American Gothic (TV Series 1995–1996) Poster

(1995–1996)

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Who Knew There Were So Many AG Fans Still Out There....
bouviermom2 February 2005
My late husband worked on this wonderfully perverse series as production controller (I believe that's what the studio called it) - anyway, the guy who managed all the money on location in Wilmington, NC. Over the years, he worked on many productions we could barely stand to watch when they were completed. Not so "American Gothic". We were both thrilled with "AG" and bitterly disappointed at how CBS ran this unique series into the ground. I do hope Universal gets a clue and releases all the episodes on DVD, I'll be at the top of the list to get a copy. It's great to read all your comments, It's so heartening to me that so many people saw "AG" for the breakthrough series it was and still regret its demise.
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Intriguing and intoxicating
laura_j_morton1 May 2005
The best TV show in its genre.

With amazing performance from the young Lucas Black (Caleb Temple), and Gary Cole's best performance to date, as the sinister yet charismatic Sheriff Lucas Buck. You can not afford to miss out on this series.

One that should definitely see the light of day again, not only on DVD for everyone to enjoy but rejuvenated into the Movie that has been rumoured for the past two years.

From the stand alone episodes of "Damned If You Don't", "Meet The Beetles" and "The Strong Arm Of The Law" to the main story arc, anyone who has not seen this show has missed out on a real treat.
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one of the worst examples of network programmer incompetence
cherold28 January 2002
American Gothic was one of the best shows ever on TV. Stephen King took several stabs at TV with little success; American Gothic was the show he should have created but didn't.

CBS really seems to have deliberately killed this show. When I watched it I was confused by jumps from one episode to another, characters appeared and disappeared, motivations weren't explained. When the sci-fi channel showed the episodes I discovered the horrible truth: CBS had show the episodes out of order. They had left out episodes. They had taken a show with a series arc and chopped it into little pieces. They also, as I recall, moved the show around and showed it inconsistently. The sad thing is that the incompetent suit who did this is probably still working in TV, making tons of money and destroying other shows. This person should be working as a janitor somewhere.
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AG has left me haunted... 10 years later.
mikey011344 February 2005
Man did CBS blow it. This series was incredible and ahead of its time. I remember making a point to watch it weekly. And how disappointed I was when CBS kept tossing it around like a bastard son. The many nights when I expected it to be on, it wasn't! Sometimes it be 2-3 weeks before they'd air the next episode! Are they sadists? I'm not one of those tools who makes a point to watch shows like Friends and "Must See TV" weekly (I have a life). But American Gothic was different, it called me, and I obeyed it's call. But CBS let us all down and destroyed this wonderfully dark program.

I hope it is released on DVD very soon. Side note: The kid who played Caleb was amazing. Hardy Boy Saun Cassidy- way to go!
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10/10
Remarkably Good
carflo23 November 2003
I stumbled on this series rather by accident. After half an episode, I was hooked. American Gothic was a dark, strange series with Gary Cole as the mysterious, probably evil Sheriff Buck who is trying to gain control of his illegitimate son Caleb, played by Lucas Black. I was impressed with Gary Cole's sinister sheriff and I was even more impressed with Lucas Black. Lucas Black's Caleb was able to stand up against Sheriff Buck, one of the most frightening characters ever created for a TV series. I have rarely seen a child actor with as much presence or talent as Lucas Black. If you were not lucky enough to see Lucas in American Gothic, see him in Slingblade.

It was a remarkable show with many ambiguities and mysteries that were never explained during it's short run.
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Wonderfully Dark and Twisted
dissention16 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"American Gothic" is, and will continue to be, one of the best shows to ever grace television screens. Unfortunately, CBS chief Les Moonves hated it, aired episodes out of order, four episodes never even aired at all, and the length of time that passed between the airing of each new episode were weeks at a time. CBS constantly tinkered with the production and it was obvious. But for those of us who did watch it and stuck with it, we were treated to some of the best stories and most engaging characters in television history.

The production values were outstanding and the special effects were shockingly good for a network show.

