"Tru Calling" stars "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Bring it On" star Eliza Dushku as med student Tru Davies, whose graduation from college comes early in the first episode. When the grant she's been given to study after graduation falls apart, she's sent down to the local morgue to work there, instead. Although she's originally disappointed in her creepy new surroundings, it's not long before something happens - one of the bodies wheeled in calls out for her to help them.
So begins the series, as Tru finds herself rewound through time to some point earlier, realizing that she is the only one who can help solve the cases of the "unnaturally" dead. While she's called upon to save the lives of others, she's also got to focus on those closer to her: Harrison (Shawn Reaves), an arrogant brother who finds himself in trouble again and again, and Meredith (Jessica Collins), her sister who has been in rehab and looks like she's falling into drugs.
So, Tru spends each episode running throughout the city to try and change things to prevent something she's been told will happen, but has no details about. The show does have some questionable logic and plot holes at times, but the often rapid pacing makes it easier to get involved with the plot of the hour and overlook any inconsistencies. While the plot holes are often brushed out of the way, there's some twists that occasionally seem obvious and I can't help but wonder how this isn't going to get repetitive after a few seasons. On the other hand, some of the iffy moments from the first half of the season do fall by the wayside as the series goes on, as some of the later episodes are more promising.
However, the series does certainly have a bright spot in the pouty, gorgeous Dushku, who offers some of her best work here - she's really the reason why the show works as well as it does. The underrated actress pulls off the emotional and dramatic moments of the series quite capably, and, given the fact that she has to be in the majority of the scenes, she does the job of carrying the show quite well. She also gives it all a little sass and edge that elevates the performance a bit more. Jason Priestley also turns up later in the season as Tru's mysterious co-worker, Jack, who may want to see Tru stop her work. Priestley's menacing performance is pretty solid, and certainly one of the actor's best. Shawn Reaves and Zach Galifianakis as Tru's brother and boss are also good, and add touches of humor to the show. "Tru Calling" has some moments that don't work and so-so episodes, but by the last half or so, it seems to have gotten its rhythm together.
Despite the fact that the series started to get in gear in the second half of the first season, it was unfortunately cancelled early in the second season (which didn't seem like it was going to happen to begin with), after the ratings didn't improve. The decision was certainly dismaying to the show's fans, as "Calling" had gathered a fairly sizable cult following.
The second season opens a little after the prior season had left off, as Tru knows she has not seen the last of Jack (Priestley), who makes a return after disappearing at the end of last season and is even more fiercely against Tru's continued quest. The dynamic between the two characters was one of the reasons the show began to click as well as it did in the first season, and that continues here, as well. Tru's estranged father, who has his own intentions, has also moved back into town, acting like he wants to start over with Tru and her brother. Due to some pulled strings, Tru also finds her way into medical school.
The second season only offered a very brief five episodes before being pulled. This DVD set boasts six episodes, as one additional, unaired episode is offered. Once again, the season continues to improve over the early goings, racheting up the tension between Jack and Tru, which is effective due to the chemistry between the two and the fact that Priestley's menacing performance is his finest work. It's really too bad that the series couldn't have at least finished out this second season, as it continued to improve and the final episode here really isn't much of a conclusion.
21. 2- 1 31 Mar 05 Perfect Storm
22. 2- 2 31 Mar 05 Grace
23. 2- 3 7 Apr 05 In the Dark
24. 2- 4 14 Apr 05 Last Good Day
25. 2- 5 21 Apr 05 Enough
26. 2- 6 Unaired 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...Again
VIDEO:"Tru Calling" is presented by Fox in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is usually very good, although there's some minor concerns present throughout the presentations. Sharpness and detail are usually fine, as the image mostly looked crisp and well-defined. Some scenes are a tad soft and shadow detail is a little lacking, but the majority of the series looked fine.
Aside from the slightly uneven sharpness, the other concern was some minor traces of pixelation. The elements used looked perfectly fine: there weren't any instances of specks or marks that I spotted, but there were passages where grain was visible (although that may be an intentional element of the photography). No edge enhancement or shimmering was seen.
The show's color palette is often subdued and rather cold, but warmer, brighter colors occasionally peek through. Colors look accurate and natural throughout, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: "Tru Calling" is presented in Dolby 2.0 by Fox. The show's musical score has a nice spread across the front speakers and dialogue remains crisp and clear. It's a bit unfortunate that the show's audio wasn't redone in 5.1 though - some of the creepier moments would have certainly gotten some benefits from a full 5.1 track.
EXTRAS: Just a very brief promotional featurette.
Final Thoughts: "Tru Calling" started working very well in the second half of the first season, and this second season sees the show continuing to improve, so it's disappointing that the second and final season only lasted a few episodes. Fox's DVD set offers fine audio/video quality and nothing much in the way of supplements. Still, recommended for fans.