Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Once and Again - The Complete First Season|
Actors: Sela Ward, Bill Campbell, Jeffrey Nordling, Shane West, Julia Whelan
Directors: Arvin Brown, Barnet Kellman, Claudia Weill, Dan Lerner, Edward Zwick
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television
Starring Golden Globe and Emmy Award(R)-winning actress Sela Ward and Golden Globe-nominee Billy Campbell, ONCE AND AGAIN explored brave new territory with the compelling story of two families blending at the seams. The se... more »
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Let's hope they release the *entire* series
Sheldon Sturges | Needtoknowbasis, US, eh | 11/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Once and Again" was a wonderful, brilliantly acted series, that ABC thoughtlessly cancelled earlier this year, presumably to make room for quality shows like "The Bachelor" (a joke) -Sela Ward, Billy Campbell and especially the younger actors continually amazed me with their work on the show.As a fan of the late, great "My So-Called Life", I found this show just as effective in showing what its like to be human.About the only storyline on the show that bored me, just a little, was the one that featured "thirtysomething" hold-over, "Miles Drentell", but even then, actor David Clennon managed to show us the humanity behind his character's weasel exterior.Shane West, and Julia Whelan (who resembles Claire Danes) both were stunning as the older children, and Meredith Deane, and especially Evan Rachel Wood, as the younger ones, were brilliant.Wood was robbed of an Emmy nomination for her work on the show's third season, where she heart-breakingly portrayed her character's confusion over her burgeoning sexuality.Finally, Susanna Thompson kicked out the jams during the "accident" storyline, and she, too, was robbed of an Emmy nomination.A great series, that deserved another chance."
All 3 seasons on DVD ......
Mr. Dude Man | 11/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once and Again was a wonderfully acted, written series and I will regret its cancellation always. There are not words for what this show has meant to a lot of people. If reviews count ..I hope this one helps, I want mine to say please please release all seasons (that's 3) on DVD. Life is just so beautiful, O&A gave me that and it is a lesson that I will never forget. Thank you to all those involved in any way with this series... and I'm so proud of all who are still keeping this show alive in hearts everywhere. Best of luck to all the writers, producers, directors, creators, guest stars and actors on this stunning show in their future projects. I will never forget this show. Never. That is something pretty powerful to say and mean. I watched every episode I could during its entire run and became a fanatically obsessed O&A advocate in its last season... buy the DVD!!! Live the DVD. Smile and be glad at least it happened at all, even if only for a much too short run. Thank you Sela, Billy, Meredith, Evan, Shane, Jeff, Susanna, Marin, Julia and Eric. We love what you are. And love what you do. I will always wonder what would have happened, and it will always hurt not to know with certainty. But it's an okay hurt. I seriously bought a DVD player just to watch THIS DVD!! (and I know I am not alone in this..) so please release all seasons so I have at least some semblance of a DVD collection. lol. Me and others. Remember those wise words, "Just finishing something is not an ending". Hope those in a position to help can see these reviews. Thank you!"
Pasty Midwesterners are people, too.
Mr. Dude Man | Columbus, Oheeho | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""And so my course is clear: to go through life pretending to have done and seen things that have hardened me -- made me aloof and unreachable. Which works, until I need to ask a stock boy where they keep their corn meal. Then the facade crumbles, and it's clear that I'm not a weathered loner who's seen too much; just a pasty Midwesterner who can't find the flour aisle."
- Mike Nelson, 'Movie Megacheese'
'Once and Again' is about people like this, people who live in America's fly-over country, have never been homeless, are not famous, don't fight crime or work in hospitals, don't shop in SoHo or Beverly Hills. In real life, they vastly outnumber the homicide detectives, criminals, trauma surgeons, and island castaways who comprise such a disproportionate percentage of the central characters on television dramas. Why? Two reasons: (1) Most TV writers think they're boring and lack the insight and skills to write about them in ways that viewers will find interesting. (2) When a show that deals with this kind of material makes it on the air, it depends on large numbers of viewers in order to remain in production. Most television viewers gravitate to sex, violence, and suspense (and combinations thereof), and they are addicted to heightened reality. They do not have the patience for character studies, and that's why 'Once and Again' lasted only three seasons. One imagines that it was able to go that long because small but loyal numbers of viewers are actually bored by explosions, artificial suspense, and mindless exhibitionism.