The series centered around the inhabitants of a town called Trinity. The sheriff, Lucas Buck (Gary Cole), just may be the devil himself. The series opened with Buck murdering little Caleb Temple's sister Merlyn (by snapping her neck) and Caleb's father (by stabbing him in the throat with a pen). Caleb's mother supposedly had committed suicide when he was a baby, so he finds himself orphaned. Unfortunately for him, we come to find out that Sheriff Buck had raped Caleb's mother and Caleb is, in fact, his son. Meanwhile, Caleb's cousin Gail (Paige Turco), a journalist, sees the murders on the news and high-tails it out to Trinity to look after her little cousin...and to investigate Sheriff Buck's role in the deaths of her own parents. Caleb is taken to the local hospital where he is quickly taken under the wing of Dr. Matt Crower (Jake Weber), a Yankee who accidentally killed his wife and daughter while driving drunk. Adding even more to the pot is Caleb's sister Merlyn (Sarah Paulson), who appears as an angel to protect Caleb from the evil Buck, and Selena Coombs (Brenda Bakke), Caleb's schoolteacher who is having a torrid affair with Sheriff Buck.

This was one entertaining and intelligent show. The tone was pitch black and the atmosphere of it all was unnerving. There was tension in every scene and the writing was phenomenal. If any show epitomizes the term "cult show," it's most definitely this one. It only aired for one season and, almost ten years later, fans are still raving about it.

I've always suspected that the reason it didn't last any longer than it did is because it was so dark and twisted. "Potato Boy," an episode that never aired on CBS, was probably shelved because it would have been quite controversial in '95. In it, the local priest is seen shooting up more than once, a psychiatrist is outed for being a pedophile, religious imagery is seen heavily throughout, a woman is scorned by the church for being a whore, and there is an almost Lolita-ish subtext to what happens between Selena and Caleb. As you can probably tell, the show was an acquired taste.

I absolutely adored it for the first 16 episodes, but I really disliked the direction the show went into for the last six episodes. For some reason, CBS saw fit to fire Jake Weber and ship his character off to an insane asylum. I was infuriated, as many fans were. To me, the almost father/son relationship between Dr. Matt and Caleb was the heart of the show. Dr. Matt was the one person who stood between Buck grabbing hold of Caleb, so when they took him away, the entire dynamic of the show changed and it wasn't for the better. Jake Weber as Dr. Matt was nothing short of brilliant and his presence was GREATLY missed. It didn't help that they replaced him with John Mese as Billy Peale, a character that was poorly written and an actor who was as interesting as wet crackers. On the flip side, however, we got to see Jake Weber flex his acting muscle during his last couple of episodes and it gave him the perfect vehicle to show what a great actor he is.

"American Gothic" is a classic. It desperately needs the DVD treatment, especially now that Sam Raimi has so much clout in Hollywood these days. In the meantime, buy the bootleg DVDs off of eBay, which contain the four episodes that never aired. Enjoy the first 16 episodes, but expect to be disappointed with the last few!
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This show is screaming to be released as a DVD box set!!!!!!
zorbatar8 September 2004
Who would have thought that Shaun Cassidy, the teenie bopper of two decades ago would have a dark side to him. A dark side nothing short of pure brilliance. "American Gothic" is a show that stands alone in the world of television entertainment. Never before and never since has a show been aired on a major network with such a deep devotion to production and attention to detail on a subject never touched before. Great character development, superior acting and directing, fabulous story arcs and wonderfully filmed.

I know of several people who made it a point to stay home on the evenings this show was aired. One quit a bowling league and another sold their tickets to the Pittburgh Penguins games on the night the show aired. When was the last time you heard of a devoted following like this, especially in this day and age of VCR's and Tivo?!

CBS Cancelled this show because they said it didn't follow the format of their line up for the rest of the week. If that's the case, why was it aired in the first place? They had one of the best shows ever to grace the TV screen, and they just cast it aside as if it was another one of their flops. Shame on them for showing no respect for imagination and ingenuity.

Unfortunately, this show will never be renewed again with the original cast. Most of the actors have said they enjoyed working on the show, but are involved with too many other projects to return.

The show also suffered from the TV Guide jinx. Three weeks before the show was cancelled, Gary Cole appeared on the cover as Sheriff Lucas Buck, with a feature article about him and the show. Sports Illustrated isn't the only magazine to disrupt a season.

Instead of being bitter about not being able to see this show anymore, I'm very thankful that it was aired at all. AG was so different and so forward thinking, that the fact it was aired at all is a tribute to the producers, actors, writers and all involved. Just try and put this show on the air today. If it's not an intellectually insulting reality show, it wouldn't have a chance at all.

