, but he was largely absent from most of the series and the few episodes he was in, he kind of flitted into the background. I was surprised to see a couple of known faces in the guest characters. Both Emily Deschaenel and Henry Winkler starred in an episode in the series.

I have to say that while I enjoyed this season, it did tend to get a bit monotonous at times. Some of the episodes seemed repetitive and there weren't the normal side plots involving the detectives home lives as well that kept a consistent timeline through the series. There were some stand out episodes. Like "Execution" an episode about a serial killer that will be put to death in just a few days while the detectives race to find out if he murdered another person and never confessed. "Greed", the episode in which Henry Winkler starred is also very good. He plays the husband of a woman who is found beaten and raped in her home and starts the beginning of so many lies it's hard to tell how the detectives will ever figure out what happened.

Obviously this is not a show for young or immature children. There's too much violence, horror, and just things that you may not want to explain. But it is real life, and it can be a warning as to the dangers out there. The shooting of this tv series doesn't leave out that violence either. You see "bodies", blood, filth, and everything imaginable except full scale nudity. This just serves to make the series seem a real portrayal of the crimes happening. However, these are the small parts of the show, most the time the cameras follow around the detectives and show them trying to capture the criminals. The other shots are just to set the scene.

I don't think this is the best season, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. You've still got a great cast of characters and a show that stays on the edge and makes you hope that justice is served. All in all, not too shabby.

Review by M. Reynard 2012
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