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The Pretender: The Complete First Season

Michael T. Weiss , Andrea Parker , Anson Williams , Charles Siebert    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) is a Pretender. As a five-year-old in 1963, he was taken from his home and "adopted" by The Centre, a mysterious Delaware-based think tank. Why Jarod? His superior intellect--Jarod can "pretend" to be anything he wants: doctor, lawyer, engineer, astronaut and, as he quips in episode five ("The Paper Clock"), "I'm working on Indian chief."

Thirty years later, once he realized his efforts were not being used for good, Jarod escaped from the Centre. Psychiatrist and surrogate father Sydney (Carnivàle's velvet-voiced Patrick Bauchau) and sociopathic sidekick and Emma Peel lookalike Miss Parker (ER's Andrea Parker) have been trying to track him down ever since. They’re assisted by the technically proficient, if socially inept Broots (Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Gries). Each and every time, Jarod eludes their grasp, but not before helping some stranger who's been dealt an injustice (just as he once was). Along the way, he hopes to figure out who he is and where he came from.

Each of these 21 episodes moves deftly from Jarod's lonely past to his more satisfying, if precarious present (the human "science project" was constantly videotaped as a boy, hence the abundance of footage from his childhood). It's a worthy successor to paranoid thrillers like The Fugitive and the unjustly obscure Nowhere Man (from X-Files creator Chris Carter), and the droll performance of Weiss (Jeffrey) adds a dose of levity to a concept usually painted with a darker palette. The Pretender ran on NBC for four seasons and was followed by two TV movies, The Pretender 2001 and Isle of the Haunted. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Jarod, a boy genius with a special gift for pretending, was kidnapped and held prisoner by a corporation that used him as a human simulator in their clandestine research. Escaping from The Centre more than 30 years later, Jarod now searches for clues to his true identity and family. He also uses his ability to quickly become an expert at anything to right wrongs and exact revenge on the wicked. All the while, Centre operatives led by Miss Parker work relentlessly to capture Jarod, and return him to the Centre.

The Pretender aired for four seasons on NBC from 1996 - 2000. It was followed by two made for TV movies in 2001.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality May 23 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love the Pretender Series, and I was finally able to find Season One on DVD! The discs are good quality, and I'm re-watching the show again.

For those who are not familiar with the series, Jarod is a Pretender: a genius who can literally become anyone he wants to be. He has the ability to feel the emotions and understand the motivations of others, and the genius intellect and skills to create a new identity as a doctor, a lawyer, an FBI agent, a detective, a pool player, a thief, whatever he needs to be in order to right wrongs and bring some bad guys to justice! Yes, he does sound almost like a super hero. It's not as corny as I make it sound. There's plenty of amazing backstory, plot twists and intrigue, witty dialogue, action, and well-rounded, interesting characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Series April 28 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I never had to time to watch Pretender, and I was pleased to find it. Nice to see a genius at work helping people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't even pretend you don't like it May 20 2005
All accounts indicate this release of "The Pretender" on DVD is the best yet. The French fans got Season 1 with no special features...this edition has multiple commentaries and featurettes!! Not that you would need any bonus features to fully appreciate what great value you are getting with this package because all by itself it is good enough! Actors Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker, Jon Gries and Patrick Bachau shine in Season 1 of The Pretender. Michael T. Weiss as Jarod is the perfect genius who is on the run, but still manages to find time to help others. Michael's dramatic range is on full display as he slips into a new role for each episode. He's definitely "The Pretender." Andrea Parker (Less than Perfect/ABC) as Miss Parker is perfect as the head of the team who leads the chase for the genius, Jarod. She is explosive, unapologetic, beautiful and dangerous. And yet, you don't know the half of her! You will fall in love with Andrea's smouldering portrayal of Miss Parker. Patrick Bachau as Sydney and Jon Gries as Broots add the perfect elements to balance the tension and drama that surrounds the chase for Jarod, even as the secrets to the Centre's past unfolds in every episode. The Pretender is one of the best series to ever premiere on NBC. If you have never seen it, now is your chance to own it and you will never regret it as you get drawn into the fascinating plot lines and learn more about the characters as the season unfolds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of My Favorite TV Shows Of All Time March 26 2005
This show revolves around Jarod, a genius that was kidnapped by an organization known as "The Centre" when he was a child. This organization exploited his genius for their own purposes and financial gains. Later, as an adult, Jarod escapes from "The Centre" and sets out on a mission to help others, through his ability impersonate different jobs and occupations. He also searches to find the family that he was taken from as a child. Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots lead "The Centre's" search for Jarod, hoping to eventually recapture him and return him to "The Centre".
This is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I am excited that they have finally begun releasing this series on DVD and I can't wait for the next seasons to be released. Excellent show. Interesting, captivating plot and well acted.
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