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Melrose Place: Season 1

Heather Locklear , Andrew Shue , Bethany Rooney , Charles Braverman    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Melrose Place: Season 1 + Melrose Place: Season 2 + Melrose Place: Season 3
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Product Description

In Melrose Place, Season 1, the guilty pleasure begins with Amy Locane, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga, Doug Savant, Grant Show, Heather Locklear, Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, and Vanessa Williams. They star as cool 20-somethings who scheme, scandalize, and seduce each other in a trendy L.A. apartment building where "love thy neighbor" is often taken to new and dramatic extremes. Sizzling with special features that take you behind the scenes of all the delicious backstabbing and spine-tingling cliffhangers, this fantastic eight-disc set is a must-own for fans of creator Darren Star (Sex and the City) and its pop-culture predecessor Beverly Hills 90210. It's time to take a trip back to Melrose Place.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "nicest" season of Melrose Place Aug. 5 2006
By Visor
Format:DVD
The first season of Melrose Place sets itself apart from the rest of the series. A great example showing how much the show had changed was when Fox re-aired the very first episode a few years into the series, and they stated: "Remember when Billy and Alison were roommates, and Michael was a nice guy?"

The show was a spin-off of Beverly Hills 90210, but after the first few episodes the link to 90210 was dropped and MP became its own stand-alone series. The show started off as a situation drama following the lives of 8 twenty-something-year-olds trying to find their place in the busy and competitive world of Los Angeles. The episodes usually dealt with a set of issues that were resolved by the end of the hour. The neighbours generally got along with each other, and actually used to pool to (gasp!) have fun.

By the end of first season and onward, the show suddenly turned into a Dallas / Dynasty clone for a new generation. Neighbours were either constantly feuding or sleeping with each other, storylines expanded to multi-episode arcs, and the pool was used only to shove feuding characters into.

Ah, but we're not talking about future seasons of MP here; this is the original and very different first season.

The 8 characters introduced at the beginning of this series were generally split into 4 pairings:

* Billy & Alison - the unlikely roommates.

* Michael & Jane - the newlywed couple.

* Jake & Sandy - the rebel / hip characters with a shady history together.

* Matt & Rhonda - the gay and African American characters who bond because of their "outsider" status.

Sandy (Amy Locane) was written out of the show about halfway through this season (what a shame; she was a very attractive and likable character).
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't tell me I can't talk about Brooke now Jan. 3 2008
By JGC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Melrose Place" is pure '90s excitement! Do you remember this super-cool 90210 spin-off? I sure do. I loved this show. Although, like many fans I didn't start watching until the mid-second season. When I used to watch repeats of the first season I never really enjoyed it. Because it was so different from the rest of the series (it's sorta like the difference between the first season of "The Facts of Life" compared to the rest of that series.) There were different characters and the stories were nowhere near over-the-top. There was no trashy sex or backstabbing. Although, now when I watch the first season I have a whole new fondness for this show. It's almost like looking at baby pictures of an old friend. She may have looked like an "ugly duckling" but I know that she's gonna turn out to be a knock-out!

I like to think of the first season of "Melrose" more as 3 mini-seasons. Because the entire first season is rather diverse and unique. I suppose the producers and writers (not to mention the actors and actresses) were still trying to find their way (i. e. make the show a hit,) which made them retool it more than once during that first faithful season. Let's see... There's the Sandy Era (Amy Locane,) which is the shortest of all season one's mini-seasons. This only lasted 14 eps (technically, 12 since the pilot is actually 1 ep and Sandy wasn't on the ep prior to her last one.) Then there's The Jo Reynolds (Daphne Zuniga) Era, which picks up right after Sandy leaves for NY (actually, 1 ep later.) The Jo Reynolds Era takes us through the end of '92 and the beginning of '93 which is also the start of the third and final season 1 mini-season. Then God said, "let there be Heather" and a "special Guest Star" was born! Of course, I'm talking about Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear) who totally assisted in transforming season 1 into it's final incarnation, The Amanda Era!

The Sandy Era was when we got introduced to the entire cast (or should I say residents?) of 4616 Melrose Place. There was Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue) and Allison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith,) the building's sweet and sometimes homely roommates. Dr. Michael (Thomas Calabro) and Jane Mancini (Josie Bissett) were almost like the parents of the apartment. They were like an old married couple that everyone came to for help or advice; after all they were married for almost a whole 2 years! There was the resident hearthrob and cool loner, Jake Hanson (Grant Show.) As you may recall, Jake parlayed his tie-in role on "90210" first. In the first few eps of "Melrose" Jake could often be seen shooing away Kelly Taylor (Jenny Garth.) Then there was Matt Fielding (Doug Savant,) who really didn't have much to say or do during season one. Although this was one of the first times that an (openly) g-a-y character ever had a recurring role on an American coast-to-coast series. The only thing unbelievable about the character of Matt was his sense of style. Wouldn't you think a g-a-y man living in West Hollywood would understand the importance of fashion and dressing well a little better? (It makes me gag to think that poor Matt wore that hideous sandal-sock combo more than once.) Rhonda Blair (Vanessa Williams, not the Miss America) was the sexy, outspoken resident in this trendy building. During The Sandy Era her character was very well developed and we got to know Rhonda rather well; she was a sweet and sexy fitness instructor (teaching "cardio funk.") And, finally completing The Sandy Era was none other than Sandy Louise Harling (Amy Locane.) Sandy we hardly knew ya! Sanda is sorta like the Lana Shields of "Melrose Place" because she seemed so sexy, yet rather sexually frusterated. Sandy was an aspiring actress, who got her "big break" and left 4616 for the bright lights of the Big Apple to star on "Forever & Tomorrow." My favorite episode with Sandy is "Lonely Hearts." This is the one when she gets stalked. I always thought that Sandy and Jake would have made a great couple, and they did date, but nothing ever came of it. And, before we got a good chance to get to know her she was gone! Halfway through The Sandy Era, it also seemed that this mini-season was slightly retooled. Did you notice how the stories started to get more serious, however insignificant; Jane's pregnancy, Alison's married lover and Billy's attack.