Now we have 'Once and Again' on DVD. I doubt there's ever been more genuine gratitude among fans of a TV show regarding its release on video. Sure, there are a lot of great shows on DVD, but they're usually high-rated products that stand to do a lot of volume on DVD and are no-brainers from a marketing perspective. (A lot of lousy ones make it to DVD, too, but does anyone really care about those?) We spent a long time wondering if 'O&A' would ever meet polycarbonate, then, later, believing that Season One would remain alone there. That would have been a shame.
As good as the first season is as a stand-alone, it improves dramatically on subsequent viewings after seeing the second and third seasons. In the opening scene of the series, Lily Manning wakes her daughters in a middle-class home in a Chicago suburb. Beautiful morning sunlight streams through the windows. It's probably easy to dismiss it and think, "Okay, so what?" When you watch it after, say, "Won't Someone Please Help George Bailey Tonight?" from Season Two, you'll be prepared to understand. In Episode 5, "There Be Dragons," Jessie slips out of a movie outing with friends to take a walk by herself. She wanders around a mall looking at things, watching people, thinking. There's a wealth of suggestions on what's going through her mind, given the context of events in the episode. Watch it again after seeing "The Sex Show" from Season Three, and you'll find yourself filling in things that could not be suggested on network television in the earlier episode.
What holds it all together and makes it so compelling is that 'Once and Again' isn't afraid to let all the main characters be smart, decent people. There are no moments of convenient stupidity that are allowed only because suspense must be maintained. People sometimes behave questionably or lash out angrily at one another, but it's seldom a surprise, because it usually happens under circumstances under which you'd expect it from the character. It's never a cop-out, either, because not a single main character in the series is one-notish. The strength of the actors is critical, because they are required to render subtle shadings and quick revelations that are necessary to make many scenes work but cannot be written into dialog.
Fiction differs from reality in that it has had a narrative imposed on it by a writer, thus it is usually better able to illuminate human truths that are missing from an episode of 'Fear Factor' or 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' When you watch a television series in its original broadcast (or under other circumstances in which each episode is new to you), you can't know the full scope of the narrative that is taking shape in the minds of the writers, and they can do only so much to clue you in -- otherwise it just wouldn't be cool. This is no less true of 'Once and Again.' After you've seen every episode, going back and watching them over is synergistic. You can stand outside the constraints of the moment and understand where it really fits in the arc of the story, an omniscient third person. Would that we could do the same with our own lives. The other function of fictional writing is to provide dialog. (Would you want the contestants on 'Survivor' writing the dialog for the movie about your life?) 'Once and Again' is full of zingers, both dramatic and comedic, especially in the first season. Judy, Grace, and Zoe get most of the funniest lines, but the rest of the cast -- and sometimes even walk-ons -- have their share, too. Funny, ironic, and insightful, dialog like this works in several levels, and seeing them all springing to life at the same time is the real charm of 'Once and Again.'"
Wonderful television series
Rhonda C. Elsaesser | Fort Drum, NY USA | 06/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent series that had a three year run. Herskovitz and Zwick of famed "thirtysomething", "My So Called Life", and "Relativity" fame brought this to the screen and it was a true gem. It's basic premise was Lily, 40, just about to go through a divorce, with two girls, and the in's and out's of it all including, and mostly what the storyline dealt with dating again and finding love. There were secondary stories with the ex's and sisters and families and the kids. It dealt with everything that was and is now, and echoes most of our lives that we are living out there.Upon hearing the cancellation of the show, the viewers pulled an all out campaign to save it....to no avail. But with these upcoming editions on DVD Once and Again is sure to live on in our hearts and minds for everyone to watch and learn and dream. This show was a true work of art and most fans look forward to the next show that the creators put together. When they put the three seasons out on DVD, hopefully with extras for all us true fans that worked hard to keep the show on the air, I would recommend giving this show a chance, it truly is a gem."