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“Everwood: The Compete 3rd Season”
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner
Genre:
TV-Series
Release Date:
6/15/10
Special Features:

Selected outtakes

Review:

Family dramas took a hit over the last couple of years. It seems that producers are determined to make them edgy and turn them into a fresh faced version of “Gossip Girl” (IMHO one of the WORST TV shows currently running and a poster child for everything that is wrong with more recent TV shows). In our rapid fire media driven age it’s pretty easy to lose track of a worthwhile family show that you can watch without you or your kids squirming in their seats. “Everwood” fit the bill. It had more bite than companion series like “7th Heaven” and while the writing wasn’t as distinguished or witty as, say, “Gilmour Girls”, it makes shows like “Gossip Girl” look like the pig swill it is. ***

A refresher course for what the series was about for those who have forgotten; Treat Williams (one of Hollywood’s most talented and sadly underused actors) plays Dr. Andy Brown a neurosurgeon who runs away from the rat race of New York taking his son Ephram (Greg Smith) and daughter Delia (Vivien Cardone) after his wife is killed in an accident. The relocation allows Brown and his family to mentally and emotionally regroup but also forces them to make a major change in their lifestyle because of the differences between more rural Everwood and NYC. The new location allows Brown to finally connect with his kids in a way he didn’t before but by the third season father and son have a bad connection when Andy finds out that his son’s girlfriend Mardison (Sarah Lancaster) is pregnant. Andy elects NOT to tell his son and makes Madison promise the same if he takes care of her and her needs a mistake that has massive ramifications during season three but it’s a fairly bold dramatic decision for characters that are so likable and prevents the show from coasting on its own charm introducing a nice, solid dramatic grenade that has nasty repercussions once the pin is pulled. ---

Image & Sound:

Many of the classic Warner catalog movie titles have received stellar, brilliant transfers and restorations but that care doesn’t always extend to their TV properties which are handled by a different division. For example, initially “The Waltons” and “Dallas” have often received indifferent, mixed releases with either picture quality lacking (because of the age of the film sources) or the lack of special features. This often creates the impression that the Warner TV catalog titles are treated like second class citizens (some of that criticism is valid but less so for Warner who lavishes attention when you compare the often slipshod treatment that vintage TV shows can get at the hands of some of their competitors). ***

Luckily, “Everwood” is recent enough so that we don’t have to worry about so-so source material or aged prints that have been beaten to heck. The show looks almost evergreen—with a nice, colorful transfer with little in the way of digital artifacts (although there are a few from cramming so many episodes on to each disc) and virtually no analog artifacts. Colors are bold throughout and although there are the occasional soft images, the presentation is sharp and detailed for the most part. ***

Audio sounds quite strong with a nice surround presence for the show although you should keep in mind that this is primarily a dialogue driven show hence the center and front speakers are used most convincingly. ---

Special Features:

Sadly, aside from selected outtakes, there are none. Since this has now passed into the realm of catalog title (meaning it’s a first run series any longer), these shows often get short shrift when it comes to commentary tracks, featurettes, etc. The good news though is that it’s clear most of the budget went to making sure the show looks as clean and nice as possible on DVD.

Final Words:

The third season of “Everwood” challenged viewers assumptions about the characters on the show and took a risky radical turn with the introduction of the pregnancy storyline AND Andy’s behavior. The result is that “Everwood” didn’t turn into Mayberry (a good thing for this show) and kept it dramatically vital when most shows hit a slump. I realize that the third season wasn’t popular with some fans because of the questionable decision Andy made at the conclusion of season two and the strained relationship between father and son but that’s what keeps shows dramatically viable and interesting. ***

The third season of “Everwood” may arrive without extras but it has plenty of drama to keep fans riveted for a family show raising difficult questions for the characters.

 

 
 
 
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