The Jo Reynolds Era is when the series was completely retooled. Gone were the pool parties, barbecues, friendly chats in the laundry room, group parties and fun-loving get-togethers. The arrival of Jo brought a whole new concept to this soapy drama. The eps got more grittier and serious. I also enjoyed Jo because she was like a breath of fresh air. Jo was very beautiful and always managed to add a bit of common sense to the storylines. In the very beginning (for her first and maybe even second ep,) she had somewhat of a rough exterior. But that was just a facade because Jo was petrified of letting people into her life. Once I got to know Jo, I found a new resident at this complex that was just as likeable (if not more,) than all the others! During this mini-season, we learn that Jake has an estranged son. And another aspect that I noticed was that Rhonda was now being fazed out. Did you notice that Rhonda almost only exclusively had dialogue with Matt or with Terrence Haggard (John Marshall Jones,) who was her future hubby? Also during The Jo Reynolds Era we got to meet some more supporting/recurring cast members. Dr. Kimberly Shaw's (Marcia Cross) character was more developed. You may remember that she actaully spent X-Mas with the other tenants at "Melrose!" And we got to meet Jane's pesky little sister, Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton.) Although, not much was really learned about Syd during The Jo Reynolds Era, except for the fact that she was obviously a bottle redhead during season 2!

The Amanda Season was the final and very best mini-season of "Melrose's" season 1 because the storylines got so much deeper and more serious. The actors were also much more polished and they seemed more confident. As it's been said many times before, Amanda Woodward was what "Melrose" was all about! She really helped make this show! During this era, we saw a rather entertaining love-triangle develop between Billy, Alison and Amanda. Of course that was after Alison left her on-again/off-again lover, Keith Gray (William R. Moses.) (Keith is actually introduced to Alison during The Sandy Era, but the most interesting eps with him are during The Amanda Era.) Alison even quit her job and moved to Seattle to be with Keith! I loved it when Amanda said to Alison, "and when it was obvious that Billy wasn't going to run to Seattle to chase after you you came back!" During this time, the character of Lucy Cabot (Deborah Adair) was also more prominently seen. Yes, Lucy was the typical cliche of the "modern American professional lady" but she also showed a lot of compassion to Alison. During this era, Jake and Jo have an AIDS scare when one of Jake's former lovers contracts the virus. We also got to see another transformation during The Amanda Season. This was when Jane and Michael's marriage started to unravel. It was also around this time that Michael turned into the sneaky snake that he was known for in following seasons. Of course Michael carried on an illicit affair with Kimberly. And when Alison confronted him (she caught the 2 kissing at the hospital,) he arragantly said to Jane, "this is just malicious gossip." By the way, am I the only one who thought Michael was much more sexier when he was nice? I never found him attractive in following seasons because he just came off as such a dirty cheat.

Everyone always talks about Billy and how he was such a dreamboat. I tend to disagree. I was never crazy about Billy. To me, he seemed like a big kid who was still somewhat immature. My "Melrose" dreamboat was Jake. Jake was the perfect man because he was the perfect balance of sweet and tough. Remember how he cared for Matt and took him to the hospital during the "Dreams Come True" ep; I loved it when the cop assumed that Jake was Matt's lover and Jake said, "he's not my lover" because Jake would have done this for anyone.

By the way, look for Joyce Hyser in the "Responsibly Yours" ep. In this show she played Dawn Bonds, Billy's new girlfriend; a single mother who was tying to ignite her stand-up comedy career. Of course all children of the '80s remember Joyce Hyser as Terry in Just One of the Guys!

Another season 1 character who I enjoyed was Joan Campbell (Salome Jens.) Even though Mrs. Campbell (Billy's mom) was hardly seen, she always managed to make a big splash. She almost reminded of Bea Arthur a little. And Joan absolutely loved Alison. Seeing Joan on season 1 always reminds me of Billy's second marriage to Samantha Reilly (Brooke Langton.) (I never could stand Billy's second wife, I probably hated her the most out of all the "Melrose" girls.) Anywho, during the reception, Joan had a little too much to drink (after all, it's a party, right!) and the old thing starts shooting her mouth off to Samantha telling her about Alison and how much she always liked her. Then Joan brings up Billy's first wife, Brooke (played by none other than Kristen Davis whom I love!!) which caused Samantha to really pout. And Joan said to Samantha in her husky Greta Garbo voice, "don't tell me I can't talk about Brooke now."

