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SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Scott Bairstow, Eion Bailey, Michael Weatherly, Elizabeth Mitchell
Director: Various
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 274 Minutes
Release Date: August 3, 2004

Shows **

When you have a significant other in your life, more often than not things become a bit easier. Too bad this one wasnít able to stick around for the long haul!

Henry, Nell, and Campbell (no relation) are three twenty somethings trying to find their respective places in life.   Nell canít commit to anything, Henry is just too passionate about everything, and Campbell thinks the world owes him something, but he just canít figure out what that might be!

The first three episodes of this series, deal mainly with the personality of each character.  The last three episodes flesh things out a bit more, and begins to explore potential continuous story lines.  It would have been these storylines that allowed the show to grow and develop over time. 

Significant Others was a good idea with great possibility.  Unfortunately, it was put on the air when Party Of Five went on hiatus in 1998.  Fans of the San Francisco family drama were so busy being angry at FOX for taking Party Of Five off the air that they didnít even give Significant Others a chance.  

This lack of interest led to only three out of the six completed episodes hitting the air.  This was very unfortunate because by the fourth episode this group of actors had really found their footing.  When I got down to the sixth and final episode it saddened me to realized that a great show with awesome potential never got the chance to go further. 

Aside from the fact that FOX fans were irate with the prospect of losing Party Of Five, this show did suffer in the first few episodes from bad writing.   It could also have benefited by better direction, and more attention to detail in the post, production phase.  

Before she was a butt kicking bombshell, Jennifer Garner was given leading lady status as Nell in Significant Others.  Nell would have been a wonderful character for Garner to use as a platform for her acting abilities.   I think she would have been able to show a wider range of emotion, and character development with Nell than she has by playing CIA double agent Sidney Bristow on ABCís hit drama Alias.  However, I have to admit to being a rabid Alias fan, even going so far as to hit the internet chatrooms in order to get the latest gossip. So in one respect, thank goodness this short-lived series didnít work out.  Because I canít image tuning in to ABC on Sunday nights and not seeing my favorite gal kicking somebodyís behind!

Scott Bairstow may not have found his place as a significant other.  However, he did wow the FOX casting directors enough to land a recurring role on, yes thatís right Party Of Five.  Bairstow was good looking, with a lot of deep emotions easily visible on his face.  I think his problem in the beginning of this show, was the fact that his character was so confused and lost that Bairstow didnít know what direction to go with it.

Finally we have Eion Bailey, gorgeous Eion Bailey!  If there were a list somewhere of men with dreamy eyes and sexy smiles, Bailey would definitely be high on it.  Despite the fact that this was a three, person drama, Bailey was set to be the heartthrob and centerpiece of the trio.  His character was so flawed, nothing on Melrose place could have compared even in its heyday!   However, therein lies the problemÖjust like Bairstow, I think Bailey had trouble finding a good direction to take his character.

It really is a shame that this show wasnít given a better shot at making it.  FOX could have easily found a new timeslot on a different night.  However, they chose to bow to the fanís wishes, and get rid of their Significant Others.

The fact that this series only had six episodes, and no real story resolutions might be a turn off for some people.  However, if you take the time to sit down and watch this show, it might help you identify shows in the future that have the same potential, but may be being looked over.

If you need a significant other, grab this two-disc set, and take them home tonight.  They are entertaining, and itís fun afterwards to try and figure out what might have been.

Video **

The 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen presentation of these two DVDs was nice, but not flawless.  Surprising to me was the amount of graininess visible during most of the evening sequences.  The pilot episode stood out for me especially.  There were what appeared to be color balance issues almost from the start.  Combine that with a little bit of dirt in the print and it provided a less than perfect visual experience.

Audio ***

The Dolby Digital Stereo on these two discs was quite good.  The levels were even and balanced throughout with no dips or drop-outs that could be heard.  A mix of oldies and late 90ís releases are the sounds to be found on these discs.  This combination worked extremely well with the style of filming used on this TV show.   

Features *

The only extras this two disc set had to offer was a small featurette titled, ďJennifer Garner remembers Significant Others,Ē and some previews.

Summary:

This two-disc DVD set contained great audio and video quality, but was left hanging in the features department.  After watching all six episodes, I donít agree that this show should have been taken off the air.  I think those people out there who gave it a chance will enjoy the episodes they never saw.  Those who chose to ignore the show out of anger, well you really will never know what you were missing!

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