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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > TV > Army Wives – The Complete First Season (Disney DVD)

Army Wives – The Complete First Season (Disney DVD)


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



Whereas you may think that Army Wives: The Complete First Season is just another trashy, gossipy, girly, drama that Lifetime put out there to make women hate men some more, you are dead wrong.  The series brings a lot to the table that will keep men and women alike (odd for Lifetime, I know) entertained for hours.


The drama introduced in Season One mainly centers around four army wives and one army husband who are all in a constant battle to cope with the lifestyle that the army has thrust upon them.  While Roxy Le Blanc (Sally Pressman) struggles to adapt to her new way of life after marrying her soldier husband after less than a week of knowing him, she also has to learn to deal with the gossip ridden army base (Fort Marshall) that she must now call home.  Unable to fathom what her new life really has in store for her, Roxy enters a hypercritical world where she is first judged for her "trashy" appearance but then, of course, makes her new best friends.  The self-coined "anti-Christ" of the base, due to her clashes with other wives, Pamela Moran (Brigid Brannagh) is the glue to bring these friends together.

When Claudia Joy Holden (Kim Delany), the colonel's wife, is throwing her wives' tea party on the base, Pamela goes into labor with twins and pleads with Roxy, Claudia Joy, Roland Burton (Sterling K. Brown), and Denise Sherwood (Catherine Bell) to let her give birth off base in order to hide what is actually a surrogate pregnancy.  This one secret will bond these four army wives, and one army husband, together as more secrets arise for each of the characters throughout the season.  A surrogate pregnancy may have caused Pamela to distance herself with many of the wives on the base, but the "perfect" Sherwood family has their dark own secret, Roland has to cope with his psychologically altered wife, Joan (Wendy Davis), who has just returned from war, and Claudia Joy is waging her own war after believing that her husband was snubbed of a promotion due to the political life found on Fort Marshall.

As the plethora of oddities and secrets mount on the base in Army Wives: The Complete First Season, one is somewhat reminded of Desperate Housewives or many other daytime soaps. This Lifetime show delivers the drama, gossip, lies, secrets, adultery, torn families, cries, and laughter that one might often expect from any other show that, sticking to what seems to be the Lifetime objective, only appeals to women.  The drama is entertaining but some character development is unsatisfying, in that it fails to convey why some of the characters would ever really be as close of friends as they turn out to be.  However, Army Wives chooses to deal with a subject that is able to pull at the heartstrings of most Americans right now, the war, and delivers a hearty "support the troops" message to the women in the audience who are more than likely willing to listen.


The technical features of Army Wives: The Complete First Season are strong and up to the challenge.  The picture is presented in a clean and bright 1.78 X 1 full screen that gives the audience what they pay for; though it could be a bit crisper then what is presented, but Blu-ray will fix up that issue in the future.  The sound is a solid quality Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround that is mostly dialogue from the front, but captures the necessary aspects of the series quite well.  The extras are nice, though not very rewatchable in this reviewer’s opinion.  The extra features include deleted scenes, audio commentaries, bloopers, Behind the Scenes: Deleted Story Line (with Commentary), Wives on the Homefront featurette, and interviews (‘Have at it with the Army Wives’).  The extras were nice for a once through after viewing the entire First Season, but after that they seem very boring.


The only complaint about Army Wives: The Complete First Season is that after viewing the 13 episodes you will want more.  The series is smart, funny, and captivating.  A true television hero.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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