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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Miracles DVD article

Here's an article on the recent release of the Miracles DVD.
I am posting this also as a reminder for those who have bought it to write a feedback on Amazon.com site. It will definitely make a difference for the show and Skeet Ulrich.


TV on DVD: Some do believe in miraclesBY R.D. HELDENFELSKnight Ridder Newspapers
(KRT) - Thank goodness for TV cults.
Big-hit shows come to DVD because, out of the tens of millions of people who watched the series originally, a percentage will buy the DVD.
Cult shows never had a big audience (although, in TV, even a flop can still have millions of viewers). Some of them don't even last a full season. But their fans are so devoted, they will buy anything related to a show, making a DVD set financially attractive to its distributor.
And then the rest of us, the casual fans or the people who never watched at all, get a second chance to see a show.
No wonder Richard Hatem, co-creator of "Miracles," goes out of his way to credit fans with getting the show on DVD.
Indeed, "Miracles: The Complete Series" (Shout Factory, 13 episodes, four discs, $49.98, in stores April 19) will be new even to people who watched all six of the show's telecasts on ABC in 2003 - since it includes seven episodes ABC never aired.
The series starred Skeet Ulrich as an investigator of possible miracles who begins to encounter incidents he can no longer explain. Those incidents include possible signs of a looming conflict between good and evil, pivoting on letters that sometimes form "God is now here" and sometimes "God is nowhere."
The series was a bit slow in spots, and not always effective as it tried to move forward its long-term narrative. But individual episodes could be very good - much better than the new, and similarly themed, "Revelations."
Extras on the DVD include commentaries by writers, producers and a director on six of the episodes and a feature with Hatem discussing the series. I was a little disappointed at the full-frame presentation; the cinematic quality of the show begs for widescreen treatment.
Also aimed at TV cultists, and already in stores, is "The Lone Gunmen" (Fox, 13 episodes, three discs, $39.98), a collection of the spring 2001 "X-Files" spinoff. Involving a trio of conspiracy theorists even more extreme than the usual "X-Files" crowd, the show was much more comedic - and at times better - than "X-Files."
The first episode is now very uncomfortable to watch, since its plot anticipated 9/11. But there are joys to be found elsewhere in the set.
The DVD arranges the series' 13 episodes as originally intended (one aired out of sequence in the original telecasts) and adds an "X-Files" telecast that wrapped up the Gunmen's story. There are also commentaries on five episodes and a nice segment about the making of the show.
Elsewhere on DVD, if you're missing "The West Wing" now that the current season is done, you can go back to the fourth season on DVD (Warner, 22 episodes, six discs, $59.98). Unfortunately, that season - the last involving series creator Aaron Sorkin - was also one where the show crumbled; the characters took odd turns, the plotting was off and the politics seemed aggressively naive. And even then, I sort of enjoyed it; bad "West Wing" is still "West Wing."
And "The West Wing" has rebounded. I don't think the same can be said for "That '70s Show," which is content to amuse sporadically at best. If you want to see the show when it was really funny (often in slyly outrageous ways), go for "That '70s Show: Season Two" (Fox, 26 episodes, four discs, $49.98), in stores April 19. Great fun.
Not so much fun is "The Hitchhiker: Volume 2" (HBO, 10 episodes, two discs, $34.98, in stores now). This continues to collect telecasts from the '80s horror anthology, which is also the basis for a big-screen movie due out on April 29. The original show had its share of violence and sex; what it didn't have was a lot of imagination.
© 2005, Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio).
Visit Akron Beacon Journal Online at
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.