Finally, the complete cult hit series American Gothic, produced by Sam Raimi, comes to DVD for the first time ever! Visit Trinity, South Carolina, a small town with more chills than charm. Sheriff Lucas Buck (Gary Cole) wo... more »n?t let anyone - including local doctor Matt Crower (Jake Weber) or the determined Gail Emory (Paige Turco) - stand in the way of his evil plans. Marking the tenth anniversary of its broadcast debut and packed with all 22 episodes, including four "lost" ones never broadcast on network television, American Gothic?s eerie storylines of intrigue and suspense are sure to hold you captive!« less
Shaun Cassidy never seemed to catch a break with his groundbreaking productions, like Roar and Invasion. Out of the box ideas which kept getting canceled.
Nicole W. (sterju3) from SCRANTON, PA Reviewed on 4/6/2009...
WOW! What an excellent series...This was great and I watched it all in one weekend...I first bought it because I have a huge crush on Jake Weber, but Gary Cole and a young Lucas Black stole the show. (Jake was great also)
Very chilling acting by Cole as a sketchy town sherif who seems to know everything about everyone in the town. Strange things and many deaths seem to happen when he is around. Young Caleb (Black), orphaned after his sister is murdered and father mysteriously dies is great as a confused ten year old strugling between good and evil...I'm not sure if I am going to trade these disks because this series was so good!!!! ps be warned the episodes are not in order go to idmb or wiklipedia to get the correct order, or you will be very confused...the show was not shown in order on cbs, so when they put out the disks they never checked, and its very bizzare if you do not watch them right..hope i helped someone
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Maria P. (Cookielu1999) from NEWPORT BEACH, CA Reviewed on 11/14/2008...
Too bad Shaun Cassidy's talented writing is too 'something' for the masses to keep his series' going. We have had the carpet yanked out from under us twice now. This dark story of an unknown evil really creates more questions than it had time to answer before its untimely demise, but the existing episodes are incredibly intriguing as we cling to the sides of our seat when we encounter an apparently omniscient town sheriff as flawed and vulnerable as he is evil.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of TV's best, but one of Universal's worst.
_matta2k | Toledo, OH | 10/27/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"American Gothic is a terrific television series, canceled far too soon, and sadly mishandled by the CBS network during its run (episodes aired out of order, entire episodes unaired, etc). Now Universal has repeated CBS's mistakes with this DVD release. Sure, we should be happy to see American Gothic on DVD at *all*, but this series deserves far better.
Most offensive: the episodes on these discs are *completely* out of order. (Shouldn't the series finale be the last episode on the set? It's not. It's episode eighteen on the DVDs. Was anyone at Universal thinking when they put this set together?) American Gothic fans (Gothniks) contacted Universal prior to the release of these DVDs. They said: MAKE SURE YOU GET THE ORDER CORRECT. Universal didn't listen. Now, first time viewers of this brilliant series will likely be left *bewildered* instead of impressed.
Universal also continues to release their television programs on those absurd dual-sided DVD-18 discs, which are quite prone to damage. They easily scratch, then sputter and freeze-up. Compare Universal to Fox's releases of Angel, Millennium, etc. Fox does a far better job with the video/audio transfers, and they put the episodes on single-sided DVD-9 discs with nice artwork. (The American Gothic DVD box cover is UGLY too.) Universal can really take a lesson from companies like Fox and Shout Factory!. Good programs like American Gothic deserve better, *especially* when fans have waited so long to see their favorite programs hit DVD. Sheriff Buck would not tolerate this mess.
INTENDED EPISODE ORDER: 01. Pilot, 02. A Tree Grows in Trinity, 03. Eye of the Beholder, 04. Damned if You Don't, 05. Potato Boy, 06. Dead to the World, 07. Meet the Beetles, 08. Strong Arm of the Law, 09. To Hell and Back, 10. The Beast Within, 11. Rebirth, 12. Ring of Fire, 13. Resurrector, 14. Inhumanitas, 15. The Plague Sower, 16. Doctor Death Takes a Holiday, 17. Learning to Crawl, 18. Echo of Your Last Goodbye, 19. Strangler, 20. Triangle, 21. The Buck Stops Here, 22. Requiem"
"Someone's at the door..."
