Eye For Film >> Movies >> American Gothic (1995) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath
The picture quality isn't as high as other TV series from the same era. The edges are soft throughout and fairly heavy graining is evident in a number of scenes. Neither is ever directly detrimental to the enjoyment of the show, but the overall effect is somewhat disappointing.
The audio quality is perfectly passable. The omission of subtitles is a shame.
American Gothic's extras are excellent. Five of the six discs contain deleted scenes, totalling around 20 minutes in all. They're extensive enough to give insight into the making of the show, without being so lengthy as to be boring.
Shaun Cassidy and David Eick's commentary is one of the best I've heard in a long time. They are honest enough to point out both the flaws and what they feel succeeds in their work. Both are eloquent and engaging speakers, who actually have something worth saying. Only having commentary on one episode out of 22 feels a little light. I wouldn't want a huge amount more, but having another commentary on, say, the final episode, would nicely bookend the series.
When American Gothic was aired in America, some of the episodes were shown out of order, and four weren't shown at all. Although most of the episodes can stand alone, there is an overall story arc which was disrupted by this - most noticeably in this incorrect order, a character leaves the series in one episode, then reappears in the next. When American Gothic was released on Region 1 DVD, an unbelievably stupid decision was made to put the episodes in this incorrect order, and with the four unaired episodes tacked on to the end. Despite numerous complaints, the exact same incorrect ordering was used for this Region 2 release.
One reason that people buy TV shows on DVD is to be able to watch them as the creators intended, without them being messed around with in pursuit of ratings or to fit in with schedules. If Universal are going to give DVD viewers the episodes in the wrong order, why not go the whole hog and replace the third and fourth discs with a snooker tournament?
As annoying as it is to keep taking discs in and out, do take the trouble to do so, and curse Universal each and every time. The correct episode order is as follows:
Pilot A Tree Grows In Trinity Eye Of The Beholder Damned If You Don't Potato Boy Dead To The World Meet The Beetles Strong Arm Of The Law To Hell And Back The Beast Within Rebirth Ring Of Fire Resurrector Inhumanitas The Plague Sower Doctor Death Takes A Holiday Learning To Crawl Echo Of Your Last Goodbye Strangler Triangle The Buck Stops Here RequiemReviewed on: 24 Mar 2006