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American Gothic - Complete Series [DVD]
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All 22 episodes of the dark, supernatural small-town television drama. In Trinity, South Carolina, no one is quite who or what they seem. Everyone seems willing to follow the orders of the sinister Sheriff Lucas Buck (Gary Cole), who is becoming increasingly interested in young Caleb Temple (Lucas Black). Caleb doesn't know that Sheriff Buck is actually his father, and that he has dark designs for his son's future. Fortunately, Caleb is protected by the spirit of his dead sister, Merlyn (Sarah Paulson). In this series, Caleb discovers an abandoned house in the woods, where a man is being tortured, and Merlyn borrows the spirit of an unborn child so she can appear to Caleb. When Caleb learns more about his powers, he heads towards a confrontation with Sheriff Buck and Gail (Paige Turco). Episodes are: 'Pilot'; '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'; 'Rebirth'; 'Resurrector'; 'Inhumanitas'; 'The Plague Sower'; 'Doctor Death Takes a Holiday'; 'The Beast Within'; 'To Hell and Back'; 'Learning to Crawl'; 'Triangle'; 'The Buck Stops Here (Part 1)'; 'Requiem (Part 2)'; 'Potato Boy'; 'Ring of Fire'; 'Echo of Your Last Goodbye'; and 'Strangler'.
In some ways reminiscent of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, this eerie drama series concentrated on the dark and often disturbing truths hidden beneath the surface of a small American town. Set in Trinity, South Carolina, American Gothic succeeded in its one-season run to intrigue viewers with its mysterious storylines and macabre undertones. Gary Cole heads up the cast as Sheriff Lucas Buck, Trinity's knight in shining armor. Much of the plot revolves around Buck's attempts to get closer to his illegitimate young son, Caleb Temple (Lucas Black), who has always been told that his father was a man named Gage. Inspiring the curiosity of the local doctor and other neighbours, Caleb and the sheriff become the talk of the town. The sleepy community get even more stirred up when Caleb's cousin Gail comes to town with the goal of protecting the boy. And, to complicate things, someone else also has Caleb's best interests in mind: his dead sister Merlyn, now an angel.
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When I saw this box set I decided to give it another go. I saw the other reviews saying that the order on the discs was incorrect but noticed they differed over what the correct order was.
I investigated and after going onto the official American Gothic website I discovered why I had been so confused when it was shown on TV in 1995.
Apparently when it was aired on TV over here the TV channel lost 4 episodes and muddled up a few of the other episodes so obviously the series would never make sense. The 4 missing episodes have never been aired but are on this box set.
On the website they listed the production order of the episodes. This is the order the series was filmed in and therefore the order it should be watched in. To help you enjoy the series I have produced a list of the production order. Please copy it and print it out to keep with your box set.
When you watch the episodes in the correct order I am sure you will really enjoy it and appreciate just what a great series it is. Enjoy:
Episode info obtained from www.americangothicdvd.com
Correct Episode Order
D = Disc No. E = Episode.
1. Pilot - (D1 E1)
2. A Tree Grows in Trinity - (D1 E2)
3. Eye of the Beholder - (D1 E3)
4. Damned if You Don't - (D1 E4)
5. Potato Boy - (D5 E3)
6. Dead to the World - (D2 E1)
7. Meet the Beetles - (D2 E2)
8. Strong Arm of the Law - (D2 E3)
9. To Hell and Back - (D4 E2)
10. The Beast Within - (D4 E1)
11. Rebirth - (D2 E4)
12. Ring of Fire - (D6 E1)
13. Resurrector - (D3 E1)
14. Inhumanitas - (D3 E2)
15. The Plague Sower - (D3 E3)
16. Doctor Death takes a Holiday - (D3 E4)
17. Learning to Crawl - (D4 E3)
18. Echo of Your Last Goodbye - (D6 E2)
19. Strangler - (D6 E3)
20. Triangle - (D4 E4)
21. The Buck Stops Here - (D5 E1)
22. Requiem - (D5 E2)
From the first 2 episodes - the murder of an innocent girl, the corpse lying in the morgue bleeding from the eyes ... messages from corpse written on the door in blood ... a suicide, the local schoolteacher accidently biting out the tongue of her hidden sex slave, who then dies of hypothermia before the truth can come out ...
In short, I don't use this as bedtime viewing, even at my mind-your-own-business age, now.
The weird fascination remains, though, and there is also to be fair some very funny scenes, particularly between Sheriff Buck and Selina. Her little girl like "I didn't mean it" confession to Buck of the imprisoning of the hapless reporter for her personal use, was beautifully handled by his weary-parent response to her news. Something which the viewer should be horrified at ... but we smile, instead.
A one-off series without a doubt - it'll make it's impression with you - whether you like it - or not!
Brilliantly acted and wonderfully written this series was cancelled, as most of the good ones are, before its time. It is creepy, sexy, funny, scary and intriguing. Gary Cole as the morally ambiguous (with supernatural powers) Sheriff Buck is a tour de force as is Lucas Black as his illegitimate son, Caleb Temple.
However, as many of the other reviewers have noted the networks nobbled this series by showing the episodes out of order and, unfortunately, the DVD is the same. Each episode is a story in its own right but the main story is told in a linear fashion and it gets very confusing when a character dies and then pops up again a few eps on!! If you can be bothered to jiggle the DVDs about to watch in the correct order or do as I did and remaster your copy then you will enjoy every moment.
Like the fabulous Firefly you can watch these few episodes again and again.
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