Monday, January 16, 2006

Dead Reviews

Box Set Reviews

I am now going to take a little time to comment on some DVD boxed sets I have watched recently but that I've never been able to get around and write full reviews about. With school resuming for me tomorrow I wanted to get these out of the way now so I don't have to worry about them in the future.

Dead Like Me season 2 is sadly to be the last season for the Showtime comedy drama about working class grim reapers. I didn't like this season as much as the first (which would be hard to top in the creative department) but the show did gain more of an ensemble feel then it originally had and still maintained far above average quality. Their were many interesting happenings in both the worlds of its living and dead characters this season. The living: Joy and Clancy Lass divorced less then a year after the death of their daughter (who didn't see that one coming), Reggie went through a goth phase, we meet Crystals boyfriend, Misty slept around, and Delores stayed Delores. The dead: Roxy became a cop, we learned of Rube life in the mob in the 20's, Georgia got her first boyfriend, Daisy flirted with the Catholice faith, and Mason stayed Mason. It is sad to know a young and original show with so much potential went before its time.

The Barchester Chronicles was a 1982 BBC mini-series based on two novels by the prolific Anthony Trollope. Boasting a veritable whose-who of British character actors including Donald Pleasence, Nigel Hawthorne, Clive Swift, Geraldine McEwan, and a young Alan Rickman it was a pleasure to watch. It was in this production that Rickman seems to have established his trademark "I'm so much better then you you disgust me" characterization. Pleasence, who wasted so much of his time in horror films and cheap foreign productions, is truly a great actor and seeing him embody the meek and mild Rev. Septimus Harding was a real treat. The plots were mostly comedies of manners and factionalizations in a small community but also touched on the importance of religious moderation as both the 'reformers' and 'orthodox' came off as overly reactionary.

The Greatest American Hero season one, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this Steven J. Cannell produced program. The odd-couple chemistry of William Katt and Robert Culp as liberal school teacher Ralph Hinckley and arch-conservative FBI agent Bill Maxwell played great on television and could have lasted many more years then it did. Though the plots were some times corny the cast dynamics were strong and the characters extremely likeable (expect maybe for Michael Pare's Tony, at least at the beginning). Finally the more I think about it the more I realize that Connie Sellecca's Pam Davidson is perhaps my ideal women.


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