Centennial: The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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Journey to the Wild West in the sweeping, sensational epic drama Centennial: The Complete Series! Relive the grand hopes, dreams, loves, and adventures of generations of residents in Centennial, Colorado - from their risky attempts to establish a settlement in 1795 through the politics and power plays of the 20th century. With over 26 hours of content on DVD for the first time, this incredible set gives fans the opportunity to own the complete chronicle that showcases one of the finest casts ever assembled, including Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad, Timothy Dalton, Mark Harmon, Andy Griffith, Raymond Burr, Dennis Weaver, Lynn Redgrave, Sharon Gless, Stephanie Zimbalist, Sally Kellerman and many more. Based on James Michener’s best-selling novel, this Primetime EmmyAward-nominated saga is a captivating look at the intertwining lives of the brave men and women in a fictional American town that endured the growing pains of a nation on the rise.
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Only a few things bothered me throughout the entire program and they had nothing to do with this amazing story, but were distracting enough to make me laugh out loud sometimes. First, I have seen high school makeup departments do a better job of applying stage makeup, greying of the hair and latex aging effects. Good grief, the makeup and aging of the characters was downright laughable. Also, when a man dies he really should stop obviously breathing!
The DVD set consists of six disks. Two episodes per disk, with the first chapter "Only The Rocks Live Forever" and the final chapter "The Scream of the Eagles" running two and half hours. All of the other episodes clock in at 90 minutes. There is a bonus feature on disk 2 called "Memories of Centennial" which is very good. We get interviews with various cast members recalling their days filming this magnificent epic. (Barbara Carrera who plays Clay Basket is still stunning!!)
The story itself is simply amazing. The cast is pitch perfect, and once seen you will never forget the characters you are introduced to.
I don't want to give out any spoilers by retelling any of the storyline. If interested, there are numerous reviews here that go into great detail. Everyone should be familiar with this tale, as it is OUR story. A true American tale, warts and all. This series will truly have you laughing, crying and cheering. At times you will be proud of our American heritage and the men who forged this country. And at times you will want to hang your head in shame at the high cost so many people paid so that a new nation could be born.
I was going to deduct 1 star from my rating for the final chapter "The Scream of the Eagles". While not awful, it only links to the preceeding chapters in setting. Some familiar last names pop up, but the final chapter is basically like a "clip show" from a great TV series. Andy Griffith running around modern day Centennial with Sharon Gless gets kind of dull. I'm sure that when this aired on TV, it was probably nice to re-visit clips of Pasquinel, Alexander McKeag, Levi Zendt etc. because they hadn't been part of the series for several weeks, but on DVD the flashbacks are basically rehashing scenes you had seen either days or hours earlier, and it feels as though the last chapter is 80% padding and 20% environmental message. I thought the final scene in the chapter "The Winds of Death" would have made a perfect ending. But I couldn't deduct a star from my review, the series taken as a whole is worth 5-stars and the DVD treatment looks wonderful.
This type of TV is no longer around, and it's a real shame, but luckily these fantastic shows are now available on DVD. Do yourself a favor, and pick up "Centennial", just let the saga unfold, and enjoy the story of America.
Now I remember why I got into Michener at all. Some, if not most, start at the beginning-of-time and come forward. It's a, what seems to be, well researched history lesson wrapped around a story. Centennial has it all.
You can learn about the Rockies, Buffalo, Native Americans, horses, steer, immigrants-of-the-day, and the great dust bowl of the thirties. And yada-yada-yada. At the end, the town of Centennial mostly goes away like the Island in Chesapeake.
At the end the book goes away too, but you have learned (or re-learned) history . . . in this case Colorado.
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