I don't think Universal realizes the following this show has. One of my other favorite shows, "Babylon 5", had a rather difficult time having a box set of the first season produced because of doubt in sales. The first season was so well received, the remaining four seasons and movies were all produced within a two year period! Universal should heed the call for a box set of AG. The show deserves it. Especially after the way CBS pulled the plug on it and how the Sci-Fi Channel butchered the showings of this tremendous show.

Fortunately, many fans have banded together on web pages to continue the storyline and uphold the faith in American Gothic. Just do a search on Google, and you'll find them.

Yes, this was a fabulous series, which was unfortunately cancelled by those who are more concerned about the viewers with attention spans of a newt. I'm just glad that I was there when it came around. Appreciation of great television work is so few and far between, that seeing it is like seeing a shooting star. It's so beautiful to behold for such a short time before it's gone.

Thank you shaun Cassidy, for allowing us to enter into a world of yours we never knew existed.
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Dark, beautiful and non-typical
ravnereiret25 September 2005
Hello, I first saw this series in my teens, when a Norwegian television channel had by some accident bought a television series worth watching. I must admit that I did not see all the episodes at that time, but I have since. As has already been stated by many reviewers before me, American Gothic is not available to the public in any legal way. Why is beyond me, so I have acquired a pirate-copy, but will of course buy it at once if it is ever released.

The series itself is (the way I see it) ultimately about Lucas Buck and the way he deals with problems and manipulates people into behaving or doing what he wants. And also, of course, the way he punishes those who dare cross him. The first few episodes are about an incident that shapes the rest of the series, and which involves elements from Buck's and other central characters' past. Some of the episodes are pretty much stand alone, but you can not fully appreciate the series without having seen at least the first couple of episodes, preferably all. I do not know if it was a popular series in the US, but if not, this may be the reason. Another thing about it is that it has an element of tragedy in it, a most admirable trait in these times of good vs evil. Some of that can of course be seen in this series as well, but it also goes much deeper, it asks of the viewer: what is right? can there be happiness without sorrow? is not the strength of Lucas beautiful? does most people perhaps need looking after by a superior, a leader? Is there comfort in his presence? is morale just a burden brought upon us by history and the fear of change and those able to take advantage of it? Important questions, brought up again and again...

I am a philosopher by nature, and that may be the reason why I like American Gothic. It certainly does not contain much action, it is all about the story, the message behind the moving and talking picture, its meaning, truer and darker than in most series I have seen. If you can not keep your eyes and your thoughts focused upon something for periods of 60 minutes at a time, then forget it. It might be mildly entertaining, but in the end a waste of time, go watch one of the many trendy new series; simple, superficial and action-packed, simply intended to be a waste of time.

That is all, enjoy!
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American Gothic MUST be brought out on DVD or we'll pine away!
zannatlaws26 March 2005
It is so nice to know that there are other people out there in the world who remain as passionate as I do about American Gothic ten years on.

I loved this series even though the TV network showed the episodes in the wrong order or often missed them out completely. It was wonderfully written showing a facility with language that is very rarely seen in American programmes (sorry USA but it's true!). The acting was fabulous - but then I have long been a fan of Gary Cole!

So, I have signed all the petitions to bring this series out on DVD but still nothing seems to have happened. I accidentally taped over the few episodes I had managed to copy and have bitterly regretted it ever since.

With so much interest in American Gothic continuing worldwide - surely someone must get the hint?!
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10/10
My FAVOURITE TV show of ALL TIME!! Perfect material for some kind of movie.
cyndimarblue19 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Definitely spoilers in this review! I **adore** American Gothic and have done since I first saw it late at night when it first aired on Ch4 in the UK when I was 14. The comparisons made to Stephen King are just about right. It's small town supernatural eeriness but with fantastic layered characters. Best of all, and the reason I love it so much, is it had the guts to never be black and white! Lucas Buck though lacking any conscience often works by, as he says, giving people enough rope to hang themselves with. His manipulation only works because of other people's weak morals. Caleb though generally a thoughtful, kind, insightful boy can at times show the latent dark side inherited from his father. None of the characters are wholly good or bad with even the angelic Merlyn showing a wrathful side through reckless vengeance in The Plague Sower. Not only that but having Gail, the closest thing to a mother figure for Caleb, not only sleep with but fall in love with Lucas despite all she knows made me realise this show would just go there and not apologise for it. I'm a huge Buffy fan, but when that show tried to go really 'dark' in later seasons it failed miserably because it lost it's humorous side and didn't commit fully to its ideas. AG shows that you can have a morally bankrupt character right at the heart of the show, and still have a hell of laugh doing it.

