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DVD Review: TRU CALLING SEASON ONE

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PHOTOGRAPHY

TRU CALLING-  THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 20 episodes on 6 discs, deleted scenes (with optional commentary), commentary on 6 episodes, 3 featurettes, music video, and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT TV spot

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 11-30-2004

DISC 1- PILOT, PUTTING OUT FIRES, BROTHER'S KEEPER, PAST TENSE

DISC 2- HAUNTED, STAR-CROSSED, MORNING AFTER, CLOSURE

DISC 3- MURDER IN THE MORGUE, REUNION, THE LONGEST DAY, VALENTINE

DISC 4- DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, DADDY'S GIRL, THE GETAWAY

DISC 5- TWO PAIR, DEATH BECOMES HER, REAR WINDOW

DISC 6- D.O.A., TWO WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL

PREMISE:  Tru Davies (Eliza Dushku), who works at a morgue, re-lives days when the dead ask for her help to save them.

ANALYSIS: TRU CALLING has turned into one of FOX's surprise shows. It started with some promise and lead to one great episode (Past Tense), but then the show went into the gutter with some bad episodes before rebounding with some great episodes to finish off the season. The show started to develop an arc within the last six episodes with the introduction of Jack (who relives days like Tru, but he is her opposite as he takes lives instead of save lives). It is really interesting to watch the episodes again as you see some people in a different light (Jack Harper and Davis for example). I give credit to the writers and actors for adding that extra dimension to the show. TRU CALLING may just yet become a cult classic in the years to come.

FAVORITE EPISODES: PAST TENSE, STAR-CROSSED, THE LONGEST DAY, DADDY'S GIRL, TWO PAIR, D.OA., TWO WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.

WORST EPISODES: PUTTING OUT FIRES, MORNING AFTER, REUNION

VIDEO/AUDIO: The episodes and all special features are in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.

Audio is in English 2.0 Dolby Surround with the option of English, French, or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue comes through clearly.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DELETED SCENES (with optional commentary by Jon Harmon Feldman)- Six on disc one, 2 deleted scenes for STAR CROSSED on disc 2, two for VALENTINE, one aftermaths scene for DROP DEAD GORGEOUS that was cut for being one aftermath scene too many, eight minutes of deleted scenes for DADDY'S GIRL (a couple of interesting scenes including Harrison talking to Davis and then Harrison wanting Tru to stop doing her job) that were cut because the episode ran too long, two for TWO PAIR, a useless cut scene from DEATH BECOMES HER, two scenes from D.O.A. that were cut for pacing, and a scene originally part of the teaser for TWO WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.

COMMENTARIES- Episode commentary for six episodes. Zach Galifianakis, Eliza Dushku, and Series Creator/Executive Producer Jon Harmon Feldman have a fun time during the commentary for DADDY'S GIRL. Some great fun bits including the difficulty of the SteadyCam guy going through the Morgue Office doorway and little hints about season 2. Eliza wonder about whose eye is it in the opening credits sequence during the commentary for THE LONGEST DAY. Eliza, Zach, and Jon are also on the commentaries for TWO WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. More talk about developing the mythology of the show, Zach going down the hall on a skateboard, the rewind effect, and what movies Zach and Eliza did in Vancouver.

Shawn Reeves joins Eliza and Jon for the commentaries for the pilot episode and THE LONGEST DAY. Other commentaries include a solo commentary (with Jon Harmon Feldman) on STAR-CROSSED and TWO PAIR with Jon and Jason Priestly.

FEATURETTES- Three featurettes are included on disc six- they include interviews with the cast and crew and lay down hints about season 2:

FINDING THE CALLING: THE PILOT- The featurette talks about how the show came together and the pilot episode.

THE TRU PATH: SEASON ONE- The tale about how the producers worked to see what worked and learn from what didn't work for the show as TRU CALLING found it's voice by the end of season one.

EVIL COMES CALLING: A LATE SEASON TWIST- This third featurette focuses on the character of Jack Harper. The writers once had a thought of making Luc the opposite of Tru before FOX said not to mess with the boyfriend thing and find someone to play the new character that would be Tru's Opposite. They say the season finale sets the stage for season 2.

MUSIC VIDEO- I'm happy have included the great music video of the song, "Somebody Help Me" by Full Blown Rose, for the Tru Calling opening credits.

I have been informed there is an Easter Egg that can be found of disc six.  It is a screen test for Zach Galifianakis

MENU DESIGN: I love the design of the menus. Favorite menus have to be the Chapter Menus. Main menus feature one of six characters standing in the morgue while the episode and scene selection menus feature stills from each episode.  My favorite part of the menus is that there is a PLAY ALL option on each disc.

DVD SET DESIGN: Art design is OK, but I have seen even better art at Tru Calling fan sites. At least the art for the DVDs, DVD sleeves, and the box set aren't horrible to look at. DVD cases are slim cases that hold two discs, but they had a tendency of a disc coming loose and falling on the other disc when opening the case.

FINAL ANALYSIS: TRU CALLING- THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON has to be the best TV on DVD set I have seen coming out from FOX this year. The amount of extras and FOX's desire to put the first season on DVD, says volumes about the care that went into making this set. If Season One sells well, hopefully we will see season 2 on TV soon or the release of the six episodes made for Season Two in a DVD set coming soon.

this DVD review is (c)11-16-2004 David Blackwell and this review cannot be reprinted without permission (that even extends to buffy.nu). send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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