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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Soap Opera > Television Industry > Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series

Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series


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



Darren 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.


Edgier 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.


First, here are the episodes that were produced:



Thieves Like Us

Prelude To A Kiss

Devil In A Blue Dress*


Mommy Dearest

Sleeping With The Enemy


Boys On The Side

Puppet Master

Star Wars

Bare Naked In America

Secrets & Lies*

The End Of The Affair

Opposite Of Sex

Passion Fish

My Best Friend’s Wedding



They are 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 perhaps?


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.


The 1.33 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


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