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thirtysomething: Season 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Product Description

In 1987 we were introduced to a group of couples, of friends: 'thirtysomethings.' A dream cast of characters that from the very first episode resonated with a nation of people who knew these people all too well. Michael (Ken Olin, Brothers And Sisters) and Hope Steadman (Mel Harris), the suburban 'new-parent' poster children; Elliot (Timothy Busfield, The West Wing) and Nancy Weston (Patricia Wettig, Brothers And Sisters), a couple whose marriage is falling apart; Gary Shepard (Peter Horton, In Treatment), the perpetually 'twentysomething' thirtysomething; Melissa Steadman (Melanie Mayron), Michaels cousin and a struggling artist; and Ellyn Warren (Polly Draper), the driven but restless career-chaser.

thirtysomething channeled the consciousness of baby boomers into a running commentary on what it really meant to be on the cusp of success and failure, marriage and divorce, adulthood and parenthood. Every week the show blurred the lines between television and film, drama and comedy, hard reality and twisted imagination. Each episode of this truly groundbreaking series was its own unit yet somehow fed a larger, growing experience from week to week.

At last, the experience comes to DVD with 21 original episodes restored from the original film elements. Go behind the making of this landmark television series with all-new interviews, commentaries and conversations with the creators, cast and crew.

Bonus Features:

Featurettes With thirtysomething Creators, Cast and Crew

* From thirtysomething to Forever Making thirtysomething

* A Conversation Between Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick

* Couples & Friends

* Cultural Impact

* Commentaries by Creators, Cast and Crew


The touchstone TV series for baby boomers--and TV watchers of the '80s--thirtysomething shows its deep intelligence afresh in this splendid boxed set, featuring every episode of the first season (which debuted in 1987) and so much more.In cultural terms, it's hard to overstate the impact of thirtysomething, which focused on an ensemble of friends, some married, some single, some successful, some struggling--dealing with the aftermath of the '60s ethos, what it meant to balance family and career, and how to reinvent marriage (or to even consider marriage) in the wake of the women's movement. No small task. But thirtysomething was, and is, up to the challenge. First, even above its stellar cast, is the smart, savvy writing that so distinguished the series when it was on the air. Creators Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz wrote many of thirtysomething's episodes, including the pilot, which laid out the complex relationships and feelings of the cast members.

And what a cast! Hope and Michael (the dreamily gorgeous Mel Harris and effortlessly handsome Ken Olin) look the perfect couple, and in many ways are, but doubts, temptations, resentments, and other, very real, feelings creep into even their relationship. Nancy and Elliott (Patricia Wettig and Timothy Busfield), meanwhile, are on the brink of breaking up. The singles include dreamer Gary (Peter Horton), ambitious career gal Ellyn (dusky-voiced Polly Draper), and whacky photographer Melissa (Melanie Mayron). The comings and goings of these well-conceived characters would have made for a plenty-compelling series, but Zwick and Herskovitz upped the ante by having them talk about their innermost feelings--yes, even the guys. And that's what makes thirtysomething ring so true--even more than 20 years after its debut.

The boxed set is a treasure trove, including a handsome booklet with a great essay by Zwick and Herskovitz, looking back at the phenomenon they created when they were just 34 themselves. Each episode, and its trivia and awards, are also lovingly detailed. And for completists, the original music accompanies every episode. Onscreen commentaries by Busfield, Harris, Mayron, Zwick, Herskovitz, and writers Joseph Dougherty, Richard Kramer, and others are sprinkled throughout the episodes. There are features on the making of the series; of an inspiring conversation between Kerskovitz and Zwick, taking the viewer instantly back to the days of yuppies, acid-washed jeans, Esprit, "juggling" moms; on the couples and singles in the series; on the writers (who include Paul Haggis, who would go on to write, direct, and win an Oscar for Best Picture for Crash); on the directors; and last but definitely not least, on the cultural impact of thirtysomething. Which, judging from a fresh viewing of the first season, isn't over by a long shot, bucko. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

