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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Drama > Mystery > Remake > Cable TV > The Returned (2015 mini-series/A&E/Lionsgate DVD Set)

The Returned (2015 mini-series/A&E/Lionsgate DVD Set)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C- Episodes: B

The Returned begins with a flashback, which seems odd but works well for the show. It sets up what the people of this town have lost in their most recent tragedy. As this English remake of the 2012 French TV series progresses, which itself remakes a 2004 French feature film called They Came Back, we see that a bus full of kids driving off a cliff is not the first tragedy of this small secluded town called Caldwell, but there are several before that. Caldwell has suffered great loss and they cannot seem to move past that, part of their healing process is making murals to the departed, who few will soon be returning.

Never dabbling into the A&E 'original' scripted series programming before, I was not sure what to expect, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by The Returned. Almost everyone that is cast in the show is a decent actor. Another thing you may notice is that you cannot really pinpoint who the main character of the show is. You begin thinking it might be the Winsip family, because we first see the daughter Camille return home, but then we focus on other characters collectively and individually.

Unfortunately, there are a few times where I did not care for the story and would ask myself why did they not do something a certain way. An overall question for the complete first season of The Returned is "why?" Why are these individuals returning? Is it because of the person or who they are returning to? Why are these people that died at different times, some many years apart, returning now? These are the questions you want answered, but as far as a television show goes, it is a great way to keep the audience coming back for more.

However, it appears that A&E cancelled The Returned. This fact is unfortunate because those who invested time and got involved with the characters are left craving more after a very big season finale cliffhanger, myself included. I was invested and went to play the next episode, but quickly realized there was not going to be one. For now, unless A&E decides to bring back the show, we must develop our own theories as to what was going on in Caldwell and why these people were returning.

The Returned is a two-disc set, with 10 episodes totaling 7 hours and 20 minutes. The episodes include: "Camille", "Simon", "Julie", "Victor", "Tony and Adam", "Lucy", "Rowan", "Claire", "Helen", and "Peter". Those are not just the titles for each episode but a nice way to tell you who the focus of the episode will be on.

The show is presented in standard definition and a widescreen 1.78:1 format with lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. There are a few bonus features for The Returned, which include Inside the Episode, Behind the Scenes: Creating the World of The Returned, and Artist Dirk Dzimirsky on Drawing Characters from The Returned. It also comes with a digital copy, which when the disc is in standard definition, the digital copy is in the same format.

- Jordan Whiteko


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