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"Picket Fences" TV series (1992-1996) on DVD discussion thread (1 Viewer)

The Drifter

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Jim
Recently saw the first three episodes of Picket Fences S01 (the first DVD in the Region 1 set). Had never seen much of the series before - other than seeing one episode of S01 way back in '92.

I was initially interested in watching the show because it was advertised as being similar to "Twin Peaks" (1990-1991), and I had been a huge fan of that series.

The PQ on the DVD set is decent, though it is "soft". That being said, it was significantly better than it appeared in the original TV broadcast.

It's unfortunate (though not at all surprising) that S02-S04 are still not on Region 1 DVD. I suspect that poor sales of the S01 DVD set resulted in no further seasons being released. Here's hoping another company will pick up this show and release the whole series on Blu, or at least S02-S04 on regular DVD - though I won't be holding my breath ;)

Excellent show! This series effectively combines absurdity & pathos, a dichotomy that is difficult to do well - but is pulled off expertly here.

Re: the actors on the show, I am very familiar with Tom Skerrit (Alien 1), Lauren Holly (Band of the Hand, Dumb & Dumber), and Zelda Rubinstein (the original Poltergeist). In addition, I know I've seen some of the other actors in various shows/movies over the years - notably Kathy Baker.
 
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The Drifter

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Here's my review of these episodes:

Pilot: Twisted but funny opener, in which the "Tin Man" unexpectedly dies in a bizarre "Wizard of Oz" production at the local school. Seeing Sheriff Jimmy Brock (Skerrit) dressed up as a munchkin was truly bizarre - LOL. The murder mystery surrounding this death was interesting but convoluted, though it all came together in the end.
One of the sickest (but still funny as he$$) scenes was when the wife of the Tin man was found dead & stuffed into her dishwasher; apparently the killer wanted to make sure he "washed away" the evidence.

The Green Bay Chopper: Twisted & funny opening where a kid brought a severed hand to school for "show and tell". The investigation that followed was somewhat amusing, though the very ending was dramatic. Also very funny was how the show-and-tell kid's mother was constantly "muffling" her, as punishment for what she did - hilarious.

Mr. Dreeb comes to Town: A dwarf (Michael K. Anderson) rides into town on an circus elephant, and chaos ensues. A serious counter-point here was the brain tumor that was suffered by a well-liked teacher (Mr. Pankow) in the local high school. He was Kimberly's favorite teacher & a good family friend of the Brocks

I was also impressed by the unlikely romance between Mr. Dreeb & Max (L. Holly),
and the honest way that she ended things with him at the end of the episode.

It seems evident that Anderson's inclusion in the series was a homage to "Twin Peaks", given that he had a small (but significant) role in that iconic series - as the dancing dwarf in the creepy dream sequences.
 

Nick*Z

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Picket Fences and St. Elsewhere - 2 series I would absolutely kill to have on Blu-ray - even via Mill Creek. How desperate is that?!?
 

derekbd

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I loved Picket Fences when it aired, and enjoyed it some when re-runs were shown on the young FX in edited format with sped-up/chopped title and end credit sequences and quite poor image quality.

IIRC further seasons were available for a time on hulu, with much better image quality and no edits, I assumed, as I know Chicago Hope was.

Unfortunately, like several series (including Northern Exposure) of the late eighties-nineties that were fresh and pushing the boundaries of tele-visual storytelling, PFences has not aged well, IMO. I assume it's because these ground-breaking series enabled future productions to go further than any of us could imagine. Now those initial "new-wave" series seem quant at best. Also, PFences and other David E Kelley series were very much tied to issues of the day, and thus don't have the same punch thirty years later.
 

Wiseguy

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Erich P. Wise
I loved Picket Fences when it aired, and enjoyed it some when re-runs were shown on the young FX in edited format with sped-up/chopped title and end credit sequences and quite poor image quality.

IIRC further seasons were available for a time on hulu, with much better image quality and no edits, I assumed, as I know Chicago Hope was.

Unfortunately, like several series (including Northern Exposure) of the late eighties-nineties that were fresh and pushing the boundaries of tele-visual storytelling, PFences has not aged well, IMO. I assume it's because these ground-breaking series enabled future productions to go further than any of us could imagine. Now those initial "new-wave" series seem quant at best. Also, PFences and other David E Kelley series were very much tied to issues of the day, and thus don't have the same punch thirty years later.
Also the 4th season is reportedly inferior because Kelley left the series.
 

Wiseguy

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Erich P. Wise
I loved Picket Fences when it aired, and enjoyed it some when re-runs were shown on the young FX in edited format with sped-up/chopped title and end credit sequences and quite poor image quality.

IIRC further seasons were available for a time on hulu, with much better image quality and no edits, I assumed, as I know Chicago Hope was.

Unfortunately, like several series (including Northern Exposure) of the late eighties-nineties that were fresh and pushing the boundaries of tele-visual storytelling, PFences has not aged well, IMO. I assume it's because these ground-breaking series enabled future productions to go further than any of us could imagine. Now those initial "new-wave" series seem quant at best. Also, PFences and other David E Kelley series were very much tied to issues of the day, and thus don't have the same punch thirty years later.
You haven't seen sped-up credits until you've seen Bonanza on Circle. The entire opening credits are show sped up to about 10 seconds if I remember correctly. It's hilarious.
 

tsodcollector

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matthew baduria
I loved Picket Fences when it aired, and enjoyed it some when re-runs were shown on the young FX in edited format with sped-up/chopped title and end credit sequences and quite poor image quality.

IIRC further seasons were available for a time on hulu, with much better image quality and no edits, I assumed, as I know Chicago Hope was.

Unfortunately, like several series (including Northern Exposure) of the late eighties-nineties that were fresh and pushing the boundaries of tele-visual storytelling, PFences has not aged well, IMO. I assume it's because these ground-breaking series enabled future productions to go further than any of us could imagine. Now those initial "new-wave" series seem quant at best. Also, PFences and other David E Kelley series were very much tied to issues of the day, and thus don't have the same punch thirty years later.
it aged very well,because it was a family/teen tv drama it's not like twin peaks ,not like northern exposure,this was different.it also have cop drama,very heartfelt family drama,that has aged very well,maybe shout factory might look into this 90's television classic,that and the commish are a best buy for tsod's.
 

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