Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series
C Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: B-
Star is best known for creating hits like Sex
& The City and Melrose Place,
but one of his shows that turns out to be his cleverest risk to date did not fare
so well. As a matter of fact, you will
only find 17 half-hour shows in the DVD box of Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series on two discs. The title refers to a nighttime soap opera
that is teenaged-based, but the twist is that it is about the production of
such a show and how goofy the behind the scenes of the production is.
than the sometimes silly Soapdish,
the series is only the second major attempt at spoofing a soap opera with a TV
series after the later 1970s brilliant hit Soap. The show debuted in the 2000 – 2001 season
with what is still a cast of unknowns, though there is plenty of name dropping
and some familiar names actually appear (sometimes as themselves) here and
there. The show is a comedy, but unlike
the amazing wit and cleverness of Soap,
the show is gossip-like in its approach.
You would think all the reality TV and inside-look entertainment
documentary programming even in 2000 would have hurt the show, but what holds
it back are other problems.
here are the episodes that were produced:
Thieves Like Us
Prelude To A Kiss
Devil In A Blue Dress*
Sleeping With The Enemy
Boys On The Side
Bare Naked In America
Secrets & Lies*
The End Of The Affair
Opposite Of Sex
My Best Friend’s Wedding
all entertaining to watch, but when they are all finished, you realize that
Star and his team forgot to make them deeper.
For one thing, the characters are as undeveloped as the characters they
play in a show that looks more like a 1970s melodramatic daytime soap than a
nighttime one. Also, the
soap-within-a-soap could have been much better.
What happens in their “real world” can be amusing, even controversial in
ways for which it was criticized for fear Star would destroy the real thing
That is a
shame because this cast has some chemistry and Star just does not capitalize on
it. Now, the show is out on DVD since it
is gaining a cult following of sorts.
Since such shows are still with us, usually not as good, what it does do
holds up and is relevant, but playing it safe and being too friendly with the
industry that made him, Stardust
Memories this ain’t. Not that Soap was that dark, but it was as dark
at times and that is the route not taken that ultimately ended Grosse Pointe before its
cancellation. Now you can see much of
what did work for yourself.
X 1 image is stated on the box to be transferred from the original film prints
in High Definition, but these look unusually soft throughout all the
episodes. Maybe someone got carried away
with the downtrading of the transfers, but aliasing errors are all around and
detail is an issue all the time. Color
is not bad. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
has no surrounds, but is nice and clean.
Extras include an interview with creator Star, previews for other Sony
DVD product and audio commentaries on episodes marked with an * above.
- Nicholas Sheffo