Nominated for 17 Emmys in its short four-year run, Soap premiered in the Fall of 1977 as one of the most controversial shows in American television history (and all before a single episode ever aired). The show was opposed by many groups who thought its subject matter would be too mature for a prime-time audience. But Soap never overstepped its bounds, and the show became an instant smash hit with its brilliant and satirical spoofs of classic daytime programming. Sporting an all-star cast and talented producers, the show spawned successful spin-off Benson in 1979, a series that launched Robert Guillaume's career to a whole new level...Set in suburban Connecticut, Soap follows the lives of two sisters - Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond), a wealthy yet dim elitist, and Mary Campbell (Cathryn Damon), a housewife in a more traditional blue-collar atmosphere. But regardless of their social station in life, neither woman manages to escape the scandal and intrigue surrounding a typical soap opera family. Jessica's daughter Corrine (Diana Canova) is smitten with a priest, yet they are both having an affair with the same tennis pro. Meanwhile, Jessica and her husband Chester (Robert Mandan) incessantly cheat on one another. As for the other side of the family, Mary's husband Burt (Richard Mulligan) is certifiably insane, her son Danny (Ted Wass) is a mobster, stepson Jodie (Billy Crystal) is an out-of-the-closet homosexual, and all of them are caught up in a family filled with promiscuous infidelities and quite possibly murder! Throw in the insubordinate and sarcastic Tate butler Benson (Guillaume), and Soap holds its own as one of the funniest sitcoms in TV historyThe Soap DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere in which the audience learns the background of the two differing, yet similar, families. Jessica overhears Chester making plans to meet his mistress just before she meets her own lover, a local tennis pro named Peter. Jessica leaves Peter just before Corinne arrives for a lesson of her own Meanwhile, the Campbells are beset by a rift between Danny and Burt, and Burt reveals to Mary that his inability to perform in the bedroom is a result of guilt from having killed her first husband Other notable episodes from Season 1 include Episode 4 in which Jessica and Corrine encounter each other in Peter's apartment, and Episode 25 in which Charles Lefkowitz (Sorrell Booke of Dukes of Hazzard fame) orders Danny to marry Elaine or else he will kill the entire Campbell familyBelow is a list of episodes included on the Soap (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (Episode 1) Air Date: 09-13-1977Episode 2 (Episode 2) Air Date: 09-20-1977Episode 3 (Episode 3) Air Date: 09-27-1977Episode 4 (Episode 4) Air Date: 10-04-1977Episode 5 (Episode 5) Air Date: 10-04-1977Episode 6 (Episode 6) Air Date: 10-25-1977Episode 7 (Episode 7) Air Date: 11-01-1977Episode 8 (Episode 8) Air Date: 11-08-1977Episode 9 (Episode 9) Air Date: 11-15-1977Episode 10 (Episode 10) Air Date: 11-22-1977Episode 11 (Episode 11) Air Date: 11-29-1977Episode 12 (Episode 12) Air Date: 12-06-1977Episode 13 (Episode 13) Air Date: 12-13-1977Episode 14 (Episode 14) Air Date: 12-27-1977Episode 15 (Episode 15) Air Date: 01-03-1978Episode 16 (Episode 16) Air Date: 01-10-1978Episode 17 (Episode 17) Air Date: 01-17-1978Episode 18 (Episode 18) Air Date: 01-24-1978Episode 19 (Episode 19) Air Date: 02-07-1978Episode 20 (Episode 20) Air Date: 02-14-1978Episode 21 (Episode 21) Air Date: 02-21-1978Episode 22 (Episode 22) Air Date: 02-28-1978Episode 23 (Episode 23) Air Date: 03-14-1978Episode 24 (Episode 24) Air Date: 03-21-1978Episode 25 (Episode 25) Air Date: 03-28-1978
Nominated for 4 Emmys and 4 Golden Globes, including Best Television Series - Drama, The Shield is one of the top police dramas of the past decade. The brainchild of creator Shawn Ryan, writer for such hit shows as Nash Bridges (1996) and Angel (1999), The Shield made history in 2003 by becoming the first basic cable series to win a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series (in the past, only non-ad supported shows such as The Sopranos and Sex And The City have done so well). The hour-long drama boasts a strong, well-rounded cast who, along with the writers/producers, have managed to make The Shield the longest running series on the FX NetworkThe Shield centers around an inner-city Los Angeles police precinct where the lines between right and wrong are often blurred. An ongoing power struggle between a group of corrupt, yet effective, cops and their new boss, Capt. David Aceveda (Benito Martinez), remains the focal point of the show. Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis, of The Commish) heads up an elite unit known as the Strike Team. An effective leader who bends the rules when they fit his aims, Mackey often butts heads with the by-the-book Aceveda who weighs his own political ambitions against the cost of bringing down Mackey and his associates. Veteran Det. Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder, of ER) knows the ropes, admires Mackey, but also knows how to play sides of the game. For the 2005 season, Glenn Close - star of such films as The Natural (1984), Fatal Attraction (1987), and Air Force One (1997) - joined the cast as Capt. Monica Rawling. Together, this celebrated cast maintains an internal tension among themselves while carrying out a unified fight against the criminal element - a fight that keeps the streets of L.A. safeThe Shield DVD features a number of exciting episodes including the season premiere in which the Strike Team has tightened its stranglehold over the precinct. Capt. Aceveda tries to crack down on the corruption in his force by recruiting an insider (Det. Terry Crowley) to help take down Vic Mackey, but the operation only results in the Crowley's death. In the interim, Det. Wyms and her partner Det. "Dutch" Wagenbach (Jay Karnes) investigate the murder of a woman only to discover that her missing daughter was sold off to a child molester by her drug addict father Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "Dawg Days" in which Mackey attempts to establish a cease-fire between two rival gangs whose ongoing feud threatens the peace, and "Dragonchasers" in which Mackey tries to help a crack addict quit so she can maintain custody of her son while Dutch tracks down a serial killerBelow is a list of episodes included on The Shield (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (Pilot) Air Date: 03-12-2002Episode 2 (Our Gang) Air Date: 03-19-2002Episode 3 (The Spread) Air Date: 03-26-2002Episode 4 (Dawg Days) Air Date: 04-02-2002Episode 5 (Blowback) Air Date: 04-09-2002Episode 6 (Cherrypoppers) Air Date: 04-16-2002Episode 7 (Pay in Pain) Air Date: 04-23-2002Episode 8 (Cupid & Psycho) Air Date: 04-30-2002Episode 9 (Throwaway) Air Date: 05-07-2002Episode 10 (Dragon Chasers) Air Date: 05-14-2002Episode 11 (Carnivores) Air Date: 05-21-2002Episode 12 (Two Days of Blood) Air Date: 05-28-2003Episode 13 (Circles) Air Date: 06-04-2003
The Da Vinci Code as a novel is an international bestselling phenomenon, but The Da Vinci Code as a movie is bound to be long forgotten by years end. Directed by Ron Howard, the Hollywood veteran behind such memorable films as A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, this adaptation of Dan Browns religious thriller is 149 minutes of monotonous exposition and tedious European spy thriller clichs. What makes Dan Browns novels so popular is the narrative background on such subjects as cryptography, secret societies, religious orders, and alternative history. But its difficult to translate such ideas to the big screen, and its here that The Da Vinci Code fails as a commercial thriller. Entire scenes are composed of lectures on the history of Christianity and the life of Leonardo Da Vinci. Michael Crichton has a similar style of writing that focuses on scientific breakthroughs and cutting-edge technology, but his novels adapt better to the big screen. Whereas Jurassic Park briefly lectured audiences on the inner-workings of DNA, then quickly jumped to two hours of dinosaurs terrorizing people, The Da Vinci Code keeps explaining, hypothesizing, and lecturing only to leave its audience hanging. The ideas are intriguing, but they make for a far better novel than silver screen blockbuster. Minus the interesting conjecture, the film is nothing more than a poorly written 1970s drugstore spy thrillerTom Hanks plays the lead role of Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of religious symbology lecturing in Paris. When Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle), curator of the Louvre, is found murdered and strangely positioned in his famous museum, local authorities initially consult Langdon for his expertise. But the professor soon learns from Saunieres granddaughter, government cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), that he and the prime suspect are one and the same. Creating a diversion for the police, the two discover a hidden trail of clues created by Sauniere in the moments before his death, clues that just might lead them to most elusive treasure in human history the Holy Grail. With InterPol hot on their trail, and the true murderer still at large, Langdon and Neveu enlist the help of Grail historian Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) to teach them the history of the Grails protectors, The Priory of Scion, and to help them uncover the endless clues that promise to unravel a 2,000 year mysteryDespite the remarks of most critics, Tom Hanks performance is not atrocious. Although his character is bland at best, he wasnt given much with which to work. Robert Langdons lack of development is more attributable to poorly written dialogue and poor choices in direction. Ron Howard tries to cover up some of the excessive dialogue with visual images, but narrative is still narrative even with flashback sequences. Audrey Tautou delivers her lines well, but suffers from the same constraints as her Academy Award-winning screen partner. The only shining performance is provided by Ian McKellen as the eccentric and charming Grail expert, Leigh Teabing. Some of his one-liners add a bit of comic relief, but theyre only band-aids on the gushing head wound that is this film. In the end, The Da Vinci Code is a lesson on the distinction between two differing mediums. Movies havent replaced books, or vice-versa, for a reason. Sometimes, its just better to read the book. In the case of The Da Vinci Code, this is one of those moments...
