10 January 2013

DVD Season Set Review: "Walk on Water": The Complete First Season

Rated: Unrated
Starring: Brianne Blowers, Dustin Dailey, and Jessica Rowe

Year Released: 2009
Synopsis: These kids may have just finished high school, but, boy, does the summer before college have plenty in store for them! Jenna is planning on living with her boyfriend Lance for a while, but his gambling addiction and their personality conflicts cause serious clashes.  Tina's single father has serious problems with alcoholism, and he absolutely refuses to get help.  Lilly, a committed Christian, is trying to help her friends do the right thing, but even she is in for a shock when a guy from her past unveils a disturbing secret...

Story: 4/5
Though the whole "fresh out of high school" plot has been done numerous times before, Walk on Water makes it work well.  Lilly's character--a beleaguered Christian who is trying her hardest to steer her friends in the right direction--is actually pretty admirable, and one to whom many of us can relate.  The predicaments of each character are easy to follow, but it is disappointing that one character doesn't reach redemption or even make much change at all by season's end.

Production Values: 3/5
The video quality may not be the best, but Walk on Water is actually somewhat well-acted.  A climactic scene in the penultimate episode nearly made me jump out of my seat, and most of the actors did moderately well.  However, this is definitely not a high-budget production; the cast and crew obviously used their own cars, houses, church building, etc., as the sets.  The lack of high-end production didn't make it unwatchable, though.   Some other minor issues--a humorous parody scene in the first episode that went on too long, for example--only detracted slightly.  The most annoying things are the "coming up" scenes before commercial breaks, which should have been cut for this DVD edition and are strangely absent in the later episodes.

Moral Content: 3.5/5
Since all of the primary characters in Walk on Water are young adults, it's only natural that this drama series would feature issues that real-life rising college freshmen face: premarital sex, unplanned pregnancy, drunkenness, sudden illness, gambling addiction, drug use, and plenty more.  That may sound sinful, but that's exactly the point; those are vilified for the sins that they are.  Still, such themes, and some usage of euphemisms such as "flippin'," "crap," "that bites," not to mention a few misuses of God's name, make this inappropriate for the younger crowd.

Conclusion: I'll admit that this series took me a while to get through; I started it in October while having little to do thanks to renovations going on at our house, but was surprised at how much I liked it...only to have just finished it earlier today, a few months after beginning.  It's pretty enjoyable, despite its flaws, but it's not likely something I'll be watching again.  Fans of Christian-themed television shows will likely enjoy Walk on Water, but probably should only rent it.

Final Score: 3.5/5

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