thirtysomething: Season 1
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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.
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
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
From thirtysomething to Forever: Making thirtysomething
A conversation between Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick
Couples & Friends
Commentaries by creators, cast and crew
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the greatest shows ever produced. Real life situations that everyone can relate to.Published 1 month ago by DBuck
I loved Thirtysomething back in the eighties and was waiting for it to come out on DVD. I enjoyed watching the episodes, although I didn't remember Mel Harris (Hope) and Peter... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Donna H.
The show is fantastic, just as I remembered it. However the Special Features on the last disc had no sound. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dina P
for fans of time tv. a time piece. one of a kind. I like it.Published 15 months ago by Burt D. Yost