I can't even think about why it was cancelled as I'll just get too angry at the ridiculousness of it all. So much rubbish on TV and good, original shows get kicked around and stamped on. Thanks to the emergence of DVD at least I can see the show in it's entirety! Yes some of the visuals look dated now, but the creepy strange atmosphere is provided well enough by the story lines. The actors also all give such perfect performances that it more than makes up for some odd camera work.

The only reason why I think someone may not like this show is that it isn't like the X-files where there are cases to 'solve' or Lost where there's huge unanswered questions. It's pretty obvious from the get go that Lucas Buck has some kind of evil powers, and that the show is all about fighting for Caleb's soul. So this show might frustrate people looking for a purpose or an unknown 'truth' to find. Yes there are some mysterious unanswered aspects, with some such as the truth about Gails parents getting resolved, but unlike Lost and X-files this show isn't about trying to find out more 'facts' about what's going on IMO. It's all about the characters and the way they have to confront moral choices in the twisted world of Trinity. Personally I would just get such a kick out of seeing Lucas turn every situation to his advantage.

All in all the main thing I have to say is CHECK IT OUT. I'm pretty certain most fantasy/horror fans will LOVE it. Also even though it got cancelled all characters have arcs and there is enough in the finale to give some small sense of closure. The only hanging thread I felt was Dr Matt. Having him not be in the final episodes is strange.

I would have done anything for a second season, but at least the full 22 episodes exist and perhaps given how brainless some TV execs appear to be I should be glad this wonderful show got made at all!!!
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This is one of the best shows I have ever seen ...
gumbos27 April 2004
I was 8 years old when this was made ... could have been shown later as I live in the UK but never the less I was about 8 or 9. I remember watching the first ever episode ... a family birthday party I think it was and then the chant, "Someone's at the door" ... As soon as (I think her name was) Merlyn said those lines I knew this was going to be one hell of a show. I thought this was the best TV show I had ever seen (I was only 8 at the time) and still do to this day. This was brilliant. the acting was superb and the story line was, at times, disturbing, beautiful, engrossing etc etc. American gothic is fantastic. I remembered about it a couple of days ago and thought I should come on here and pay my respects to it. I dont ever remember watching the last episodes... Maybe it was cancelled here too. I've been looking for it on DVD but can't find it. Has it been released on DVD yet? If it hasn't then it should be 'cause it would make a lot of money!
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Too good to survive
Paul-2226 June 1999
I first came across this series on the Sci-Fi channel last spring. I was in awe of the superb story line and excellent acting. Little did I know that this wonderful series was on network television and was canceled after one season. I thought Gary Cole's acting was incredible.

What a tragedy.
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This is pure cult
legend31619 June 2001
There is no justice in the world. I saw American Gothic years ago and was very impressed with it. I was so impressed with it that I taped all the episodes. I was very disappointed when I heard that this series was cancelled after one season. How come so many people missed this great series ? Or were they appalled by some characters in the series ? I really don't know. As happens lots of times crap keeps existing (f.e. Buffy) but really great legendary stuff like American Gothic gets axed after one season.It's just not fair.

American Gothic is about a small town called Trinity in which sheriff Lucas Buck upholds (or breaks) the law in his own special kind of way. Nothing special you would think. But......... Lucas Buck isn't human. What he is we really don't know but he sure looks like the Devil incarnate and he has some special powers to boot. You are either with him or against him, but it's better to be with him. He is probably the best bad guy I have ever seen in any kind of tv series. The series has this mysterious eerie kind of feeling and that's also an factor that makes this series so great.

If you have never seen this series and it is rerun on some channel grab your chance. I don't think you will regret it.

As for the moneygrabbing dvd producers: RELEASE THIS SERIES AS A COMPLETE SEASON SET. IT DESERVES A DVD RELEASE. Because I know for sure there is a core fan following out there that would pick up an American Gothic dvd release just like that. So what are you producers waiting for ?
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American Gothic will be out on DVD
dvdsnoop14 September 2005
For fans that have waited so long and signed all the petitions to bring this series out on DVD your voices have finally been heard.

