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Eli Stone: Season 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Follow Eli Stone (Jonny Miller) on his quirky quest for answers in this exciting and upbeat comedic drama. When Eli awakens to an unending George Michael soundtrack that only he can hear, gets dive-bombed by a WWI biplane on a busy San Francisco street, and faces a fire-breathing dragon outside his office window, there are two possible explanations: delusions caused by a potentially fatal brain aneurysm or the chance that something greater is at work. He might just be a prophet sent to change the world. Victor Garber and Loretta Devine lead an acclaimed supporting cast in this wonderfully wacky new series, ELI STONE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON. Complete with every Season One episode, exclusive bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage, this 4-disc box set will surprise, inspire and leave you feeling like you gotta have faith.


It takes a while for Eli Stone to hit its stride, but when it does (a little past the halfway point in this, its first season, with 13 episodes presented on four discs), this show is engaging, provocative, and flat-out entertaining. Of course, a lot of new series need some time to get themselves together, especially when breathing the rarefied air of high concept; and with its combination of drama (and sentimentality), comedy, special effects, and more, Eli Stone certainly fits that description. As the season kicks off, the eponymous hero (played Jonny Lee Miller, a Brit actor sporting a very convincing American accent) is a stereotypical lawyer, ambitious, materialistic, and snarky, helping his San Francisco firm’s corporate clients fill their coffers at the expense of the poor and downtrodden. But then he has a vision--specifically, George Michael singing "Faith" atop Eli’s coffee table. Many more such hallucinations will follow, including an earthquake, trench warfare in some unnamed battle, a hospital patient beseeching Eli to help him, and flashbacks of his own dead father; but whether they result from the brain aneurysm that’s discovered during the first episode or from the fact that he is, as his acupuncturist (James Saito) informs him, "a prophet," Eli realizes that a major change is in order. And so he decides to "fix the world, one lawsuit at a time," which translates into pro bono cases on behalf of an autistic kid, an infertile young immigrant, abused prisoners, and other unfortunates, some of whom have been victimized by the very companies Eli’s firm represents.

Much of the legal business is handled more with Ally McBeal whimsy than Law & Order seriousness, and cases involving, say, two "gay" chimpanzees add little to the show’s appeal. Nor do some of the ongoing personal relationships, like the cutesy-annoying interludes with Eli and the boss’ daughter (Natasha Henstridge) or a young associate at the firm (Julie Gonzalo), bring much to the party; much better are his dealings with his mouthy but indispensable assistant (Loretta Devine, excellent in a clichéd role) and brother (Matt Letscher), a conflicted physician. But Eli’s own arc, as he comes to accept what’s happening to him and how his newly-acquired powers of clairvoyance can best be put to use, is handled beautifully; from the eighth episode ("Praying for Time," probably the high point of the season, in which virtually every character experiences a major breakthrough or catharsis) onward, Eli Stone becomes the TV version of a book you can’t put down. Bonus features include audio commentary on two episodes, bloopers, and several brief but informative featurettes. --Sam Graham

Special Features

Extended Pilot Episode With Audio Commentary|Deleted Scenes|Eli Oops! (Bloopers)|Acting On Faith: Eli & George Michael|Turning A Prophet: The Creation Of ELI STONE|Creating Visions: The Effects Of ELI STONE|Inside The Firm: The Natasha Henstridge Tour

Product Details

  • Actors: Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine, Matt Letscher, Sam Jaeger
  • Directors: Chris Misiano, David Petrarca, Ken Olin, Michael Lange, Michael Schultz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Touchstone / Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 559 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,750 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eli Stone: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Because the nearest ABC station is over 100 miles away, and has been in a running spat with the two satellite/dish companies, up until I got my HD converter hadn't seen a ABC show in two years. (Life's too short to try to watch all the downloads) Wish I'd had the chance to see this show first run -- thank heaven for reruns.

