21 March 2015

TV DVD Review: "Touched By an Angel": The Complete First Season

Rated: TV-PG (US) / G (Canada)
Starring: Roma Downey, Della Reese, and Charles Rocket
Released: 1994 - 1995 (original TV premieres) / August 31, 2004 (DVD)
Synopsis: Monica (Roma Downey, Son of God) is an angel who has just been transferred from the search and rescue department; now, with the help of her best friend Tess (Della Reese), she will be working with people and help them work through their problems. In our fallen world, though, there is much work to be done! Whether they're helping a teenage mother (Alyson Hannigan) who is afraid to face her own parents, living among the homeless, or coming face-to-face with Satan himself (John Schneider), things are likely to get crazy...but, it's up to Monica and Tess to keep order.
As seen on CBS and PAX. Also starring Phylicia Rashad and Malcolm Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show), Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All), Jack Black (School of Rock), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Marion Ross (Happy Days), and country star Randy Travis.

The Good: Well, it's great to have this series on DVD, first off.  The episodes are mostly well-produced, and the acting is fabulous.  Though some of the hallmarks of the later seasons are not present here--for example, actor John Dye is nowhere to be seen--this is still a rather enjoyable set of episodes.  If you're familiar with this show--and you likely are--you know what to expect from it, and that's what you'll get here.  In a world where entertainment is bent on skewering people of faith any chance they get, it's great to have a show that honors the Creator of all.  It's also quite fun to see some rather well-known actors in their younger years in this set. This show is a little bit more adult than I remember--see the content concerns below for a further explanation--but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The Bad: Other than the problematic content, I did feel that the portrayal of angels was a bit irreverent.  Not only that, but, the video could have used some remastering; it was almost like I was watching it on an "EP" video tape.  The addition of the two-parter finale was unnecessary; I didn't even watch it, because I didn't want to see the ending of the series after I just watched the first season. Still, those complaints are rather minor.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Passionate kissing in a couple of scenes; extramarital affairs are discussed quite frequently; a non-graphic childbirth scene. 2/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage; women seen in everything from short shorts to off-the-shoulder dresses to even underwear (albeit briefly, and only once). 2/5
  • Language: Pretty much every episode has at least five or six profanities peppered into the dialogue; mostly d-words and h-words, but also both b-words and a misuse of God's name here and there.  Rude phrases--i.e., "shut up"--are heard occasionally as well. 2/5
  • Violence: A kid shoots himself; a car blows up with a woman inside; a woman threatens to rip another woman's arms off, etc. Though non-graphic, it can be intense at times, and a couple of scenes are bloody. 2/5
  • Drugs: An episode features a woman who is a big-time alcoholic and smoker, and drinking is seen here and there in other episodes as well. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Pretty much every episode has right much emotional intensity. 1/5
  • Other: The portrayal of angels is a bit irreverent. 4/5
Conclusion: In Prince Caspian, the Pevensie kids are told, "You might find Narnia a more savage place than you remember." That's how I felt about this series; I watched it here and there as a kid, but, I found it to be much more adult than I remembered.  To borrow another Narnian phrase: "It is not tame...but it is good." I look forward to watching the remaining seasons, of which the library I work for has plenty.

Score: 4/5

No comments:

Post a Comment