TITLE: ADAM-12 - SEASON TWO
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008 (Shout! Factory)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: Approx. 11 hours
Runtime of Special Features: 2 minutes*
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: Four commentary tracks by actual Los Angeles police officers; “Ride Along” featurette; Photo Galleries
* Most special features are embedded within the episodes.
“One Adam-12, we have some episodes of the classic TV series to release.” And with that, we have season two of the late 60s/early 70s police drama, Adam-12! The series, a spinoff of the series Dragnet ‘67, follows Officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed through the streets of Los Angeles, the city of angels-except the reality is that Reed and Malloy don’t always find the angels on the street and often have to go up against the roughest and toughest thugs in the city. The series demonstrates how some of the biggest crimes in the city have to be faced by unsuspecting street officers at first, and demonstrates the dangers of just showing up at work everyday. And there is nothing “unrealistic” about this series, as it the stories are based upon real cases and the episodes have, in fact, been used for training new police recruits in Los Angeles.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
In “Log 52 - Good Cop: Handle With Care,” reporters try to provoke Reed and Malloy to do a story on police brutality, but will they get what they want? Reed and Malloy arrest two people for armed robbery and may face a riot in “Log 23 - Pig is a Three Letter Word.” The officers are up against a gang of bikers in “Log 103 - A Sound Like Thunder.”
Malloy has a date with the new girl at the station in “Log 63 - Baby.” The officers face the reality that the United States Constitution is a legally binding document in “Log 123 - Courtroom.” It is another (routine) narcotics bust in “Log 142 - As High As You Are.” Malloy is held hostage in “Log 43 - Hostage.”
In “Log 64 - Bottom of the Bottle,” Reed and Malloy see what alcoholism can do to a person. It is another typical kid on drugs (not that it SHOULD be typical) in “Log 24 - A Rare Occasion.” In “Log 94 - Vengeance,” Reed and Malloy face many serious problems; though a child getting stuck in the refrigerator is the least serious one of this day.
Malloy breaks his wrist and is on desk duty in “Log 74 - Light Duty.” It’s a domestic dispute involving a professional wrestler in “Log 144 - Bank Robbery,” so how will this one be handled? A wealthy man thinks he can get his son off the hook for a DUI by bribing Reed and Malloy in “Log 44 - Attempted Bribery.”
Luckily, we have packaging that looks like a real company put this show on DVD, nothing like that almost public domain looking thing that Universal put out for Season One. We have a box that contains two slim cases. We have Reed and Malloy on the box cover and inside, we have two slim cases, each containing two discs. Officer Malloy is on the cover of the case holding Discs 1 and 2, while Officer Reed is on the case holding Discs 3 and 4. On the back of each case, there are episode descriptions and original airdates. The disc artwork is very nice, with black and white photos of Reed and Malloy on a blue grid background. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-14, Disc 3 contains episodes 14-19, and Disc 4 contains episodes 20-26
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus n the set are very nicely designed. The main menu plays video clips as well as the opening music, before presenting you with a police radio that has knobs that allow you to select “Play All,” “Episodes,” or whatever special feature is on that disc. If you select “Episodes,” you get an animated transition to another menu that lists all of the episodes on that disc on another radio. Dramatic music from the series plays in the background n this menu. Scene selection is not an option on this set, but chapters are placed in all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
Generally, I was impressed with the video. I didn’t see too much grain and the picture was mostly clear throughout. The colors looked pretty good too. Still, that doesn’t mean that everything was perfect, but it was pretty close to that for episodes that are going on 40 years old. There was one minor issue with the audio (mainly that the audio levels weren’t always consistent from one episode to the next), but it generally sounds pretty good, being presented in mono, of course. The episodes are closed-captioned.
The episodes are, as far as I can tell, all unedited. In fact, they all have the exact same runtime, give or take a second. They all run at 25:06, although a few did go all the way “up” to 25:07 and a few went as low as 25:05. I call that consistency, for sure.
To say that this set is loaded with special features wouldn’t be truthful, but there are a few very nice ones, beginning with commentaries. Commentaries can be found on the episodes “Log 153 - Find Me a Needle,” “Log 143 - Cave,” “Log 24 - A Rare Occasion,” and “Log 134 - Child Stealer.” Now, just who is doing these commentaries, you ask? Somebody that was involved in the production of the episodes? An actor from the episodes? Neither of those! Instead, we have real-life Los Angeles police officers, talking about the events of the episodes and how they relate to real life. It is an interesting perspective to have on the episodes, and a creative one... although I have to admit, it would be nice to additionally have commentaries on other episodes that include those involved with the series.
There are some original promos for the series on Disc 1 (1:26), but these are actually from the last season of the series. The quality isn’t all that great, but they are still nice to see.
Disc 2 has another very nice and creative special feature, on the episode “Log 123 - Courtroom.” The special feature is called “Ride Along,” and I had no clue what this was going to be, but when I found out what it was, I loved it! It is a special feature that educates you about the United States Constitution and various laws in the United States as you watch the episode, kind of like the VH-1 series Pop Up Video. The episode itself relates to a case involving illegal search and seizure, and as the episode progresses, trivia facts pop up about the Fourth Amendment, laws regarding search and seizure, court cases relating to the episode, and more. Honestly, I believe that this episode, with this special feature, would be a very valuable resource to teach students at a high school or even college level about what the Fourth Amendment means. I thought that I knew a lot about the Fourth Amendment, yet I found myself learning a lot here!
Finally, the remaining two special features are photo galleries. Disc 3 has a photo gallery containing pictures of the Los Angeles Police Training Center, while Disc 4 contains vintage pictures relating to the past of the Los Angeles police department. The training center photos aren’t quite as interesting as the vintage pictures, but both are interesting to look at. Although, I do have one issue with the vintage photos--not all are from the Adam-12 time period. One of the “vintage” photos contains a model year 1996 patrol car, which I highly doubt we would have seen Reed or Malloy in back in 1969. Another one shows a getaway car that is a 1980s model car that is loaded with bullet holes. They are interesting photos, but perhaps should have been included in a separate and more appropriately titled feature. Don’t worry though--there are plenty of photos in there that are actually from the Adam-12 era.
This is a great set! Universal really let us all down with a shoddy Season One set, so it is nice to see that as Shout! Factory has taken over for Season Two; they gave us a set that is almost the opposite in regards to quality. Everything is great about the set, from the packaging to the quality to the special features. It would almost be a crime to not own this set--no pun intended. After seeing this set, I almost wish that Shout! Factory would do a re-release of the disaster that Universal put out for Season One, but I don’t see that happening. Hopefully, we will at least see the remaining five seasons released, with sets as good as this one. Until then, over!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 09/20/08
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