Judge Katie Herrell is happy she lives in the real Boulder instead of the fake Everwood.
It's somewhere between father and son.
Everwood has been off the air since 2006. Just this year the second of the four-season series was released on DVD. Adamant fans everywhere are doing the dance of joy. But if you're new to the series be advised: Everwood is a dish best viewed slowly.
In Season One, Dr. Andrew Brown (Treat Williams, Flashpoint) and his son Ephram (Gregory Smith, Harriet the Spy) and daughter Delia (Vivien Cardone, A Beautiful Mind) move from Manhattan, where the good Dr. is a prominent brain surgeon, to the fictional (and small) mountain town of Everwood, Colorado. The family is seeking solace after the the death of Mrs. Brown. To smooth the transition from big-town doc to small-town general practitioner an Everwood youngster, Colin, is befallen with a head injury stemming from a car accident.
In Season Two, Dr. Brown becomes demonized, at least by Colin's girlfriend Amy, when his efforts to save Colin fail. The first several episodes are abruptly painful, at least for a small town and a "wholesome" family drama series. Amy spirals into a very public depression, while Dr. Brown grapples with his role in Colin's death. If you weren't familiar with Season One, it is unclear for several episodes why a small town doc would have even attempted brain surgery. But this isn't just any small town: this is the CSI of small-town America. Any newspaper headline ever imagined is brought to life in Everwood.
Spoiler Alert! At times this is an intriguing tactic: the 20-year-old babysitter falling for the 16-year-old brother of her charge is a storyline that sucks you in. The one-episode mine explosion seems a bit much. The sister of the other doctor in town returning from Africa with a deadly disease also feels like a bit of a stretch, but when that sister is Marcia Cross (or Bree Hodge of Desperate Housewives fame) with frazzled hair it becomes watchable. The husband that leaves his wife for another man is just too scandalous for Everwood (even if it's actually one of the more plausible storylines).
All of these storylines are accentuated by what sounds like a pit orchestra. Every dramatic moment is accessorized by the strings section; comedic moments merit flutes and an occasional cymbal. At times the music burbles right under the surface, but at other times it is distractingly over-the-top, like you're sitting too close to the stage.
In many ways, Everwood seems like a long-running, multi-episode play. The staging, cinematography and costuming are uninspired. For a show set in beautiful Colorado, there is little footage of mountains or Aspens. Only the opening credits roll over a mountainous background, and that background looks like a JC Penny photo studio backdrop. The entire show is dependent on the acting and the drama.
Thankfully, the acting is respectable. Most of the stars have made the rounds, or will go onto bigger and better things. Amy is played by Emily VanCamp, now of Brothers and Sisters. Amy's father, the other town doctor, is played by Tom Amandes, who has appeared in numerous television series, most recently Eli Stone, and is perhaps the best actor in the series with his snarky, self-righteous, small-town inflated ego.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
I love shows like Everwood. I like The O.C., Gilmore Girls, and One Tree Hill. It's not the genre I'm against. But when The O.C. storyline becomes too much to handle, too unbelievable, too unrealistic, there is the pretty ocean to look at, the hip soundtrack, and the fashionable pretty people. In Everwood, when the story reaches towards the tabloids, there's nothing, besides good acting, to pull the viewer back to center. Plus, if you're going to package a television show and market it to the über-fans, it's nice to include more special features than just unaired scenes.
I never realized it before, but daytime soap operas are not released in box sets. Probably because if you sat down to watch more than one episode at a time, you'd feel slightly nauseous like you'd just eaten an entire cake. And that's how I feel about Everwood: one episode after a long, brain bending day is a relief and and a rush. Five episodes or more, (there are five discs in Everwood: The Complete Second Season ), is an unhealthy binge.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• Deleted Scenes
Review content copyright © 2009 Katie Herrell; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.