Early Edition: The First Season (1996)
|Genre(s): Drama / Family / Fantasy|
|Paramount || NR - 1020 minutes - $49.99 || June 24, 2008|
|Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-06-12|
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Shanesia Davis-Williams, Fisher Stevens
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What if you had Tomorrow's News... TODAY?
I’ve been anticipating the release of “Early Edition” for many years now and clearly I'm not alone. Before the set was announced by Paramount, it was #7 as the most requested TV show not available on DVD (legally). Finally, after years of waiting I have Season One in my hands and can relive all 23 episodes of the first season again.
The show stars Kyle Chandler (TV's “Friday Night Lights”) as Gary Hobson; a man who now resides in a hotel room because his wife kicked him out on their anniversary. One morning, Gary awakens to hear a thud on his doorstep. When he opens his hotel room door he finds not only a free copy of the newspaper, but a small orange cat. But there's a small catch...the date on the paper is not today's date, but tomorrows.
Throughout the course of Season One's 23 episodes, Gary uses the paper for good while his friend Chuck (Fisher Stevens) tries to use it for his own monumental advantages. Gary could become a millionaire over night if he wanted or stop a little girl from being killed. The show makes it pretty clear he can do what he wants and Gary (for the most part) chooses the right thing. In the following season Gary gets a bit more information on where the newspaper comes from and even finds out there are other people out there like him.
The writing of the show has its good moments and its bad moments. I think the only problem with this show is you can't over analyze anything. Sometimes you just need to let things happen to move the plot along so the show can end at the 44 minute mark. Yeah, it’s probably very unlikely that in a place as big as Chicago our hero Gary just happens to stumble upon a victim in the newspaper he was looking for just by pure chance, but just go with the flow and you will not be disappointed.
The basic premise of the show is very easy to understand and if you've never seen an episode of Early Edition before, you could jump it at almost any point, any season, and not feel lost. CBS really banked on this during the later seasons of “Early Edition” because very few times were there ever any type of story arc. Each episode is self-contained and makes it perfect for syndication.
If you're a past fan of the show please go out and purchase this release so we can continue to get the rest of the series. Many times a cult show like this does not sell enough copies to warrant the rest of the seasons (“Boy Meets World”, “Gargoyles”) being released on DVD.
Episodic Promos - When selecting each episode you are given the option of playing the episode by itself or with an accompanying promo. The promo is a 20-30 second preview of the episode you will be watching. It’s really odd and I can't imagine ever wanting to actually watch these as it ruins most of the episode.
I'm very excited to see Paramount finally releasing “Early Edition” on DVD, but they couldn't get a few commentaries at least?
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Paramount presented "Early Edition" in its OAR of 4:3 (full screen). While these do look a lot better then what I remember when watching these on the PAX Network a few years ago, don't expect much in terms of cleaner picture or anything being restored. Every episode has a fine layer of grain and some parts have color issues and artifacting. I did notice the picture quality got better as the season progressed.
“Early Edition” comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, just like when it aired on CBS. While I was not happy with the picture, the audio is a little bit better. Dialog for the most part is clean, but I did find a few parts to be a little inconsistent.
While the show does have it cheesy moments and being a bit dated, it’s still a great watch. Violence is very minimal, and for the most part it’s a show that can be watched by the entire family.
My overall rating may seem a bit high for a release that lacks special features and has questionable picture and audio quality, but the fact is it took Paramount 10 years to release this on DVD and I don't think they could have improved the picture or audio at all. While I am disappointed by the lack of special features, I hope Paramount makes this right with a few commentary tracks for Season 2 *fingers crossed*.