Wildly funny with a lot of heart, this kind of series is very difficult to pull off. If the creators aren't careful it's easy to drown in syrup, and too hard an edge grinds down your characters. "Eli Stone" threads this needle with precision. Themes of belief, faith, whether higher powers are guiding Eli, and a not-so-subtle call for social justice. The first season's arc grows everyone, not just Eli, and Eli and Nate's father grows the most -- a sweet trick since he's been dead for ten years. Sliding relationships, office politics, courtroom drama and cases drawn from real life problems are balanced by the rowdy goofiness of his visions' musical numbers. It seems there's never a good time to have a full-on hallucination. ("Good Lovin'" from #4 and "I Feel the Earth Move" from #8 are favorites.)

The cast is consistently wonderful. Have loved Victor Garber for years, way before "Alias", and it's great to see him not only act but perform. Julie Gonzalo, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine, Matt Letscher, and James Saito are all excellent, not a clunker in the bunch.

But the show hangs on Jonny Lee Miller, and I must admit, he's been amazing. Miller has an marvelously expressive face. From confusion and embarrassment to desperation, sympathy, sarcasm, cunning, panic, innocence and sometimes fury when he's defending his clients. You can always see what's passing in Eli's head.
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Warning! Many, many spoilers! Do not read if you want to avoid spoilers!

The 2007-2008 television series has to go down as one of the most unfortunate in recent decades, not primarily because of the quality of the shows - there were, in fact, an unusually large number of very high quality shows - but because of the large number of truncated seasons that so many shows experienced. We also saw a smaller number of midseason series. For instance, the eagerly awaited new Joss Whedon series, DOLLHOUSE, starring Eliza Dushku, was initially planned to appear for seven episodes this spring before returning next fall for a new regular slate of shows. Now it has been postponed to the fall, where it will be the most eagerly anticipated new show of the 2008-2009 season.

But one thing the writers strike did mean was that the few new midseason shows had little or no competition. I was really looking forward to TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, and was delighted when it didn't disappoint. But just before it debuted I started hearing about a new series called ELI STONE. To be very honest, under normal circumstances I would never have tried it. I would have had a full slate of shows that I was already committed to and I simply wouldn't have bothered to work it into my schedule. Furthermore, it was set at a law firm, and I generally detest shows set in law firms. But the early reviews by critics were positive if not ecstatic and I had virtually nothing to watch on TV until my favs began to crank out new episodes following the resolution of the WGA strike. So starved for new shows I decided to give it a shot.

From the very beginning ELI STONE was at least decent and fun. I wasn't blown away, but each episode was enjoyable enough to bring me back the next week.
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We watched this show, at first, with very guarded reservations. We are Victor Garbor fans and just wanted to see what the show was about. I must say, that after the first episode, we were hooked. Yes, it is quirky and not at all real-life, but it is very good. We highly recommend that you give this series a try. It has a lot of heart and feel good moments.
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How many law shows do we need in this country, and don't they all simply run together? PerryLABostonthePraticeMcBealandOrder? I can understand the writer's interest in writing a law show; great episodic stories that you can immediately buy into for a week's episode supported by guest stars that easily come and go, inter-office romances, people who make a lot of money which usually means they make a lot of problems. But aren't they all basically the same?

I guess that's why I initially shied away from watching Eli Stone, despite some catchy promos that I was watching during my Lost-fest. All we needed was another law show like we need another medical show. However, being a legal show grouping, and still smarting after the cancellation and no-DVD release of Ally McBeal, my partner Shane became a quick fan.

So it was just a matter of time before I'd sit down in front of the tube to watch Eli Stone. And what I was, ultimately, was enjoyable! Why? First, the premise of the show is interesting, having a killer corporate lawyer Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) discover he has a brain aneurysm which causes him to have visions that ultimately help out his cases and causes. The visions seemingly point Stone to take cases that normally wouldn't have appeared on his radar screen, much to the chagrin of law office partner Wethersby (Victor Garber) and his daughter and Stone's fiancee Taylor (Natasha Henstridge).

As each episode untangles, you get the sense of some larger pictures that Eli Stone can paint; issues of destiny, divine intervention, and sometimes having to appear to do wrong in order to do right.
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