Bruce F. Webster | Parker, CO USA | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set is long overdue. Loooong overdue. In our recent move from DC to Colorado, I threw out all of our recorded VHS tapes--except for the ones with "American Gothic". Now I can get rid of those as well, but for the right reason.
Like "Firefly", "American Gothic" is a unique, outstanding series never given a chance by its network (CBS, in this case). It was also probably the most chilling and disturbing series ever to air, a stark morality tale with Gary Cole as the Devil incarnate (or a close kin), disguised as Sheriff Lucas Buck of the small town of Trinity, SC. Buck rules over his little kingdom with morbid humor and playfulness, setting up moral pitfalls and dilemmas for the town's inhabitants, and dispensing his own brand of justice or vengance or just plain meanness--which often involves ruin, insanity, dismemberment, or death.
Opposing Buck is young Caleb Temple (played by Lucas Black), an orphan who talks regularly to his dead sister Merlyn and who has powers of his own--and who may or may not be Buck's son. Buck wants Caleb to follow him; Merlyn wants Caleb to resist; and the rest of Trinity gets caught in the crossfire, so to speak.
The writing, acting, and directing are all outstanding. You'll never look at Gary Cole the same way again. Or, for that matter, Shaun Cassidy--yes, the "Hardy Boys" teen heart-throb [thanks for the corrections, everyone!]--who conceived and produced the show, along with Sam Raimi ("Evil Dead", "Army of Darkness", "Spider-Man").
Important - the episodes on the dvd aren't in order
Staci L. Wilson | USA | 11/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shaun Cassidy has a hit series on his hands right now with the alien-thriller Invasion, but ten years ago it was a harder row to hoe with his demonically-inspired weekly show American Gothic. At the time, CBS didn't give the series its due - they not only dropped entire episodes out from the middle of the story-line without ever airing them, they often preempted the show for weeks on end. After slapping the viewers' faces time and time again, CBS found that fans turned their TV attentions elsewhere.
When it was airing, American Gothic was one of my favorite shows. And I've never quite forgotten it; it's one of those series like Twin Peaks or Carnivale - it's flawed but so compelling it haunts the memory for years. The story takes place in darkly wooded Trinity, South Carolina and centers on the imposing Sheriff Buck (Gary Cole) and his orphaned, (secret) illegitimate son, Caleb Temple (Lucas Black). The story-line is not especially unique but everything just gelled so perfectly with the actors and their characters, American Gothic qualifies as a classic.
But how does it hold up? Despite some rather dodgy special effects and the occasional heavy-handedness, American Gothic holds up very well. It's much bolder and far more addictive than Cassidy's current Invasion, as a matter of fact. Some of the greatest little signature touches about the show include the catchphrase, "Someone's at the door"; or the way Sheriff Buck always just shows up out of the blue as if dropping from the sky (or maybe coming up from someplace else); and Caleb's ever-furrowed brow and the way he said "Daay-dy".
One of the best shows early on in the DVD is "Meet the Beetles" - it's a standalone episode and will remind many of an X-Files episode. The opener of the show is a bone-rattling bang when Caleb and his friend Boone are looking through the charred ruins of what was once Caleb's family home - a skeletal hand seemingly latches onto the boys' ankle and tries to pull him underground. Throughout the episode, Caleb is haunted by visions of his own grave.
It turns out the remains belong to Hack Weller and that, even though he's been reduced to bones, the philandering husband has been dead for only two or three days. Much to the pithy Sheriff Buck's consternation, the State Police send square-jawed Lt. Drey (Bruce Campbell) in to solve the mysterious and potentially deadly case. It's an episode that will keep on "bugging" you even after the final fade.
