Judge Cynthis Boris is a spitfire.
Passion. Promise. Persuasion.
It's season three of this soapy teen drama for those girls who always dreamed of owning a horse. Seems like a tight demographic, but ABCFamily made it work. Put on your pretty jeans then saddle up for betrayal, action, and a good dose of romance in Wildfire: Season Three on DVD.
Facts of the Case
Kris Furillo (Genevieve Cortese, Supernatural) got off to a rough start in life, eventually landing herself in the juvenile detention center for grand theft auto. But everyone deserves a second chance, and hers comes in the form of Wildfire, a horse that pulls her out of the depths and into a job at the Ritter family ranch.
In this third season of the show, Kris has some more growing up to do when she finds out that a betrayal could lead to the ranch going bankrupt. But that still leaves her plenty of time to bounce between the two romantic leads—Junior (Ryan Sypek) and Matt (Micah Alberti). Can Kris save the ranch, get the guy, and still win the big race? It's all here in 13 episodes on three DVDs.
I've never seen Wildfire before, so coming in on the third season probably isn't the best way for me to get a feel for the show, but here I am. I took on this box set because the star, Genevieve Cortese, has joined the Supernatural family, and I've enjoyed watching the earlier works of the other stars on the show, so I thought I'd give this one a try.
Guess you can't win them all.
Wildfire was more of a soap opera than I expected. A huge amount of time is spent with the various pairings between Kris, Matt, Junior, Dani, Gillian, and RJ. To make matters worse, I couldn't tell the players even with a scorecard. I'm sure there are a dozen teen girls who can set me straight but I couldn't, for the life of me, tell the difference between Junior and Matt. Then add RJ (which reads like Junior to me) and I was totally thrown.
There's a fair amount of death and loss in this series, giving it a morose tone I just didn't feel compelled to watch. The series should be about hope; making lemonade when life gives you lemons, but all I felt was run over. Then again, looking at ABC Family's other recent fare such as The Secret Life of the American Teenager, it seems that depressing is hot with the teen audience. I find that sad. Very, very sad.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
My feelings for the overall tone of the series aside, Wildfire is well-made and respectably acted. Cortese walks around pouting most of the time, but it's not out of line with her character. Nana Visitor (playing ranch owner Ritter) is always a welcome addition to any show as is James Read playing Dani and Junior's dad.
The only special features on this DVD are four episode commentaries. Genevieve Cortese appears on two along with writers and the show's producer. Nicole Tubiola takes on two and Micah Alberti appears on all four. Ironically, I found the commentaries to be much more interesting than the episodes themselves. There was a nice camaraderie between the participants and there was a good deal of character discussion as well as a look at the behind the scenes tricks of the trade.
The video looks very nice on my HDTV; widescreen, vivid colors, bright outdoors shots, all nice and sharp. The audio does the job keeping music and dialogue in harmony throughout the series.
If you're a fan of the series, I'm sure you'll want to pick up this season to add to your collection. If you've never seen the show but you have (or were) a teen girl with a love of horses, then pick up the first season and see how it goes from there.
This court finds Wildfire: Season Three guilty.
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Scales of Justice
• Episode Commentaries
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