Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Melrose Place: The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Thomas Calabro as Dr. Michael Mancini
Heather Locklear as Amanda Woodward
Andrew Shue as Billy Campbell
Josie Bissett as Jane Andrews Mancini
Courtney Thorne-Smith as Allison Parker
Grant Show as Jake Hanson
Doug Savant as Matt Fielding
Daphne Zuniga as Jo Reynolds
Rob Estes as Kyle McBride
Kelly Rutherford as Megan Lewis Mancini

Special Features:
Beginnings

Friends and Neighbors

Neighbors and Friends

Season One episode guide

"Melrose Place" Behind the Scenes Featurette

Amanda

"Melrose Place" New Style Profile Featurette

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital English Stereo
Running Time: 25 Hours 10 Minutes

Synopsis:
This series originally aired in 1992. The following is from the DVD cover:

"Move in to television's most fabulous apartment complex as all 32 sexy, steamy and sensational Season One episodes of 'Melrose Place' arrive on DVD for the first time ever! The guilty pleasure begins when Amy Locane, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga, Doug Savant, Grant Show, Heather Locklear, Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro and Vanessa Williams star as cool 20-somethings who scheme, scandalize, and seduce each other in a trendy L.A. apartment building where "love thy neighbor" is often taken to new and dramatic extremes. This fantastic eight disc set is a must-own for fans of creator Darren Star ('Sex and the City') and its pop-culture predecessor 'Beverly Hills 90210.' It's time to take a trip back to 'Melrose Place'!"

"Melrose Place: The Complete First Season is not rated.

Mini-Review:
Making its DVD debut along with "Beverly Hills 90210" is "Melrose Place," the slightly more grown up evening soap opera for twenty-somethings. While it featured older characters and more mature themes, it had many of the same features as its cousin beautiful actors, overblown crises of the week, and a hip California setting. I've got to admit that nothing about this series appealed to me. In fact, I never even watched an episode until this DVD arrived. What did surprise me was the transition of the types of stories as the series progressed. Early on the stories were relatively normal and the conflicts rather benign. However, as it was more established, they transitioned to more over the top soap opera tales. The result was an absurd, though highly popular, evening soap opera.

Heather Locklear is advertised a lot on the DVD, but she didn't make her appearance until later in the series. The same is true for Marcia Cross who appeared later as well. The rest of the cast, at least for me, is largely forgettable. Courtney Thorne-Smith went on to play Wilma, er, Jim Belushi's wife on "According to Jim."

I'd really only recommend this DVD for original fans of the series. It's not good enough to match up to other shows on TV now and it seems positively dated. Nostalgia is about all it's good for.

The DVD doesn't have many bonus features to offer. There are a few vintage behind-the-scenes featurettes with all the cast. There's also some fluff text bonus features including an episode guide. Unfortunately there are no recently filmed retrospectives with the original cast.

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