Although GCB and Missing failed to earn a second season with ABC, both series are now on DVD with complete first season sets and are worth taking the time to watch.
GCB features a ton of laughs every episode, Scandal (which managed to get picked up for a second season with several changes made to its cast) mixes politics and romance, and Missing is an international thriller with cliffhangers that keep you hooked.
GCB: The Complete First Season – The series was developed by Robert Harling and produced by Darren Star. It was based on Kim Gatlin’s novel Good Christian Bitches and featured a great ensemble cast including the extremely talented Kristin Chenoweth, Leslie Bibb, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols and Annie Potts. Like Desperate Housewives, the women were the star of the series, but the male actors managed to get a few laughs in as well thanks to the talents of David James Elliott, Mark Deklin, Bruce Boxleitner and Tyler Jacob Moore.
Set in the rich suburbs of Dallas, Texas, the series followed Amanda Vaughn (Bibb) as she was forced to move with her kids back into her mother Gigi Stopper (Potts) house following the untimely death of her husband – who happened to be fleeing to Mexico with his girlfriend. Her husband also stole a lot of money from his many clients.
Back in Dallas, Amanda, a former “mean girl” in high school, is forced to find a way to get along with a group of women who she happened to pick on back in the day. The women include Carlene Cockburn (Chenoweth), the leader of the church choir and social leader of the group of friends; Cricket Caruth-Reilly (Shor), a rich business woman who battles with Carlene for the church spotlight; Sharon Peacham (Aspen), a bubbly housewife who is trying to find her place and is always filled with sunshine; and Heather Cruz (Nichols), the one woman of the group that tries to be true friends with Amanda.
The first season’s episodes are filled with laughs as Amanda adjusts to her new life and survive the Dallas social circle. It also sees Carlene and Cricket trying to one-up each other for the top spot of the choir, and Annie Potts stealing the laughs every time she is on screen.
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Scandal: The Complete First Season - Created by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice), the series was set in the legal and illegal political world of Washington, D.C. and followed the crisis firm of Pope & Associates – which primary focus was making sure the bad things their clients did or were accused of doing went quietly away.
Like Rhimes’ other television projects, the series featured an incredible ensemble cast and multiple storylines – which made sure the viewer had plenty to like and stay hooked on the show. The cast included Kerry Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Díaz, Jeff Perry, and Tony Goldwyn.
The series followed former White House press aide Olivia Pope (Washington) and her team as they handled a variety of crisis – from simply keeping clients out of jail to the fallout of a presidential affair. It also focused on the personal lives of the staff and Pope’s own romantic twist with President Fitzgerald Grant (Goldwyn).
Of the three series now on DVD, Scandal is the one that really deserved more time to find its audience.
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Missing: The Complete First Season - More a mini-series (or limited series event) than an actual “season one,” Missing feels like a television version of Taken with Ashley Judd handling the role of Rebecca “Becca” Winstone – a former agent with a certain set of skills that make her a nightmare for the people who have taken her son while he was overseas participating in a summer architecture program in Rome, Italy.
Along with Judd, it featured an incredible cast including Sean Bean, as her husband and fellow agent Paul Winstone; Nick Eversman, as her son Michael; Cliff Curtis, as Agent Dax Miller.
The series featured lots of twist and turns (some easy to spot), and kept you interested in the story thanks to a great use of cliffhangers and its international locations. Although ABC canceled the series, it did pick up two Emmy nominations – one for Judd and one for its music.
Unlike most cancelled “first season” collections, Missing also has a decent conclusion to its story – while leaving the plot open for a second season.
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