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April 23, 2014

Army Wives: Season One - DVD review

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 6th 2008 1:11PM
Army Wives DVD setJudging by the Nielsen ratings Lifetime is raking in for Army Wives in its second season, this show has found its audience. It actually started last spring when Army Wives was a national surprise -- to everyone in the business outside of Lifetime, which picked up the show when ABC passed.

It's still amazing to think that ABC had a chance to put this show in their schedule and let it get away. Their loss is Lifetime's gain -- and they're feasting on it.

If you missed the first season of Army Wives, and didn't get into the show until the fifth episode -- like me -- then you'll be glad to know that Army Wives: The Complete First Season is now available on DVD. It's a great set, too, with some very nice bonus features and quality commentaries.


Packaging
There's no giant Zippo lighter design for the Army Wives package. Perhaps a real diamond ring would have made it too pricey or even zirconium. Instead, the ring logo is emblazoned on the front and the slide-out tri-fold holder reveals the three-disks, all 13 episodes.

There's no booklet; the menu is printed on the inner sleeve, and only there. The back of the box offers a brief synopsis of the show, with emphasis on executive producer Mark Gordon's involvement. That's no minor detail, because Gordon is the same guy that presented Grey's Anatomy. The back of the box also hawks the bonus features and technical info.

Audio/Video
The DVD set comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Spanish and French subtitles; and widescreen 1:78.1 enhanced for 16x9 Television. The picture quality was superb throughout, as was the sound.

The show, which is filmed in Charleston, South Carolina, looks as top-notch as any Hollywood production. Like so many series nowadays, shooting outside of L.A. is just more economical. Army Wives' cinematography, sound and effects are first rate and the DVD reproduction is excellent.

Extras
I don't know about you, but I don't buy DVD sets unless there are extras. I want more from a TV series than the episodes; I want commentary and behind the scenes and making-ofs. Call me greedy, but that's how I roll.

Fortunately, Army Wives delivers the goods. There are bloopers and outtakes, deleted scenes, a very nice documentary about the stars interacting with real Army families, and two "Have At It" (named for Pamela's radio show) sessions with the cast and executive producers all about the show and the characters. The latter are like informal round-tables and they're reason alone to buy the set if you're an Army Wives fan.

Episodes
If you're watching Army Wives now, you will definitely want to get your hands on this DVD set to see all the storylines that have come before. The first season was filled with compelling stories for every one of the wives, including the lone male of the tribe, Roland.

Roxie and Trevor's love story, Michael and Claudia Joy's joint role as base commander and wife, Roland and Joan's troubled marriage, Pamela's pregnancy -- yes, she was pregnant and had a baby! -- as well as the very controversial story involving Denise and her teenage son Jeremy.

The acting is excellent throughout, starting with Kim Delaney who does her best work since NYPD Blue. The breakout star is Sally Pressman as Roxie, and Brigid Brannagh as Pamela and Catherine Bell as Denise also contribute mightily with strong storylines.

Conclusion
Price-wise, you can find Army Wives for about $35 or less on line, a bargain when you consider how much storyline you get for the money, plus the extras. Army Wives is a serial drama that actually plays well in repeat viewings, so owning rather than renting is a good investment.

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Kristi

I love the show wouldn't miss it for anything. I have the DVR set to record should I be away from home. I have watched the first season several times and I can't get enough!!! Keep the episodes coming Lifetime!!!

July 13 2008 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

There should be a give-away for it. :)

And if it got 4.5 million viewers on ABC it would have been canceled. However ABC not the brightest network, canceled Boston legal, it's number two 10 pm show with NO ads or any support. it also showed repeats of Kyle XY for a few weeks on a Friday night and they got pretty damn good ratings for a Summer Friday of a repeat and then stopped doing that. It's best this show is on Lifetime where it will live a lovely life.

July 07 2008 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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