The Complete Series of American Gothic will be available in Oct. of 2005 at all major DVD stores like Amazon.com in the U.S.A. and VideoCanada.ca in Canada.

I can't comment on the international market but with a continued interest in American Gothic worldwide I'm sure the DVD release will be widespread.

So if you're a fan I would suggest buying it asap because if it doesn't sell well it may not be available long term.
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Fantastic trashy wonder now repeated in the UK
lisarull23 May 2003
Hilarious to see the praise heaped on this programme here - and of course all of it long after the original air-date. In the UK C4 picked it up and I became hooked on its spooky qualities (remember we didnt have Buffy back then - thats the GOOD Buffy series before it all went a bit pear-shaped). Now Sky are re-showing it on Thursdays (after Buffy and Angel) and its a delight to remind myself why I liked it. After years as "Midnight Caller" (which people either loved or loathed for its goodie-morality) Cole's performance as the maleavolant Buck is fantastic. Is anyone else still haunted by the episode with the mirror and disfigured face? That STILL spooks me when I recall it! Good to have it back and can I add my support for a DVD/video release to include the UK? We liked it here too you know!
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American Gothic ...where did you go??
lauragore19 September 2005
You think by now TV producers would listen to their audiences, if they had done, they would have given us series 2 of this amazing, over powering creation. Yes I may sound a tad crazy but i just love this series and as us in the UK didn't get it to much later i feel saddened it wasn't given a chance....but yet it still has a cult following as it deserves! Does anyone out there in the void know why it was cancelled exactly i would dearly love to know?? :-( but i guess the chemistry of all the amazing actors Gary Cole, Paige Turco etc could never be recreated.. well all i can say is 'rest in pease'American Gothic you shall never be forgotten!
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Great show
alicenwndrln18 June 2005
I was truly saddened when they canceled this TV show, as I am when any great show I get attached to gets canceled. This show was so different, so refreshing....I think it might have just been before it's time. Gary Cole is such a brilliant actor....you love him as the "Aw Shucks" Mr. Brady in the "Brady Bunch Movie," but he scared the poop out of you in this TV show, playing the Devil. I have never forgotten Merlyn's catchphrase, "Someone's at the door!" I worked with Sarah Paulson on "Other Sister," & I just kept thinking, "That's Merlyn!" :-) I would definitely buy the series on DVD....in fact, I found it, & plan to! If you haven't seen it, pick up a copy & enjoy!
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I thought I was alone!
ian-hall9 January 2004
I can't believe, after such a long time, people are still so moved by this series. I thought I was the only one. I can remember watching the first episode and thinking how brilliant it was, then to be surprised that it was on every week for 22 episodes. I was completely hooked like never before. I have to applaud all involved in the series for such a polished product. I can see why some might have thought it was bad because it explored all sorts of emotion within the viewer. You couldn't help being for Buck one minute, then against him the next, back and forth with your loyalty. It really played with your good and dark sides for the whole duration. It must be the only series i have ever allowed myself to be so fully engrossed. So much going on at so many different levels. Gary Cole has to be the best bad (no! Satanic) man ever. I hated the way he tortured Ben one moment. Then loved the way he led you to believe he was helping him and trying to develop him into a better man the next.

Miss Coombs was perfect as the sexy, masochistic, sadistic temptress, and a school teacher too. Brilliant!!!! Caleb was excellent as the innocent prodigy. You could actually see him learning all the time. He could clearly progress to Lukas's ways and worse, but he was fighting against his own darkness.

People prepared to trade their soul for their own version of wealth, only to fall flat, and even when they did, you were left questioning your own standards because you didn't know whether to sympathise with them or Lukas. So much scope for endless stories.

