Directed by Various
Produced by Various
Written by Various
Director of Photograpy David Moxness
Music by Robert Duncan
Cast: Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves, Zach Galifianakis & Jason Priestley
2004/264 mins/Color/Dolby Digital Surround
1.78:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment DVD

OK, let's get a few things straight here. Television is a business and the television networks are in the business of making money. The amount of money generated is determined by the ratings of a show. So, if a show has low ratings, it probably won't make much money, so the network will most likely cancel it. In this scheme of things, many "good" shows, be they praised by critics or a small audience, fall by the wayside. And while every network is guilty of this practice, it seems that FOX in particular cancels many promising shows. (For an amusing look at this practice, see the first episode from Season 4 of FAMILY GUY.)

TRU CALLING was a show which FOX renewed after its inaugural season. During that first season, the show overcame a shaky start and grew into a very exciting series. The show focuses on Tru Davies (Eliza Dushku), a young woman who is able to communicate with the dead...sort of. Corpses ask Tru for help and then her day "rewinds" and she is given the chance to save that particular person from dying. As Tru works in a morgue, she is frequently called upon to help the dead. She is assisted by her boss, Davis (Zach Galifianakis) and her brother, Harrison (Shawn Reaves). As Tru was becoming more confident of her abilities in Season One, a new employee, Jack Harper (Jason Priestley), came to work at the morgue. But, Tru and Davis soon learned that Jack had a nefarious agenda which involved stopping Tru from saving lives.

Despite the fact that TRU CALLING didn't set the ratings world on fire, FOX ordered a second season of the show. However, in the midst of scheduling changes and shuffling, only six episodes of Season Two were produced and of those, only five actually aired. (The show was pulled so that POINT PLEASANT could air, and that program didn't last long.) A TRU CALLING: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON DVD was released in August, 2005 as a Best Buy exclusive, and now, the DVD is available at most retailers. And while it's nice to have these shows on DVD, six episodes do not a season make.

Season Two of TRU CALLING picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first season (whose ending I won't spoil). Tru is putting her life back together following the catastrophic events which were detailed in the finale of Season One. She continues to work at the morgue, and she's started med school. Likewise, Harrison is trying to leave his criminal ways behind him and start a legitimate career. However, Tru knows that Jack is still out there somewhere, but what she doesn't know is that Jack isn't working alone. As the season progresses, Tru finds a new love interest (Eric Christian Olsen) continues to master her powers.

Once again, it's a shame that FOX cancelled this show just when it was really getting good. The struggle between Tru and Jack is incredibly interesting, because it's not a simple good-versus-evil argument. Jack and Tru both have reasons for doing what they do and this gave the show a depth which is often missing from TV thrillers. Also, the ways in which the writers have Tru help people continued to be very creative. The final episode (which, once again, never aired), raises more questions than it answers and it actually introduces some new plot points. So, it's very clear that the staff at TRU CALLING had little idea that the show wouldn't be back.

So, this DVD is a tough call. If you watched and enjoyed Season One of TRU CALLING, then you owe it to yourself to see how it "ends". But, those who are new to the show may only be setting yourselves up for disappointment, as the series doesn't offer closure. Kudos to FOX for renewing TRU CALLING, but shame for not letting it run its course. And it definitely says something about the taste of Americans that this show was ignored, but MEDIUM (which, as far as I can tell, is a rip-off of TRU CALLING) is a hit.

TRU CALLING: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON haunts DVD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The 2-disc (?!) set contains all six episodes of the show's second season. The shows have been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image looks very good, which isn't surprising considering the fact that this is a recent show. The picture is sharp and clear, showing just the slightest hint of grain and no defects from the source material. The image is well-balanced, as the picture is never too dark or bright. The colors look good and there are no overt problems from artifacting. The DVD carries a Dolby Surround audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Despite that fact that this isn't a 5.1 track, we are still treated to a nice array of surround sound effects and quality bass from the front speakers.

The only extra feature on this DVD is a 6-minute featurette entitled "TRU CALLING: Opposing Forces". This is essentially an overview of Season Two, featuring comments from the cast. It was clearly made as Season Two was being filmed, as all of the speakers are quite optimistic about the show.





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 Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©