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Murder One - The Complete Second Season (1995)

Anthony LaPaglia , Mary McCormack , Adam Nimoy , Donna Deitch  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony LaPaglia, Mary McCormack, Michael Hayden, J.C. MacKenzie, D.B. Woodside
  • Directors: Adam Nimoy, Donna Deitch, Elodie Keene, Joe Ann Fogle, Marc Buckland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 810 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQ68U0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,054 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Murder One - The Complete Second Season" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Final Verdict: Season Two" featurette

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Earning overwhelming critical acclaim and numerous honors during its debut season -- including a 1996 People's Choice Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Outstanding Drama Series -- MURDER ONE returns for a second season of compelling courtroom drama. Co-created and executive produced by Steven Bochco, MURDER ONE will follow three riveting cases, beginning with an explosive political assassination that will have a major impact on the personal and professional of high-powered attorney James Wyler (portrayed by Anthony LaPaglia in his television series debut).

Despite declining ratings and the constant threat of cancellation, the second season of Murder One was every bit as good as the first. With the addition of Anthony LaPaglia as a well-chosen replacement for departing series star Daniel Benzali (whose character, Teddy Hoffman, presumably retired from practicing law), the Los Angeles firm of Hoffman & Associates found itself with an able strategist in three compelling murder cases, unfolding over the course of 18 memorable episodes. LaPaglia (who would later star in Without a Trace) plays Jimmy Wyler, a former Deputy District Attorney whose defense methods (a combination of ethical conviction and legal manipulation) are challenged when he defends a young woman (Missy Crider) suspected of killing L.A.'s philandering mayor on the eve of reelection. With episodes (or "Chapters") 5 through 7, the season smoothly transitions to Wyler's defense of an NBA superstar (Rick Worthy) suspected of killing his team's owner. The third case begins with Chapter 13, when Wyler defends a bright but unstable serial killer (convincingly played by Pruitt Taylor Vince) nicknamed "The Street Sweeper" for self-righteously "executing" 17 ex-convicts who'd committed heinous crimes.

Superior production values, direction, and especially writing (much of it by series cocreators Steven Bochco and Charles Eglee) were seamlessly carried over from season 1, in addition to most of Murder One's excellent supporting cast. Along with temporarily replaced law-firm receptionist Louis Hines (John Fleck), Barbara Bosson returns as prosecutor Miriam Grasso, whose courtroom sparring with LaPaglia is consistently lively, smart, and strategically intriguing. Romance blossoms slowly but sensibly between Wyler and associate Justine Appleton (Mary McCormack), and the addition of new associate Aaron Mosely (D.B. Woodside, who later played the President's brother on 24) inspires a competitive edge between himself and fellow associates Chris Docknovich (Michael Hayden) and the smarmy, underachieving Arnold Spivak (played to perfection by J.C. MacKenzie). Clayton Rohner and Jack Kehler round out the cast as (respectively) L.A. Detective Vince Baggio and private investigator Frank Szymanski, who dig for facts that may, or may not, strengthen Wyler's defense. Throughout the season, guest stars like Ralph Waite (as a wealthy, threatening power broker), Ron Canada (a no-nonsense judge), Gregory Itzin (as L.A.'s scheming new mayor) and John Pleshette (as the comically sleazy Hollywood producer Gary Blondo) make vital contributions to the unfolding plots, with mysteries that are cleverly maintained for maximum viewer involvement.

Unfortunately, excellence did not translate into ratings. The morally complex Murder One was dealt a fatal blow when an extended hiatus was imposed after Chapter 12 was broadcast on January 23, 1997. Only the most loyal viewers saw the final six episodes of this truncated season, broadcast back-to-back over three nights the following May. By that time, the series' fate was sealed. Appropriately, the "Final Verdict: Season Two" featurette (the only bonus on these DVDs) functions as a bittersweet eulogy, with director Randy Zisk, producer/director Marc Buckland, and primary cast members (not including LaPaglia) praising all aspects of the show, and expressing fond memories for a series that brought out the best from everyone involved. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `24' Fans Take Note! Arguably The Best TV Drama Ever! August 15, 2005
By C. Chow
Thank you for setting me straight `Murder One' writer & producer Douglas Palau. I have since edited my review.

When I say that the second season of `Murder One' is arguably the best season of drama in the history of television I say it as a qualified expert. A long time veteran of pretty much EVERY courtroom drama in the last 25 years, `LA Law', `Law & Order', `The Practice', exedra, I can say that `Murder One' stands alone in a whole different universe of suspense.

`Murder One' is so original that I can only compare it as a prelude to `24'. It is the only show I've ever seen that even comes close to `Murder One'.

Like `24' the production quality is like that of a major motion picture, not a weekly prime time drama. The acting also really stands out. To have a great leading actor like Anthony LaPaglia is good. To have an ENTIRE supporting cast as talented as LaPaglia is truly phenomenal!

The other production talents also deserve credit. From the photography, editing, costumes, and set direction everything is perfect.

Again like `24' there are truly stunning narrative hooks.

LaPaglia stars as Jimmy Wilder, a sleazy LA Deputy District Attorney. Sleazy lawyers are the main stay of TV dramas, we've seen them 1000 times before. NOT LIKE JIMMY WILDER YOU HAVEN'T!

