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The new ABC series, Resurrection, starring Omar Epps, Kurtwood Smith, and Frances Fisher, really seemed like a breath of fresh air last season. It seems that viewers are slammed with so many medical and crime dramas, with the occasional sitcom for good measure, the network TV landscape has become a bit mundane. But this new series, which finds a town in Arcadia, Missouri, experiencing a very strange phenomenon: loved ones who had died before are miraculously returning to life, but with no idea how or why it’s happening. The reappearance of these people begins to tear the town apart at the seams, as the occurrences are met with love by some, and rivaled by others, pitting faith, friendships, and family against each other, as the mystery deepens on just how these people are coming back.
The show really feels like a return to form in some ways for the alphabet network, who has been trying to recapture the magic of their supernatural survival show, LOST, since the show ended in 2010. Despite the numerous attempts of shows like Life on Mars, a remake of the UK series of the same name, Flashforward, and The River, none of them were able to grab viwers for more than a season, leading to cancelation early on. But Resurrection has managed to avoid these pitfalls, and the reason for that is the condensed season of eight episodes really pushes the show forward quickly, grabbing the audience out the gate and never letting up, until the final episode. These shorter seasons mean less filler and fluff, letting the shows speak for themselves without trying to fill a twenty two episode season. It just works much better, and Resurrection has become an example of that.
It helps that the show is led by three fantastic leads in TV veterans Omar Epps, from House, M.D., Kurtwood Smith from That 70’s Show, and Frances Fisher from Eureka and Titus, with newcomer Landon Gimenez helping round out the very impressive cast. Epps’ Special Agent Martin Bellamy isn’t a huge departure from his character of Foreman on House, but really, he plays the role very well, with a lot of compassion for people, and the situation around him. He’s a very good leading man, and the role really fits him, and he has an everyman quality that really makes him easily accessible and likable right away. But it’s really Kurtwood Smith and Frances Fisher who standout as Lucille and Henry Langston, the parents of Jacob, the boy who died twenty years ago and has suddenly come back to them. The two play such emotional extremes, and their performances are so raw and real, you really feel for them. While France’s character Lucille is happy to have her son back, in the way any mother can be, sure it’s her son, Henry is on the other end of the spectrum. He’s so torn by the situation, not sure what to make of it, and really unsure if this is his son or not. He wants to believe, but knowing the fact that he died so long ago, the pain is hard to overcome and for him to believe this is really him, and Smith plays with so much passion and emotion, you really feel the struggle he’s grappling with. It’s really these actors that really drive the series forward, and really make it worth watching.
Resurrection: The Complete First Season comes to DVD with a select few bonus features to pad the set. It’s nothing special, really, with all of them really feeling more like a little bit of fluff, but fans will be happy with the inclusion. The features include:
On Location in Georgia: A short three minute video showing what it’s like to film the series in Georgia. It’s a nice little watch, but it would be great if it was longer, because it feels all too brief.
Three Deleted scenes: The scenes really feel more like extensions of the scenes already in the series. They total about seven minutes, and really don’t offer anything new for the viewers.
Blooper Reel: Most DVD sets from ABC/Disney come with a standard three minute blooper reel, which is definitely harmless fun, showing people as they flub lines and scenes from the series.
Resurrection: Building a Mystery: The final feature is one, much like the first, I really wish was longer. It’s a great look into the time that the show runners, actors, producers, and writers have really put into bringing this show to life. It deals with their personal beliefs a bit, while also talking about the mystery in the show, and the lengths they’re going to make it work. It’s fascinating, but runs just about four minutes, which really doesn’t feel like enough time to talk about it. It would have been fantastic to see a longer making of on this series.
Resurrection: The Complete First Season comes to DVD with a fantastic eight episode first season, that will grab you from beginning to end. Since the season is so short, the show really moves quickly, never losing sight of the core mystery and feeling like there’s too much fluff to pad the episodes. Bolstered by excellent performances, the show really first on all cylinders well. It’s too bad the DVD set really doesn’t offer more in the way of special features, but really, we’re here for the episodes, and those are just a bonus. Overall, it’s a nice set for a very good show, and it’s definitely worth a look.