While the series never enjoyed the same kind of ratings success as the other shows that producer John Wells has been involved with ("ER", "West Wing"), "Third Watch" still managed strong reviews and fan support - the show still has a strong following on DVD years after the last episode aired. The show started in 1999 and ran 6 seasons, following a set of police, firefighters and paramedics throughout their day-to-day lives in NYC (the series was co-created by former Chicago police officer Edward Allen Bernardo, who had worked with Wells on the short-lived show, "Trinity".)
The paramedics, police and fire unit were within precinct 55, dubbed "Camelot" by the characters due to the fact that the station was located at the corners of King and Arthur. The group works the shift between 3PM and 11PM (hence, "Third Watch") and includes paramedics, Monte Parker (Michael Beach), Carlos Nieto (Anthony Ruivivar), Bobby Caffey (Bobby Cannavale) and Kim Zabrano (Kim Raver), as well as officers John “Sully” Sullivan (Skipp Sudduth), Ty Davis (Coby Bell), Faith Yokas (Molly Price) and Maurice “Bosco” Boscorelli (Jason Wiles). There's also a main firefighter, Jimmy Doherty (Eddie Cibrian).
The show does an impressive job moving between stories, as the responders face such situations as the crash of a prison bus, having to take a mandated sensitivity seminar, a grudge football match, helping addicts, helping a lost child and more. The show does delve into the personal lives of the characters and how it can effect their work, but thankfully, rather than focusing on the personal dramas of the characters and having the work be the background, the show achieves a nice balance between the personal and private for the characters.
The show does often lean towards being graphic in nature (both in language and otherwise), but it's understandable given the nature of many of the situations and the core plot of the series. The show's writing is uniformly excellent, with compelling plots, strong dialogue and well-realized characters - it's a surprise that the series was never recognized at the Emmys for anything but Best Sound Editing (which it won one of the years it was nominated) and Best Stunt Coordination.
This set provides the complete second season of the series.
23. 2- 1 2 Oct 00 The Lost
24. 2- 2 9 Oct 00 Faith
25. 2- 3 16 Oct 00 Four Days
26. 2- 4 23 Oct 00 Jimmy's Mountain
27. 2- 5 30 Oct 00 Kim's Hope Chest
28. 2- 6 6 Nov 00 The Tys That Bind
29. 2- 7 13 Nov 00 After Hours
30. 2- 8 27 Nov 00 Know Thyself
31. 2- 9 4 Dec 00 Run of the Mill
32. 2-10 18 Dec 00 History
33. 2-11 15 Jan 01 A Hero's Rest
34. 2-12 22 Jan 01 True Love
35. 2-13 29 Jan 01 Duty
36. 2-14 5 Feb 01 A Rock and a Hard Place
37. 2-15 12 Feb 01 Requiem for a Bantamweight
38. 2-16 26 Feb 01 Unfinished Business
39. 2-17 19 Mar 01 The Self-Importance of Being Carlos
40. 2-18 16 Apr 01 Honor
41. 2-19 23 Apr 01 Walking Wounded
42. 2-20 30 Apr 01 Man Enough
43. 2-21 14 May 01 Exposing Faith
44. 2-22 21 May 01 ...And Zeus Wept
VIDEO: Warner Brothers is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame (as the show was initially shown) on this second season set. Sharpness and detail were mostly satisfactory, as while the presentation never looked crystal clear, it never veered too far into softness.
A little bit of shimmering was spotted, but otherwise, the picture appeared crisp and clear, with no specks, marks or other faults. No pixelation was seen, either. Colors looked accurately presented, with no smearing or other flaws. Black level appeared solid, while flesh tones looked accurate.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack offers clear, crisp dialogue and effects.
EXTRAS: Only a gag reel.
Final Thoughts: Powerful, superbly acted and well-written, "Third Watch" deserved a larger following when it was on the air - it's another strong effort from producer John Wells. The second season DVD set doesn't provide much at all in the way of extras, but does boast fine audio/video quality. Recommended.