Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Popular - First Season

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

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: TV 14

Starring:
Leslie Bibb as Brooke McQueen
Carly Pope as Samantha 'Sam' McPherson
Tamara Mello as Lily Esposito
Christopher Gorham as Harrison John
Sara Rue as Carmen Ferrara
Bryce Johnson as Josh Ford
Tammy Lynn Michaels as Nicole Julian
Ron Lester as Michael 'Sugar Daddy' Bernardino
Leslie Erin Grossman as Mary Cherry (as Leslie Grossman)
Lisa Darr as Jane McPherson
Scott Bryce as Mike McQueen
Diane Delano as Miss Roberta 'Bobbi' Glass/Nurse Jessi Glass/Rock Glass/Uncle Tipton

Special Features:
Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew

Other Info:
Full Screen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 352 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the complete first season of Popular. It originally aired in 1999. 22 Episodes are included.

At Kennedy High, two groups of sophomores find themselves on different sides of the popularity fence. Sam, Harrison, Lily, and Carmen are the "uncool" kids. They keep trying to find ways to be unique or stand out while at the same time mocking the "cool" kids. Meanwhile, cheerleaders Brooke and Nicole deal with the trials and tribulations of being "cool" while mocking the "uncool" kids.

Amid this backdrop Sam and Brooke continually find themselves facing off with each other and having to come to terms with their unique personalities. Sam finds that Brooke may not be the snob she believes her to be while Brooke finds that she may not be running with the crowd that is best for her. But there will be plenty of teen angst to deal with before they come to terms with each other.

This series is rated TV 14.

The Movie:
This TV series is only for those that are into "Saved By The Bell" and the "Sweet Valley High" books. Needless to say, that's not me. Teen angst isn't really a great source of entertainment for me and it's the whole basis of this show. I was glad to leave high school behind and I'm not keen to revisit it through this series. If you're a girl in high school, though, then you might get a real kick out of this series.

That said, this series had some things going for it while it was on the air. Leslie Bibb as Brooke McQueen was jaw dropping gorgeous, so she fit the role well. The rest of the cast also handle their stereotypes well. You have the snobby cheerleader, the jock, the fat nice girl, the geek, etc etc etc. They're all here. You could tell that early in the series they were trying out a lot of things. Every once in a while a singer would come on and play a song that fit the events of the show. That was eventually dropped, but it was a nice try. The show also featured bizarre dream sequences for the characters. They were all hit and miss, but kudos to the creators for playing around till they found what worked.

While the plight of the cool and uncool is timeless, the show still looks a bit dated here and there. Some of the slang and the fashions are already dated despite only being 5 years old. And if you were a teen that watched this show when it originally aired, you may find that the series no longer speaks to you on the deep level that it did before. Welcome to the adult world.

The Extras:
There's only one extra included on this DVD and it's the Audio Commentary with the Cast and Crew. Leslie Bibb (Brooke McQueen), Christopher Gorham (Harrison John), and Bryce Johnson (Josh Ford) are just a few of those that participate. Since the series ended so long ago, watching the show again is like revisiting old home movies for the cast. They laugh about how young they looked, how they filmed the series, etc. If you liked the show then you'll enjoy what they have to say. The crew also give a lot of candid insight about what it took to get this series mad and on the air.

The Bottom Line:
This series is only for teen girls and anyone that may have liked the series when it first aired.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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