November 07, 2005


American Gothic

Awhile back I noted that American Gothic was appearing on disc. I was, at the time, cautiously cheerful about that--it'd been ten years even since I'd seen the show, and there was certainly the possibility that my memory of how much I enjoyed it simply wouldn't survive hiting the reality again.

I'm happy to report that the memory has survived impact.

I have some quibbles with the release itself; the whole season's on three flipper discs, which is just annoying. Universal also made the even more annoying decision that the episodes went on the discs in the order in which they aired, with four unaired episodes slapped on the tail end. As is taught in all evil broadcast schools, when a series is presented to the network as being planned in a certain order, it must be aired out of sequence when you're not preempting it or randomly changing its timeslot. The episodes being out of order wasn't as huge a deal as it would be for other things, as the series was pretty strongly episodic throughout, but it's the principle of the thing.

The series certainly had some flaws that memory had glossed over; aside from Sheriff Lucas "Satan" Buck and young Caleb Temple, the other characters never quite fit properly--this was amplified by the other characters simply not having actors who were as good. But for the most part, they remained passable. And the last couple episodes felt more than a little rushed--previously, the show had taken its time with growing hints and creepy moments of Caleb's slow slide into being his father's son, and then all of a sudden realized it was getting axed, so they compressed about six episodes worth of fall into two.

Still, one of the best lawful evil characters ever. And there was some snappy writing that had also gotten lost to my memory along with the minor warts of the show. One of my favorite dialogue bits early on:

"I don't know what you said to them, but the network offered me a hell of a deal!"
"Is there any other kind?"

posted by Gar @ 8:46 PM
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