Law & Order: Trial by Jury - The Complete Series
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The jury is in! From creator Dick Wolf comes the most innovative Law & Order series yet: Law & Order: Trial by Jury - The Complete Series. Partner up with Jerry Orbach, Fred Dalton Thompson and Bebe Neuwirth to explore the judicial system like never before: not only from the point of view of police and prosecutors, but also the defense team, judges, jurors and the defendants themselves. This highly collectible three-disc DVD set contains all 13 original episodes of the entire series, including one never broadcast on network TV! Plus witness exciting deleted scenes, a landmark Law & Order: SVU cross-over episode starring Chris Meloni and Emmy winner Mariska Hargitay, the philosophy behind this unique show presented by the cast members, and powerful guest-star performances from Lorraine Bracco, Peter Coyote and Candice Bergen. You have the right to Law & Order: Trial by Jury!
There are plenty of things about Law & Order: Trial by Jury, the fourth series and third spinoff (after SVU and Criminal Intent) in executive producer Dick Wolf's popular and reliable franchise, that loyal viewers will find familiar, even comforting. There's the taut, ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling; the Kobe Bryant rape case (in "Pattern of Conduct") and the infamous Amadou Diallo shooting (in "Forty-One Shots") are but two examples among the fourteen episodes in this three-disc set. There are appearances, some of them recurring, by Sam Waterston, Fred Thompson, the late Jerry Orbach (in his final episodes as Det. Lennie Briscoe), and other stalwarts from the original series. There's an SVU "cross-over" episode, and another ("Skeleton") that follows up on the shooting of L & O detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin). And then there's the theme music, the intro ("In the criminal justice system") and that ineffable sound that leads from one scene to another. Yet Trial by Jury also has many aspects that set it apart from the other Law & Order shows. In focusing not on police procedure but on the trial process, it shines a brighter light on the defendants (who in most cases have already been apprehended when an episode starts), the juries (including the selection process, deliberations, and the role of jury consultants), the various lawyers' strategies, and even the judges' personal opinions. All of that leads to some interesting situations, like the scene in "Forty-One Shots" that finds a group of policemen, barred from the courtroom for making a disturbance during the trial of a cop killer, waiting anxiously outside for the verdict. Nevertheless, there are reasons why Trial by Jury failed to connect with viewers, airing for just two months in 2005 before being canceled by NBC. The cast is one of them; for example, A.D.A. Tracey Kibre (Bebe Neuwirth), the lead prosecutor, is tough but not especially likable. More than that, with its predilection for tight close-ups, personal details, melodrama, and such, the series is simply too much like standard nighttime TV fare. Good but not great, Law & Order: Trial by Jury (the set includes a few deleted scenes and a short featurette) will certainly have its adherents, but it falls a little short of its distinguished predecessors. --Sam Graham
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Top Customer Reviews
Law & Order: Trial by Jury was a great addition to the franchise because it was a great way to connect the shows together. There were two crossovers with Law & Order and Special Victims Unit which were excellent and I would have liked to see what the future would have brought. Bebe Neuwirth and Amy Carlson starred as ADA's Kibre and Gaffney and Oz's Acevedo starred as D.A. Investigator Hector Salazar. Scott Cohen was brought in to replace the late Jerry Orbach and Fred Dalton Thompson rounded out the cast by continuing his role as D.A. Arthur Branch.
Trial by Jury was focused around the trial but the D.A. Investigators sometimes questioned witnesses. The questioning was similar to how Special Victims Unit had a small bit devoted to the trial. It went through all aspects of the trial and it also showed the defense for a portion of the show. Though it was a lot different than the previous three, Trial by Jury showed how change can be a good thing.
Trial by Jury was most likely cancelled because NBC really wanted an instant hit. If it had had time to grow, I think Trial by Jury would've become one of the best shows on television. The DVD set looks promising though with good special features and the Law & Order crossover episode in this set as well. This DVD is a great way to relive Trial By Jury and I highly recommend it.
I enjoyed this pilot series immensely, and watched all episodes in one weekend. It was a tiny bit rough at times, which is to be expected with any new series until it hits its stride. But having said that, its quality was miles and miles above 95 percent of current police crime dramas. I think its a real shame that the network decided to discontinue this show after just one season. But then...this is the same network that made the unfathomable decision to terminate one of the most consistently high quality dramas in television history, the original Law and Order series.
After the "real" and painfully boring "Law & Order: Crime & Punishment," it was nice to see the franchise return to traditional court TV drama format with appealing actors and exciting cases expertly written by brilliant writers. Three things drew me to this series when it was first announced for a midseason run: The show's premise; Jerry Orbach's jump from Law & Order; and beautiful Amy (Third Watch) Carlson's return to series television as A.D.A. Kelly Gaffney, having memorably guest-starred on both Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Trial By Jury also starred Fred Dalton Thompson (Die Hard 2) reprising his D.A. Arthur Branch role from Law & Order; Kirk Acevedo as Lennie Briscoe's partner D.A. Investigator Hector Salazar; Scott Cohen as Detective Chris Ravell, who succeeded Briscoe after Jerry Orbach's untimely passing; and Bebe (Frasier) Neuwirth as A.D.A. Tracey Kibre. While a great cast, the real stars of the show were the writers [as with every other Law & Order series] who Dick Wolf himself constantly praised [as with every other Law & Order series], and rightfully so. Not to mention composer Mike Post for squeezing out yet another great and distinctive variation on his original "Law & Order" theme.
"Law & Order: Trial by Jury - The Complete Series" is a 3-disc (single-sided) set featuring all 13 episodes from the series. Special Features include: Bonus "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" cross-over episode "Night"; Deleted scenes from "The Abominable Showman", "Forty-One Shots", "Vigilante", and "Truth or Consequences"; "A Different Look at Law & Order" featurette with the cast.
In the criminal justice system, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty, either by confession, plea bargain, or trial by jury. These are those trials.
1. The Abominable Showman
2. Forty-One Shots
4. Truth or Consequences
5. Baby Boom
6. Pattern of Conduct
7. Bang & Blame
8. Skeleton (continuation of a Law & Order crossover)
9. The Line
10. Blue Wall
11. Day (continuation of included bonus Law & Order: SVU crossover)
12. Boys Will Be Boys
13. Eros in the Upper Eighties
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