Initially airing in the summer of 1998, HBO's original series Sex And The City, based on the bestselling book of the same name by Candace Bushnell, collected a large and loyal following. Based on the exploits of four young, career-driven woman and their varying relationships with men, the show displays a rare charisma and originally often missing from such shows.Sarah Jessica Parker plays the role of Carrie Bradshaw, a popular relationship columnist and social butterfly. Friends Miranda Hobbs (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), and Charlotte McDougal (Kristin Davis) round out a character cast that is filled with diversity of lifestyle and opinion. Together, they form the nucleus of a self-created advice circle for consultation on their sex lives, relationships, and careers.The Sex And The City (Season 5) DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere "Anchors Away" in which a sailor invites Carrie to a 'Fleet Week' party (only to have her go home alone due to her inability to forget about her past relationships with Aidan and Mr. Big). Meanwhile, Charlotte has a less than pleasing experience with a naval officer, and Samantha goes to extremes to let the neighborhood know of Richard's infidelities Other notable episodes from Season 5 include "Unoriginal Sin" in which Samantha gets back together with Richard and Miranda agrees to baptize Brady, and "The Big Journey" in which Carrie's book tour takes her out to San Francisco where she's reunited with Mr. BigBelow is a list of episodes included on the Sex And The City (Season 5) DVD:Episode 67 (Anchors Away) Air Date: 07-21-2002Episode 68 (Unoriginal Sin) Air Date: 07-28-2002Episode 69 (Luck Be an Old Lady) Air Date: 08-04-2002Episode 70 (Cover Girl) Air Date: 08-11-2002Episode 71 (Plus One is the Loneliest Number) Air Date: 08-18-2002Episode 72 (Critical Condition) Air Date: 08-25-2002Episode 73 (The Big Journey) Air Date: 09-01-2002Episode 74 (I Love a Charade) Air Date: 09-08-2002
Nominated for 13 Emmys and 8 Golden Globes, The Jeffersons was a groundbreaking situation comedy that was not only utterly hilarious, but also explored the controversial social issues of its day. Premiering in mid-season 1975, the show was a spin-off of the #1 hit series All In The Family, where main characters George and Louise were the next-door neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker. During its nine-season run, The Jeffersons spent all but its last season as a Top 25 Nielsen rated show. One of the first sitcoms to center exclusively around the lives of African-Americans, The Jeffersons most likely featured television's first interracial married couple in Tom and Helen Willis. It was this fearless attempt to push the boundaries of the status quo that made the show one of the funniest of its time as well as a valuable resource for American race relationsThe Jeffersons follows the lives of George (Sherman Hemsley) and Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford), a middle-aged African-American couple who own a string of successful dry cleaning stores. The windfall generated by their business paves the way for George and Louise to "move on up" into an exclusive Park Avenue apartment. The series is made by Hemsley's portrayal of the stubborn and greedy, yet quite lovable, character of George whose sarcasm and antics are only equaled by the Jeffersons' quick witted live-in maid Florence (Marla Gibbs). A supporting cast composed of omni-present neighbors Tom (Franklin Cover) and Helen Willis (Roxie Roker), the ever-polite Bentley (Paul Benedict), and a tip-grubbing doorman named Ralph (Ned Wertimer) provide for endless sources of irritation and annoyance for George. Throw in George's mother (Zara Cully) and her constant insults of Louise, and The Jeffersons becomes one of the best-written humorous shows of its timeThe Jeffersons DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere "A Friend in Need" in which the audience meets George and Louise Jefferson as they settle into their brand new Park Avenue apartment. George demands that Louise hire a maid to take care of place, but she refuses because she doesn't want to be bored. Meanwhile, a new friend of Louise has a hard time believing that George could reach such a level of success without compromising his ethics Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "Lionel the Playboy" in which the Jeffersons' son Lionel starts enjoying the fruits of George's labor and debates dropping out of college, and "Rich Man's Disease" in which George is diagnosed with an ulcer, prompting Louise to try to keep him from getting upset - a near impossible taskBelow is a list of episodes included on The Jeffersons (Season 1) DVD:Episode 1 (A Friend in Need) Air Date: 01-18-1975Episode 2 (George's Family Tree) Air Date: 01-25-1975Episode 3 (Louise Feels Useless) Air Date: 02-01-1975Episode 4 (Lionel the Playboy) Air Date: 02-08-1975Episode 5 (Mr. Piano Man) Air Date: 02-15-1975Episode 6 (George's Skeleton) Air Date: 02-22-1975Episode 7 (Lionel Cries Uncle) Air Date: 03-01-1975Episode 8 (Mother Jefferson's Boyfriend) Air Date: 03-08-1975Episode 9 (Meet the Press) Air Date: 03-15-1975Episode 10 (Rich Man's Disease) Air Date: 03-22-1975Episode 11 (Former Neighbors) Air Date: 03-29-1975Episode 12 (Like Father, Like Son?) Air Date: 04-05-1975Episode 13 (Jenny's Low) Air Date: 04-12-1975