Featurettes With thirtysomething creators, cast and crew

From thirtysomething to Forever: Making thirtysomething

A conversation between Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick

Couples & Friends

Cultural Impact

Commentaries by creators, cast and crew

Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Busfield, Patricia Wettig, Ken Olin, Melanie Mayron, Peter Horton
  • Directors: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 1200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U9BS2O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,920 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "thirtysomething: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The L.A. Times has reported that all music rights have apparently cleared, which means that the dvd of this landmark series, unlike Northern Exposure, will retain the spirit of the original with its original soundtrack intact. Other pluses are the creation of a new master copy (ensuring excellent visual quality) and extensive bonus features, including commentary and interviews. Each subsequent season will be released at six month intervals. All great news for fans who have patiently awaited this release for almost 20 years.
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Format: DVD
This show changed the way I watch television. I began taping episodes when I realized that the shows tie together almost like an enormous miniseries, and the quality is so dense that the episodes deserve many repeat viewings, like good movies do. "thirtysomething" deserves a high-quality DVD format, and it has always been puzzling to fans that this astoundingly no-brainer fact has not motivated a DVD release until now. I'll be snapping up my copy as soon as it is released, and I expect that it will be worth every penny. I wanted to learn more details about the special features included, so, thanks to a tip from another reviewer, I looked up the L A Times April 29, 2009 article "The years roll back--we're thirtysomething again" for more information. Here are some essential factoids gleaned from the article that Amazon has not yet posted:

The Season 1 DVD set will include interviews and commentaries by cast members Ken Olin (Michael), Mel Harris (Hope), Timothy Busfield (Elliot), Patricia Wettig (Nancy), Melanie Mayron (Melissa), Peter Horton (Gary), and Polly Draper (Ellyn). Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz did a voice-over commentary for the pilot episode and new interviews. High-definition master copies of the episodes have been created, which will give the DVDs excellent visual quality. Subsequent seasons will be released to DVD at roughly 6-month intervals (4 seasons total). The long agonizing wait for these DVDs has been due in part to clearing the rights to the music (lots of it) used as an integral part of the show, and the need to create master copies that would allow easy transfer to DVD.
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Format: DVD
Twenty years later, and this remains one of my favoite all-time shows. It got a lot of flack at the time for being about a bunch of self-absorbed yuppies, but that was just those who watched for fifteen minutes and saw some character whine about something. In truth, it was a well written, compelling, and poignant series with a top-notch cast that really hit the mark portraying family and friendships and the rocky roads we encounter in this thing called life. I was only in high school and early college when it came out, but now that I'm in my late thirties (yikes!) I have often remembered episodes that touched upon experiences I was having over the years, sometimes funny and sometimes painful. I loved all the characters for different reasons, but I was always drawn to Melissa Steadman, the eternally single, wise-cracking cousin of Michael. Now that I'm married with a baby, I would probably relate just as much to Hope or Nancy. Anyway, I look forward to finding out who strikes me this time around. If only we could get Zwick and Herskowitz to create one last reunion epsiode in a made for TV movie. How cool would it be to see where all our favorite thirtysomethings ended up now that they are in their fifties! Lets start a petition! Anyone on board?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this series on DVD ever since the format (DVD, I mean!) was first announced. I, like many others, can't believe it took this long. But it was worth the wait.

I was worried that after more than 20 years, the series would now appear stale and dated. I'm happy to report that it does not. Oh, don't get me wrong - superficially, the clothing and hair styles definitely look pretty period. I'm going to throw up if I see Michael wear one more wool tie, or racquetball shoes with his suit. Maybe more damning (in that it definitely separates the show from the current era), the late 1980's were still a time when people made an effort to look their status. Men always wore suits to work; stay-at-home moms(!) wore cardigans and "mom jeans" around the house - even those only in their early 30's. Today, when everybody walks around all the time in t-shirts and jeans and "30 is the new 20", it has the effect of making all the characters look older than they're supposed to be. In this one way, the show has more in common with the 1950's than the current decade.

But the themes of family, friendship, love, sex and death are universal and timeless, and thirtysomething always tackled them better than any other show before or since. That's how I've always remembered the series, anyway, and thankfully it seems I wasn't just looking back through rose colored glasses. In fact, I'm actually getting more out of the show now than I did when I was younger, because now I actually am thirtysomething myself - and I'm going through a lot of the same issues being dealt with in realistic ways on the show.

The series was criticized by some initially as being just a bunch of yuppie whining, but I never felt that was valid and I still don't.
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Thirtysomething on Blu-Ray
I have to say----Isn't it just like Americans---the minute we (as Thirtysomething fans) hear we are finally going to get what we've been praying for all these years, we immediately want more! C'mon people---be happy with what we are being offered (a regular DVD version) and let's not rock the... Read More
May 14, 2009 by KRNRN |  See all 14 posts
My dream has come true
Better buy it now.
The more copies of Season 1 they sell, the better is the chance for a Season 2 release on DVD.
Oct 10, 2009 by RockStar |  See all 9 posts
Thirtysomething being released by Shout!Factory???
shout factory is awesome company that release many titles the original liscense holders would not release shout buys the liscense then releases them on dvd shout is well known for release rare awesome shows that other wise would never likely get a release like werewolf parker lewis freaks and... Read More
May 24, 2009 by E. Saylor |  See all 5 posts
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