"Melrose Place" really was the very best nighttime soap. In my humble opinion it was way better than "Dynasty" and even the granddaddy of all nighttime soaps, "Dallas" because all the stories and characters were always so captivating (even during season 1!) If you want to see how it all began, I recommend getting season 1, you won't be disappointed! ...Remember, you are what you watch!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music Replacement!!! Arrrg!!! Nov. 9 2006
By Louis J. Niebur - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Finally the best soap of all time released on dvd and the music has been replaced! So much of the power of this show was derived from its use of contemporary popular music, so this is a real shame. The show is still brilliant, but now the whole thing feels a bit low-rent. Who would want to hang out in Shooters if THIS is the garbage they play!
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Another late Aaron Spelling great :-) Aug. 13 2006
By Little Miss Cutey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I remember the hype surrounding this show when it first aired and I remember staying glued to the television each Friday night to watch. It certainly lived up to the hype and it was always the talk around the water cooler.

The show is focused around the apartment complex of a group of 8 late 20 somethings and the lives they all lead. In the pilot we meet Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne Smith) who looks for a new roomate; enter Billy (Andrew Shue). There is also Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro) the bad boy who is the building manager and a doctor. His wife Jane (Jossie Bisset) seems like a quiet demure girl - and owns her own clothing boutique. There is Matt Fielding (Doug Savant) who is gay with a best friend Rhonda (Vanessa Williams) and the gorgeous Jake Hanson (Grant Show) who we see trying to get rid of Kelly Taylor (where this spin off from 90210 begins) who he had been dating.

Through the years you see so many people come and go, and while this honestly is a trashy show, it's a trashy show in the good sense. It's adictive (you always want to know who is sleeping with who) and extremely soapy.

Here is the way the first season goes:

1 Pilot

2 Friends and Lovers

3 Lost and Found

4 For Love Of Money

5 Leap Of Faith

6 Second Chances

7 My Way

8 Lonely Hearts

9 Responsibly Yours

10 Burned

11 A Promise Broken

12 Polluted Affairs

13 Dreams Come True

14 Drawing The Line

15 House Of God

16 The Whole Truth

17 Jake vs Jake

18 A Melrose Place Christmas

19 Single White Sister

20 Peanut Butter and Jealousy

21 Picture Imperfect

22 Three's A Crowd

23 My New Partner

24 Bye Bye Billy

25 Irreconcilable Similarities

26 End Game

27 The Test

28 Pushing Boundaries

29 Pas de Trois

30 Carpe Diem

31 State Of Need

32 Suspicious Minds

Aaron Spelling always had the magic touch. It is a fantastic show that you'll love or love to hate. Either way, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and soon will again. It's great.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of something that would, eventually, be pretty awesome Nov. 6 2006
By Bud Bundy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The first season of this show was pretty shaky, they were experimenting with some things that didn't really work too well and were promptly jettisoned. It was a bit like Beverly Hills 90210 in that they occasionally tried throwing some politically correct themes into the mix. I think they finally figured out that this show was attracting a slightly older audience than 90210, and preaching to them like they were a bunch of brainless teenyboppers wasn't going to work. Thankfully this stuff was completely abandoned and the ratings skyrocketed. Once it got going, I think the series was absolutely fantastic around the middle part of its run - those battles between Amanda and Allison were memorable, with poor Billy always stuck in between. The shenanigans between Jane and Sydney were always high in entertainment value as well. And when Kimberly blew up the whole apartment building, it was the season finale to end all season finales! But it went downhill towards the end. That god-awful Southern Belle Lexi and pathetic alcoholic Kyle really grated on a person's nerves.

Of course, this stuff all happens in later seasons. The first season is certainly quite watchable and entertaining. The main appeal comes from the fact that these people are beautiful yuppies, living in a glamorous apartment complex in LA, dating all the glamorous people and doing all those glamorous things that we all want to do. It wasn't completely over the top fantasy like Dallas or Dynasty, what these people had was actually achievable by the average person. In that fashion, it's the perfect escape for all of us folks who just live normal, less-than-glamorous lives.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Nothing like Seasons 2-5 Nov. 16 2006
By Timothy C. Pierce - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
What irks me about this release is that I know that the marketing suits at the distribution company will decide whether or not to release future seasons of this classic show based on the sales of THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON....And just about every Melrose Place fan knows that "The first season is the WORST season," and is unlike the rest of the series. I think they should have released the SECOND SEASON first, and would have had much stronger sales. I LOVE MELROSE PLACE, except for this season. That being said, I purchased it anyway, for the Last 12 or so episodes of the FIRST SEASON, which include Amanda, and which are more dramatic than the original premise of the show....The show didn't really take off until Season 2, in any case.
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