The First Season
I remember when Everwood first aired on the WB. I wasn't really excited about the show, but I happened to catch the premiere episode, which was more or less because nothing better was on television that night. Quite frankly, I didn't find the show that entertaining. However, I do not feel that way now. It took a review of another television series for me to realize just how good of a show Everwood is. After reading Adam Tyner's review of Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season I decided to watch the entire first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. I really enjoyed it and I decided to give Everwood another chance, because I was hoping that it would contain the same great drama. After watching a few re-runs on television, I was hooked and very pleased to have the chance to review the entire first season of Everwood. At a quick glance, the premise of Everwood kind of sounds a little dry, boring if you will. A story about a big city family moving to a small town really doesn't sound that appealing. However, when you break it down further, it becomes a lot more interesting. This series is about a world renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Andrew Brown (Treat Williams) who moves his kids to Everwood, Colorado after the death of his wife. The show focuses upon the dramatic aspects of their new lives and their interactions within the small town community. There are several things about this series that make it very entertaining, but it's mainly the cast and writing that make it a really good show.
Each member of the show's cast, whether a main character or a supporting character is very important to the development of this show as a season. The reason is that the dramatic interactions of everyone are presented in a manner that really makes the viewer feel for each of the individuals. It leaves you both loving and hating them. As a result, you (the viewer) can easily associate with each of the characters and truly care about them. It also produces a strong desire to know what happens in the next episode. This ties into next reason that this series is very strong as a season. The writing produces episodes in the manner that you can't just watch an episode here and there. This is because each episode builds from the previous ones. However, there are recaps of the important details at the beginning of each episode, but unless you sit through the entire season episode after episode, you'll miss out on the important character development. In turn, you won't have that same care for each of the characters.
Furthermore, there are just some great stories that trickle throughout the first season. One of the major stories in the beginning is the adjustment of the Brown family into the small Everwood community. At first, things don't appear to be working out for them. Dr. Brown's son, Ephram (Gregory Smith) harbors some severe resentment towards his father and his daughter, Delia (Vivien Cardone) just isn't fitting in. As for Dr. Brown, he's welcomed by most of the community with open arms. However, the local family doctor, Dr. Harold Abbott Jr. (Tom Amandes) is less than thrilled with his arrival. This is really entertaining, because we get a chance to meet and learn about the main and reoccurring cast members of the series. The first few episodes do very well to develop their characters and the problems that are associated with each and every one of them. Additionally, there are some great stories about young love with a twist, bullies, greed, and jealousy. There is also plenty of focus upon the relationship between Dr. Brown and his son. We get to watch a father son relationship that was once very distance, filled with resentment, hate, and anger, slowly turn into something very special.
Later into the first season, we have some interesting stories that revolve around medical issues. Having stories like this make sense because two of the main characters are medical professionals. These episodes cover topics like ethical issues in modern medicine, quality of life, abortion, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and reprogenetics. Each of these topics make for very interesting stories because the writing details their effect upon the small Everwood community very well. There's also another big dramatic story that unfolds near the middle of the season and ends the season with a big cliffhanger. One of the recurring cast members is in a comatose state. This gripping story revolves around his friends, family, and the Browns trying to save his life and protect the emotional wellbeing of each other. The most exciting part about this story centers on the aftermath of their attempts. I'd hate to discuss it in further detail, because I don't want to ruin it for you. But I promise you that it's a truly compelling story.
Something else that makes this show intriguing relates to both the characters and writing. It's the show's dialogue. There are several deviations from the seriousness of the season that encompass some very clever and humorous dialogue. The best example comes from the interaction between Dr. Brown and Dr. Abbott. Before the arrival of Dr. Brown, Dr. Abbott was Everwood's top dog. But when Dr. Brown and family appeared, things began to change for Dr. Abbott. Because of this, there's a slight resentment between the two, which is almost childish. It results with some very humorous dialogue and interactions. For instance, Dr. Abbott is constantly trying to upstage Dr. Brown. The manner in which Dr. Brown deals with it is what makes these little interactions very likeable and humorous. It really doesn't bother him, which drives Abbott off the wall.
It's the characters and their interactions and the superb writing that make the first season of Everwood a very strong series. Individuals who are looking for a mesmerizing drama with a horde of loveable characters need not look further. The first season release of Everwood has more electrifying drama packed in its twenty-three episodes than most other television season releases do. I really fell in love with show and I think that you will too. So give Everwood a chance, it's a spellbinding series that is hard to stop watching.
The first season release of Everwood is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. However, the extended version of the pilot episode and the last episode of the season is in 1.85:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is very good. It looks very sharp throughout the entire season, with only a slight grain in the picture. In comparison to what you could expect from broadcast or cable television, it's a big improvement.
The audio in this DVD release contains an English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound track. The dialogue throughout the entire season is clear and understandable, but it is relatively flat, which is expected. The audio is complemented with subtitles in the English, Spanish, and French languages.
The special features include audio commentaries for four episodes. These episodes are the "Pilot", "The Unveiling", "Episode 20", and "Home". The commentaries include various cast and crew members from the series. The other extras include two featurettes. The first is "In Search of Everwood", which is a making of featurette. The second featurette, "Greg & Emily Cam" is three minute of behind the scenes footage. The last extra is "Everwood Casualties", which contains seven deleted scenes with audio commentaries. Overall, it was a nice set of extras. Perhaps it's because I really enjoyed this release, but I found that the audio commentaries and the "In Search of Everwood" featurettes very entertaining.
Overall, I found that watching the entire first season of Everwood was a very entertaining experience. I quickly fell in love with the entire cast. Even those that I didn't like at first, slowly turned into characters that I really cared about. The gripping stories told in this season made me wanting more, to see what happened next. I really can't wait to see future season releases on DVD. The bottom line is that if you enjoy drama that you can get easily hooked to, Everwood should fit the bill very well. I highly recommend this release.