In 1987 we were introduced to a group of couples, of friends: 'thirtysomethings.' A dream cast of characters that from the very first episode resonated with a nation of people who knew these people all too well. Michael (K... more »en Olin, Brothers And Sisters) and Hope Steadman (Mel Harris), the suburban 'new-parent' poster children; Elliot (Timothy Busfield, The West Wing) and Nancy Weston (Patricia Wettig, Brothers And Sisters), a couple whose marriage is falling apart; Gary Shepard (Peter Horton, In Treatment), the perpetually 'twentysomething' thirtysomething; Melissa Steadman (Melanie Mayron), Michaels cousin and a struggling artist; and Ellyn Warren (Polly Draper), the driven but restless career-chaser.
thirtysomething channeled the consciousness of baby boomers into a running commentary on what it really meant to be on the cusp of success and failure, marriage and divorce, adulthood and parenthood. Every week the show blurred the lines between television and film, drama and comedy, hard reality and twisted imagination. Each episode of this truly groundbreaking series was its own unit yet somehow fed a larger, growing experience from week to week.
At last, the experience comes to DVD with 21 original episodes restored from the original film elements. Go behind the making of this landmark television series with all-new interviews, commentaries and conversations with the creators, cast and crew.« less
Andrea D. from HOOVER, AL Reviewed on 12/29/2014...
One of my favorite shows ever. It's like visiting with old friends. Sure, some get on your nerves, but you share that history.
Original Soundtrack Intact
IVE | California USA | 04/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The L.A. Times has reported that all music rights have apparently cleared, which means that the dvd of this landmark series, unlike Northern Exposure, will retain the spirit of the original with its original soundtrack intact. Other pluses are the creation of a new master copy (ensuring excellent visual quality) and extensive bonus features, including commentary and interviews. Each subsequent season will be released at six month intervals. All great news for fans who have patiently awaited this release for almost 20 years."
Looks like they're doing it right
Beth L. Oshiki | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show changed the way I watch television. I began taping episodes when I realized that the shows tie together almost like an enormous miniseries, and the quality is so dense that the episodes deserve many repeat viewings, like good movies do. "thirtysomething" deserves a high-quality DVD format, and it has always been puzzling to fans that this astoundingly no-brainer fact has not motivated a DVD release until now. I'll be snapping up my copy as soon as it is released, and I expect that it will be worth every penny. I wanted to learn more details about the special features included, so, thanks to a tip from another reviewer, I looked up the L A Times April 29, 2009 article "The years roll back--we're thirtysomething again" for more information. Here are some essential factoids gleaned from the article that Amazon has not yet posted:
The Season 1 DVD set will include interviews and commentaries by cast members Ken Olin (Michael), Mel Harris (Hope), Timothy Busfield (Elliot), Patricia Wettig (Nancy), Melanie Mayron (Melissa), Peter Horton (Gary), and Polly Draper (Ellyn). Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz did a voice-over commentary for the pilot episode and new interviews. High-definition master copies of the episodes have been created, which will give the DVDs excellent visual quality. Subsequent seasons will be released to DVD at roughly 6-month intervals (4 seasons total). The long agonizing wait for these DVDs has been due in part to clearing the rights to the music (lots of it) used as an integral part of the show, and the need to create master copies that would allow easy transfer to DVD. "
I'm overjoyed and now where's the reunion episode?
Film buff in NY | Hudson Valley, NY | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Twenty years later, and this remains one of my favoite all-time shows. It got a lot of flack at the time for being about a bunch of self-absorbed yuppies, but that was just those who watched for fifteen minutes and saw some character whine about something. In truth, it was a well written, compelling, and poignant series with a top-notch cast that really hit the mark portraying family and friendships and the rocky roads we encounter in this thing called life. I was only in high school and early college when it came out, but now that I'm in my late thirties (yikes!) I have often remembered episodes that touched upon experiences I was having over the years, sometimes funny and sometimes painful. I loved all the characters for different reasons, but I was always drawn to Melissa Steadman, the eternally single, wise-cracking cousin of Michael. Now that I'm married with a baby, I would probably relate just as much to Hope or Nancy. Anyway, I look forward to finding out who strikes me this time around. If only we could get Zwick and Herskowitz to create one last reunion epsiode in a made for TV movie. How cool would it be to see where all our favorite thirtysomethings ended up now that they are in their fifties! Lets start a petition! Anyone on board?"
