Directed by: Cynthia Saunders
Starring: Ally Walker, Robert Davi, Julian McMahon, Roma Maffia, Peter Frechette
- All nineteen second season episodes
- Running audio commentary on episode “Victims of Victims” by investigative criminal profiler Pat Brown
- Brown biography
- Cast biographies
Released by: A&E
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans of the show will want to own; worth a rental for crime show freaks
[ad#longpost]Dr. Samantha “Sam” Waters (Walker) is a criminal profiler for the Violent Crimes Task Force. She has a slight one-up on the serial killers that she and the team she’s on, which is led by the semi-no-nonsense Bailey Malone (Davi): she gets psychic flashes regarding the killers and the crime itself. What really drives her, though, is the fact that a serial killer known as Jack of All Trades killed her husband years before–and the bastard’s still at large (and lurking around as a lame kind of throughline for the entire series).
This series is not a bad crime drama–and even though it’s not terribly old, it can still feel dated when placed up against the sleek, highly evolved Law and Order machine or this show’s stepchild, CSI. But it does have merits. The stories generally fall into two bits of category–there’s the Bits Where the Investigation is Happening and the Bits Where the Characters Have Personal Lives. I never did find the latter to be anywhere near as interesting as the former. So Sam doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with her daughter…that’s tragic, can we get back to the case, please?
Also, the ongoing Jack storyline in the background seemed to be about as effective as the backup stories that would be carried in comics like Brave and the Bold or Detective: you read them, but only because you felt like you had to, because you did plonk down the coin, after all. It never felt like it was an organic tie-up for the episodes, at least to me. It just felt like something they cooked up to give the protagonist here an ongoing nemesis. But we don’t need to be reminded that the guy’s there all the time, people. It would have been much more interesting to go a few episodes without him and then suddenly realize that Jack is behind Our Heroes’ present predicament and bang–something terrible happens. But here it gets old and stays old.
The DVD itself has minimal features, but it’s by far not the most scant we’ve seen on a TV show release, and the one major feature it does have rates rather high. I speak of a commentary by real life profiler Pat Brown, who spends the entire episode relating the differences between real profilers and TV profilers. This is actually terribly interesting, as she debunks the myths that television and movies have perpetrated on us (we being willing co-conspirators in this, of course), such as the fact that the FBI don’t get involved with every serial killer case under the sun. And she also gives us some stats we could probably live without, like the amount of at large serial killers in the U.S.–five in every major city, she tells us. The rest of the extras are the standard cast biographies.
A fan of the show is going to want to snag this just to have the thing for their own personal posterity, but crime show fans will want to rent it before buying to see if it’s up their dark alley.