SO WHY THE HELL WAS IT STOPPED. I would love this series to be resurrected. This is the first time ever, that I have been moved enough about any art to write about it. Shaun Cassidy and Sam Raimi are ingenious, brilliant, multi-tallented. My criticism is - NOT ENOUGH!!!! You guys should launch this stuff on DVD and Video to just test the water. If that is all it is. I think you would be surprised! you have created a monster (Thats Buck............. with a B)
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Vote For DVD release!
dot-149 February 2005
A petition has been in progress for years to release American Gothic (1995) on DVD. There was also a merge that slowed the process down. You have the opportunity, here, to keep the hope going that this great series will be available for other to see why we were so taken by it's mystery, and to actually own your own copy. Go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005JNLK/102-1456661-5911344 to enter your email on a petition to release American Gothic on DVD! The more votes entered, the sooner we will get this on DVD! We loved this series, and would like to see the episodes we missed. Also send an email to the Sci-Fi channel at: 'program@www.scifi.com' to request that they air this wonderful series again soon. Thanks for your help
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9/10
There's someone at the door
aschachte13 April 2006
They had me from the first show.

Welcome to Trinity County. A sleepy little Mayberry-like place with one slight difference. The sheriff is really Satan. There's the spoiler. Not like you wouldn't figure it out in 10 minutes anyway.

Oh, but that's not all. It turns out that Satan has a son named Caleb. Some people are trying to keep him good, but it's an uphill battle. Sheriff Buck (Satan) knows who Caleb is and likes to spend time with him teaching him the ways of darkness. Subtle. Sneaky. He doesn't always come off as evil. Most of the time he's a hero. Everyone owes him a big favor, because he often sets up a calamity and saves them from it. So every time you think someone will finally take him down, one of his friends comes out of nowhere to sabotage it.

In one of my favorite episodes, Lucas and Caleb were out in the woods in a cabin and some guys with guns decided to rob them. Lucas used it as an excuse to teach Caleb a lesson about evil.

The robber (Ted) was hesitant to shoot them. Lucas told Caleb that Ted had half a conscience. If he had no conscience, he would have shot them by now. If he had a real conscience, he never would have become a criminal. So he started calling him Half-Ted. It was pretty funny. He was taunting the criminals. And of course he stayed 10 steps ahead of Half-Ted at all times. And of course he was in complete control at all times. They actually had you favoring Satan.

Very very excellent show. it was one of my favorite horror shows of all time. Twilight Zone Night Stalker Circle of Fear American Gothic Supernatural

That's good company.
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10/10
Departed before it's time!
kahfess5 January 2006
I loved this show when it aired on television and was crushed when I found out that someone somewhere decided that it wasn't worthy of being continued! For years I hung onto my copies of this show, ones that I had taped or had someone tape for me. That is until now. The powers that be finally decided to release this beautiful series on DVD and I finally was able to get my eager little hands on the complete set. Which, brings me to this part; the part about that this show is all about.

American Gothic is about good verses evil, basically a struggle between Lucas Buck (that is Buck, with a B). He is an evil sheriff of a South Carolina small town that runs things the way he wants things to be ran and stops at nothing to get his way.

I felt the show was wonderfully written and directed and had lots of life left yet to be lived. I really hated when it was canceled, but that is the way it seems to go for me when I finally find something worth watching on television.

Gary Cole did a great job as the role of Sheriff Lucas Buck, he has just the right amount of charm verses evil to pull it off. The other actors did a super job as well, so I guess you could say, even the casting was a hit with me.
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Dark and intelligent (possible spoilers)
beowuuf27 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This was a good series. While on the surface it was a Gothic horror series set in the small town of Trinity, the most compelling thing about it was the character arcs.

The central protagonist was Lucas Buck, the sheriff, and he was undeniably evil and also more than slightly supernatural. But funnily, he was the moral centre of the story - albeit perhaps the wrong set of morals. He was the only one who never had to compromise or examine his principles. Meanwhile, those on his side, his deputy Ben and the school teacher Ms. Coombs, both had their arcs. Ben was deep down a good man without the strength of character to ever fully stand up to the sheriff. Ms. Coombs, while twisted, had her vulnerable sides that were explored later in the series.

As the main arc of the series was Buck's attempts to be accepted by Caleb, a boy he claims is his son, then opposed to him were Dr. Matt, who was a good man with a darker past, Gail Emory, Caleb's cousin and Merlyn, Caleb's dead sister. Each is tested and twisted by Buck as the show progresses.

In the middle was Caleb played superbly by Lucas Black. Buck's illegitimate son, his was the central arc as he rebelled against the sheriff then slowly began to explore his darker side and Buck's ways of thinking. Especially when those around him were distanced from him by their own inner conflicts.