Jimmy is denied a promotion to prosecute headlining crimes by the DA running for governor of California. The disgruntled Jimmy boasts, "If you're elected governor I'll kiss your ass in a Macy's window." Imagine Jimmy's shock when he hears on the news the next morning that the current governor has been assassinated. When he arrives for work he discovers that the assassin was caught fleeing the crime scene leaving her roommate's smoking gun behind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder One - Season Two February 19, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent! The first two fast-paced cases keep your heart racing. The second half of Murder One season Two draws you in and forces you to ponder and contemplate - could I have done what this man did? Would I have repeated and repeated and justified my murders as he did? The touch of wry comedy with the elderly lady and her young spouse-to-be provided a rest for your over-worked heartbeat.

If you enjoy twists and turns; law and order; murder and sanctity, you will enjoy Murder One season Two.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Benzali, No Murder One April 2, 2006
I remember originally watching season one and thinking "this is the most inspired television ever written." It was also perfectly cast. Daniel Benzali in Season One is pure magic as Ted Hoffman, as is the ever-perfect Stanley Tucci. Season One is like a perfectly choreographed ballet. Season two just couldn't pull it off. At the time, many of us abandoned ship the minute Daniel Benzali was "replaced." Buy Season One and forget Season two. It is indeed, forgettable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series June 20, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great series. Each set tells a complete story and should be viewed in order.of presentation. Great cast and transfer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder One was a great series June 5, 2013
By hhbarw
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Season One had all the nitty gritty behind the scenes intrigue and prep for trial. Season 2 cut a lot of that out and had more trials. Both were good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I gave the first season of Murder One four stars. I give the second season five. This despite the fact that overall, I like the first season better. My only complaint, and it's a big one, is that the resolution of the case we were following throughout the first season was, I found, unsatisfying.

Viewers will have no such experiences with the second season, which improves on the first by following more than one story. In fact, the first two overlap in such a way that the second story begins before the first one ends, and before you know it the second overtakes the first.

The final story aired separately as a miniseries after it was learned the series was canceled. The quality of those last episodes should have filled network executives with regret.

Everything about the second season of Murder One worked. It deserves a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Distant Second March 6, 2011
I will not waste your time exalting the merits of this particular drama series. After the exit of most of the cast from season one, the second year pales in comparison. The elegance and panache disappeared along with the presence of David Benzali and Patricia Clarkson who brought an element of human, family interest to the show. Stanley Tucci was impressive and totally believable as the X factor of the series.Donna Murphy, Dylan Baker and John Fleck were the engines that propelled this vehicle with class and provocative out front, edge of your seat watchability. As ahead of it's time this series was, it's sad that there has been little to equal it. In the second season, the leftover cast from year one was relegated to smaller, stiff, unfeeling roles and I must say that Mr. LaPaglia was merely triple A league compared to Benzali. The storylines were a major stretch and the resolution of each case were equally as hard to digest. I don't know what killed this series, but I believe what I saw presented in season two, had a lot to do with it. The excitement, anticipation and drama was missing as well as the heart of the show, it's great cast and the audience who missed them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Cast, Great Show March 11, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Although not as great as Murder One, Season One, this show has terrific acting performances (especially Anthony LaPaglia and Missy Crider), dramatic story lines, and a tighly woven script. The Season is divided into three cases: the first, a story about a young woman caught in the wrong place at the wrong time; the second, a basketball player accused of having murdered his manager, the third dealing with a self-confessed serial killer. The courtroom drama is particularly terse, and one feels as if one were actually there. I would highly recommend this series to anyone enjoying court room dramas. For those viewers familiar with the TV series "Law and Order" the comparison is apparent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
These are excellent stories from Steven Bochco. I don't know why this show was ever cancelled .
Published 11 days ago by Lori Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great series
Published 14 days ago by Girl-Mom x 3
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent looking for more Murder
excellent looking for more Murder Ones
Published 17 days ago by Bettye H. Ruff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed the series, came quickly to my home, in super condition. I'm pleased
Published 27 days ago by wendy brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fantastic series from the 90's.
Published 27 days ago by cfw
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense show with great characters
I watched this show when it was originally on, never forgot it, so I was thrilled to see it again. Just as good the second time. Daniel Benzali and Stanley Tucci were amazing.
Published 8 months ago by Cover2cover
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent,and have spanish audio. As good as first Season. Anthony Lapaglia is an extraordinary actor. It would be desirable another Season
Published 11 months ago by Ricardo A. Castro R
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the watching.
I thoroughly enjoyed season 2 as much as season 1. Great acting from returning characters and new ones brought in.
Published 19 months ago by Roxane Foux
5.0 out of 5 stars No more Murder One available
Bought because wife loves these kind of shows. Dragged a bit for my taste, but overall a pretty good series for as short a time it lasted. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Pcola
5.0 out of 5 stars winner
Great show shud hv gone on longer then 2 seasons...was a great hit if I remember correctly. The acting is really great...Can',nt lose with this one.......
Published on June 2, 2012 by pilotguy
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