Great show, but beware of audio problems!!!
R L Rodolfo-Sioson | Berkeley, CA USA | 09/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you're reading this, you probably don't need me to convince you just how phenomenal "thirtysomething" was. You probably remember that the TV-viewing public of the late 80s/early 90s felt like it was divided between those of us who 'got' the show and those who just didn't see the point of it. I recall being engaged with these characters, who seemed to grapple with some of the 'real-life' issues I was facing; I also recall being enraged by those who flippantly dismissed them as a bunch of 'whining yuppies'! How marvelous it has been to revisit the first season, which has taken far too long to make its appearance on DVD (blame the music on the show with its tangled copyright issues). I've only spotted a few problems, such as EPISODE 5 having the wrong closing credits (i.e., those of EPISODE 9, where they also appear). By far the worst one, however, is the lack of any audio for all of the SPECIAL FEATURES on DISC 6. I have attempted to replace my copy, but it now appears to be a recurring manufacturer's error (hence my three-star rating). I would recommend that you check your copy of Disc 6 immediately after receiving your set...."
One of the best TV series ever finally on DVD!
J. Williams | New York, NY | 08/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been waiting for this series on DVD ever since the format (DVD, I mean!) was first announced. I, like many others, can't believe it took this long. But it was worth the wait.
I was worried that after more than 20 years, the series would now appear stale and dated. I'm happy to report that it does not. Oh, don't get me wrong - superficially, the clothing and hair styles definitely look pretty period. I'm going to throw up if I see Michael wear one more wool tie, or racquetball shoes with his suit. Maybe more damning (in that it definitely separates the show from the current era), the late 1980's were still a time when people made an effort to look their status. Men always wore suits to work; stay-at-home moms(!) wore cardigans and "mom jeans" around the house - even those only in their early 30's. Today, when everybody walks around all the time in t-shirts and jeans and "30 is the new 20", it has the effect of making all the characters look older than they're supposed to be. In this one way, the show has more in common with the 1950's than the current decade.
But the themes of family, friendship, love, sex and death are universal and timeless, and thirtysomething always tackled them better than any other show before or since. That's how I've always remembered the series, anyway, and thankfully it seems I wasn't just looking back through rose colored glasses. In fact, I'm actually getting more out of the show now than I did when I was younger, because now I actually am thirtysomething myself - and I'm going through a lot of the same issues being dealt with in realistic ways on the show.
The series was criticized by some initially as being just a bunch of yuppie whining, but I never felt that was valid and I still don't. For one thing, from the beginning, the characters are all very self-aware - they know when they're just whining and when they're dealing with real issues. And there are real issues to be dealt with here.
For another, part of the genius of thirtysomething was always that it recognizes how nuanced and complicated things like marriage are, how something simple like not cleaning up enough can turn into a major problem, or how sometimes a husband and wife can just lose each other without even knowing why. This is not whining; this is real life, and most TV dramas just don't deal with those types of issues, either because they're too difficult to fit into an hour or because they're too hard to turn into a compelling story. thirtysomething always manages to do both.
I will say that, while I love the first few episodes, for me the series really doesn't hit its stride until about midway through season 1, with the religion-themed "I'll Be Home for Christmas". This was the episode that really hooked me when it first aired, and from then on the series only gets darker and more serious as it goes along. Some people might like the lighter-toned first few episodes better, but I will say that most of the "yuppie whining" critics faded away by the start of the second season, and certainly by the time Nancy's cancer manifested.
As for the DVD itself, I haven't finished watching the entire set yet but I love the big booklet and I love that there are quite a few extras. I'm less a fan of the lack of subtitles (which are helpful to my wife, who's not a native speaker and never watched this series before) or the transfer, which I'd expected better of when I'd read they were going back to the original film. It looks fine, but really not any better than I'd expect to find on standard-def cable. I wasn't expecting a widescreen HD transfer or anything, but then again you never know - a lot of old SD shows have started appearing that way lately (look at Seinfeld), so I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
I will definitely be buying every season of this DVD set, even with the shortcomings of the DVD's themselves."