Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spin City - Season One on DVD

Hard to believe it's been only a little over 10 years since Spin City debuted on ABC. Now Season One of Michael J. Fox's return to network TV is available on DVD. Not so coincidentally, the 4 DVD-set of the comedy about politics was released on November 4th...Election Day.

I got to experience a bit of nostalgia in re-watching what was one of my favorite shows in the 90s. I mean, how could you not love Alex P. Keaton all grown up in the form of Deputy Mayor Michael Flaherty? The great cast also included Barry Bostwick as the clueless mayor Randall Winston, Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and Richard Kind (Mad About You).

The series was nominated multiple times for the GLAAD Media Award and won in 1997. Michael Boatman's stereotype-busting (as opposed to the predictability of Will and Grace) portrayal of Carter Heywood was one of my favorite parts of the show. Indeed, Heywood's railing against the inequality in regard to the issue of gay marriage seems particularly timely 12 years later.

The DVD-set contains all 24 episodes of season one, all-new interviews with Michael J. Fox, the series creators and the ensemble cast, 7 episode commentaries and Highlights of The Paley Center for Media Seminar featuring Gary David Goldberg and Michael J. Fox in 1996. It was a painful contrast to see the likable actor at the height of his popularity in 1996 vs. a more current interview where the ravages of his struggle with Parkinson's disease is evident.

All in all, however, the trip down memory lane is a pleasant one. Before the earnest idealism of The West Wing, there was this light-hearted look at politics. Smart, witty with a super ensemble cast and the impeccable comic timing of Michael J. Fox, Spin City still stands the test of time.

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