Just in time for Halloween comes American Gothic: The Complete Series.
American Gothic was an all too short-lived series on CBS during the 1995-96 television season. Like The X-Files, which was just hitting its stride, American Gothic was a genre bender, mixing horror, drama and suspense with a dash of satire and humor.
Created by Shaun Cassidy, the show is set in the picturesque town of Trinity, South Carolina. Sheriff Lucas Buck (played by Gary Cole) is a friend to everyone in town and everyone owes him. But there’s evil just below the surface as Sheriff Buck actually controls and manipulates the entire town, often through apparently unearthly means.
Buck’s focus is on Caleb Temple (Lucas Black). Caleb’s life started out tough. His mother committed suicide in the hospital just after his birth. Now, on his 10th birthday, Caleb’s sister Merlyn (Sarah Paulson) is killed and his father, arrested for the murder, dies in the jail. Caleb is all alone — but not quite.
A previously unknown cousin, Gail Emory (Paige Turco), comes to town upon hearing of Merlyn’s death. Caleb takes a liking to the newcomer Yankee doctor (Jake Weber) who’s running the local hospital. Both Emory and the doctor have their own past demons. Fortunately, Merlyn keeps reappearing to Caleb to watch over and guide him. This trio and others are pitted against Sheriff Buck and his accomplices, such as the vixen-like local school marm (Brenda Bakke), in a battle for Caleb. It’s the quintessential story of good versus powerful evil.
There’s been a level of demand for release of this cult series on DVD for some time, including an Internet petition drive. Universal has used both Halloween and the show’s 10th anniversary as an avenue for its release, even though the series is fare for more than just the Halloween season. The three-disc set (consisting of double-sided DVDs) contains the episodes in the order of their original air dates and includes four never broadcast episodes, commentary by Cassidy, and extended and deleted scenes.