The actors would later go on to do other remarkable roles - Cole in Office Space; Black in Sling Blade; and Jake Weber in TV's Medium - but it's the genre-blending American Gothic that discerning horror fans will always remember them for.
The DVD features deleted scenes and commentary on pilot episode from Cassidy and producer David Eick. Cassidy admits he hasn't seen the series since it aired 10 years ago, and too often it shows - there are some rather unfortunate long lapses of silence as he watches the show. There are a very interesting tidbits revealed; for example, Cassidy reveals that the "Someone's at the door" scene sold the pilot as he acted it out for CBS execs.
The pair jokes about the prominent Elvis pillowcase shown in the pilot, and they complain about the stock music they were forced to resort to in certain sequences. They also mention wannabe Prez Bob Dole's then-ongoing anti-violence-on-TV campaign a few times, then they never utter a word about Dole during a scene in a which a certain character is found dead with an expensive writing instrument thrust into his windpipe (remember Dole's trademark pen?).
Eick and Cassidy also talk about how producer Sam Raimi came in with a lot of visual ideas, and how he gleefully said that yes, Buck is the Devil (while Eick and Cassidy say they wished to keep the Sheriff's identity more ambiguous - however, one of them does laughingly say during the commentary, "This is not Touched By An Angel - it's Touched By Satan!").
They don't go into too much detail about the show's cancellation, but Eick does say, "We knew we were dead early enough to be able to plan our own funeral," in regards to being able to wrap up the loose ends in the series finale.
It's absolutely wonderful to the have the American Gothic series on DVD, finally. However - be warned that the order of the episodes is not sequential and that there is nothing on the DVD package to indicate this. The four unaired episodes are piled on the last disc, but actually the show should be viewed in this order:
A Tree Grows in Trinity
Eye of the Beholder
Damned if You Don't
Dead to the World
Meet the Beetles
Strong Arm of the Law
To Hell and Back
The Beast Within
RING OF FIRE
The Plague Sower
Dr. Death Takes a Holiday
Learning to Crawl
ECHO OF YOUR LAST GOOD-BYE
The Buck Stops Here
Correct viewing order
B. Davies | S Wales, UK | 10/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favourite shows ever but as stated earlier a flawed DVD release. To fully enjoy this series watch in the following order... Episodes 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 19, 06, 07, 14, 13, 08, 20, 09, 10, 11, 12, 15, 21, 16, 22, 17, 18"
Great show, pathetic DVD set
Edward | 12/30/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Just one more person chiming in here that I have gone through many of these sets, so I did my share of having defective sets returned back to Universal. I had two defective sets thru Amazon, then Amazon said this problem is widespread, that they will not replace another set but will just refund me, which they did. Then I went through Best Buy and bought two more sets. Best Buy is not supposed to refund but replace, but after two bad sets, I went up the ranks of management until one agreed to give me a full cash refund. She agreed that this must be a bad batch and was understanding. Even the people I spoke to before her at least offered a store credit, which would be good too, and you can buy working DVDs put out by another company. As another poster said, I agree that we should demand our money back and let Univeral feel the hurt in their bank books. Yes, I appreciate that this show was even released at all. It is a brilliant show with brilliant acting, yet a very unknown show, so I was thrilled to see it would be released. You can't find a bigger fan than me of this show. But these defective skipping and freezing discs are a total insult. It makes me sick that Universal, as people have posted, continuously has this problem yet continues to take our money for poor product. I think it's a good idea for us to post a complaint to the Better Business Bureau about Universal, and I will do so online as soon as I post this review. It's sad that every review here states how much they loved the show, yet most complain about this defective release. If we complain, maybe there's a chance Universal will shape up. At least demand your money back after viewing your defective disks...
I also recommend buying this set, viewing it the best you can (to at least be able to see this great show), and then return it for your cash. That way you can see it (annoying as it can get with the freezing up in certain episodes), and also when it's returned due to being defective, Universal will get one more set returned back to them. Why should defective product be out there? And if you're truly lucky, maybe you'll happen upon a good set."