It is always interesting when the premise of a show is based on the written word.
This two disc set, Complete First Season only has 6 episodes!
October Road: The Complete First Season is the story of Nick Garrett (Bryan Greenberg). After writing a best selling novel about the place that he grew up, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a lot of people angry at their portrayals when he returns home. Faced with convincing his childhood friends not hate him, Nick is also trying to find grist for the mill as he embarks on other writing work. Things soon get complicated for Nick when he realizes that winning his friends back into his confidence isn't going to be so easy. At the same time, he is dealing with family issues that never seem to go away and on top of that in trying to rekindle things with his former girlfriend, Nick can't seem to get things together enough to prove to her that being immortalized in one of his novels really isn't so bad.
What makes this show work are the characters that inhabit October Road. While I wonder if it can continue for multiple seasons (especially when its premise seems more befitting of a 90 minute indy film), I found that I really enjoyed spending time with all these characters. Nick Garrett who is supposed to be the most successful character out of the group, is clearly not the most interesting. I'll leave that to Nick's circle of friends and The Commander played by the always interesting Tom Berenger.
October Road: The Journey Begins
In this "Making Of" we are treated to a solid breakdown of this show. We find out how the idea came from Stuart Rosenberg and the flack he took from his childhood friends for writing the film Beautiful Girls. This featurette then looks at the cast and how they had to arrive on the set 36 hours in advance so that they could bond. Apparently this really worked well for them because everybody noticed a lot of chemistry on screen. This segment genuinely continues along this way as it informs us about the story and the subject matter of October Road.
Yet again I find myself reviewing the bloopers. Lets just ask ourselves are they really ever going to play that differently? You have those moments where the actors forget their lines, then there are the times when they mess up their lines and then keep repeating the words that tripped them up or they just make a face. As you can see, there wasn't too much that happened here that I thought was that amazing but oh well, are blooper reels really meant to be?
Widescreen - 1.78:1 - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. The look of this show is very cozy on the screen. There are a lot of oranges and browns and this helps give this show it's downhome feel. While things on screen did look sterile at times, for the most part this show looked really solid. Again, I liked that things weren't constantly moving every 5 seconds. The people cutting this show didn't seem like they wanted to jar viewers. Don't get me wrong, there is obviously a hand behind this camera but it didn't show itself too much and I appreciated that.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The audio on this show was the only thing that really played as I expected. By that I mean the soundtrack had that sort of indy/college rock vibe. This wasn't that annoying but I was sort of hoping that this show might have gone in a different direction. Perhaps they could have used a totally different style of audio or maybe even employed no score to let the actor's emotions resonate that much more?
The front cover of this release gives us some pictures of all the cast members with the bottom image being that of a road. This cover even has that same indy film, one sheet look where the main character is looking over his shoulder! The back cover serves up some pictures from various episodes, there is a small description of what October Road: The Complete First Season is about, a Bonus Features listing and technical specs. I do like that Buena Vista Home Entertainment has kept things very contained by having this 2-disc set appear in one amaray case.
I really wish that Buena Vista would have done more for this release. I bring this up because it is a 2 DVD set and it really doesn't come with many extras. It almost seems like they should have held off on this release and just attached the shows to the the eventual Second Season. The only problem with this is that the Second Season seems to have been pushed back, or it will only come back before January if another show in its place doesn't live up to expectations. Such is the world of television, right?
I really was able to get into this show. It was refreshing to see something on television focus on people and not the all the buzzword, politics and phobias of the day. I also liked that I never felt that this show tapped into irony. It was actually almost surprised to see that this show relied on its characters to tell the stories. I never thought that what was going was melodramatic for the sake of being melodramatic. My biggest problem with this release was that I think that for a two disc set there should have been more features.
All in all, though I think Buena Vista Home Entertainment will probably release this entire series together, for now you can really enjoy October Road: The Complete First Season.
October Road was released .