Some of the best moments to show this conflict were when Merlyn decided to go after Buck more directly, using supernatural force. She infects those who were touched by him with a plague, and highlights how everyone was in some way corrupted when they all began to get sick. Another was on thinking he was dead, the town turn out for Buck's funeral. Half of them that he has helped are genuinely saddened by his loss. The other half, who have since had their favours called in, or who opposed him, instead spit on his grave.

While the shows themselves varied in quality, the overall arcs and characters and simple story of the contest between good and evil make it a must see. Gary Cole, who yes, I remember as the goodie-goodie from Midnight caller, is fantastically evil in it. There was a lot of morality in the stories, but it was nice to see that it wasn't always clear the right choice, or if there was a right choice, that you sympathized with a character who couldn't make it. And sometimes, even if a character did, it didn't necessarily turn out well for them! There was also some brighter themes on family, and some good chills along the way.

Definitely one you want to follow for the whole series, rather than dip into single episodes alone.
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Best mini series ever........every actor or actress in this series shows that you don,t have to be part of the Hollywood crowd to know how to act.......excellent..........wish it was still on...........Taebo
taeboman115 July 2003
I would like to say that "American Gothic" was the best mini series ever created! The entire cast from sheriff "Lucas Buck" on down played their parts so well. I truly loved watching this show! I was shocked when after a year of running it all of a sudden went away. I can just hope it will be sold to syndication because I looked forward to watching this show every week. Gary Cole is truly top notch when it comes to acting and I don't think he is part of the quote "hollywood crowd" either. This what I call a mini series was so captivating and erie at the same time. The continuing saga with Lucas Buck and his seemingly evil powers over all the towns people was phenominal. The kid who played his son "Caleb" was also excellent in this series. I hope he is getting his due as a serious actor because he was great! Well I could go on and on about this show but anyone who has seen it knows what I am saying is true. Simply The Best!!
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I Loved this series! Creative and wickedly witty!!
topnga121 June 2001
During the entire time that American Gothic was shown on one of the cable networks, I wouldn't leave the house on the evenings the show was scheduled. I think the characters are some of the best ever created. This was (is) a remarkable show! Gary Cole played Sheriff Buck with amazing finesse and style. I laughed out loud at Gary's very wicked, sexy characterization of the role. Why can't we have more of this show! Lucas Black as Sheriff Buck's son is a gifted young actor who really delivers. Sheriff Buck's women are perfectly cast! Sam Raimi and Shawn Cassidy have a winner and someone needs to pick up this show again to give the fans more episodes.

Gary Cole, you're the best example of why good women go bad!! A loyal fan,
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My favorite show ever
vmartin18 January 2001
I adore this show. There have been no new episodes for nearly five years, and I'm still mourning its loss. One thing I loved about the show was its complex view of morality. None of the characters were exclusively "good" or exclusively "evil." (I don't recall Dr. Billy Peale having a fall from grace, but he wasn't on the show for very long. He probably would have fallen, given more time). And while Lucas Buck seemed essentially evil, there were times when we could sympathize with him and even root for him. Another thing I loved about the show was that it favored psychological maneuvers over physical violence. I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I know that every episode will have at least one knock-down drag-out fight. American Gothic used verbal confrontations and mind games, which I find much more intriguing. Lucas played some brilliant mind games.

The show's ideas were often strikingly original. "American Gothic" often made my jaw drop because of its audacity and its willingness to ask tough questions without opting for easy answers. And the acting was phenomenal. I had never heard of Gary Cole before this show, but now I'm a big fan of his. He was very entertaining--and always convincing--as Lucas Buck. It makes me sad that he didn't get to spend more time in the role. The other actors are equally notable, but I'm going to run out of space if I praise each one individually.

CBS screwed this show over royally. They skipped episodes and eventually showed them out of order. They also apparently decided that we weren't entitled to know certain major plot developments (most notably Gail's discovery about her parents in "Ring of Fire"). Then Sci-Fi aired every episode in 1998, but they edited words and content that CBS didn't have a problem with. I would be forever grateful if someone, somewhere could air the entire series uncut and in order.

I often wonder where the show would have gone if it had lasted more than a season--what else we would have learned about the Temple family and about Lucas Buck. And that's all I can do--wonder what might have been. Well, that and rewatch my AG tapes, which I'm in the process of doing. I've watched them a lot.
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