Blu-ray, DVD Review: First Seasons of ABC Hits ‘Revenge,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’

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CHICAGO – Why on Earth is ABC/Disney releasing “Revenge” on DVD-only but “Once Upon a Time” on Blu-ray and DVD? It doesn’t make any sense. Both shows were surprisingly robust hits this year for ABC and are clearly building buzz as they head into their sophomore outings in a few weeks. Wouldn’t fans of “Revenge” deserve to be treated as well as “Once Upon a Time”?

I will say that I think “OUAT” is the superior show. “Revenge” is a decent soap opera but I find the characters uninteresting and rarely believable. Madeline Stowe steals every scene she’s in as the most memorable character on the show but most of the young cast bores me. It could improve in its second season but I can’t heartily recommend the first.

On the other hand, “Once Upon a Time” starts a bit problematically but settles in to a nice, clever groove in episode three. The show’s greatest strength is in its incredibly charismatic cast including the great Ginnifer Goodwin, the beautiful Jennifer Morrison, and the perfectly malevolent Robert Carlyle. It may not be the smartest show on TV but it is a fun alternative to a lot of the cliched programming on the networks. And ABC/Disney delivers for fans of the program with great HD transfers, audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and more. It’s a fantastic set.

To be fair, the standard transfers of “Revenge” look pretty good for DVD, especially when upconverted and the set comes with a strong collection of special features. I’ll just never understand why it’s not available on Blu-ray.

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012
Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012
Photo credit: Disney/ABC

“Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season” Blu-ray rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Relive the complete first season of ABC’s Once Upon A Time, the hit series that boasts unforgettable characters and a tangled web of romance, action and enchantment. Immerse yourself in the magic and mystery of Storybrooke - a sleep little town where every fairytale character you’ve ever known is frozen in time and trapped between two worlds, victims of an evil curse.

On her 28th birthday, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) meets Henry (Jared Gilmore), the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago. Henry believes Emma is the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), prophesied to break a powerful curse. Unconvinced, Emma returns Henry to Storybrooke, where she encounters the enigmatic Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) and clashes with mayor Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla) - the boy’s adoptive mother - who Henry insists is none other than the Evil Queen!

Start your epic collection with all 22 captivating episodes, including never-before-seen bonus features, in this spectacular 5-disc boxed set.

StarClick here to buy “Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season”
    Special Features:
  • Fairy Tales In The Modern World: Filmmakers And Cast Discuss Their Early Love Of Fairy Tales And How It Inspires Their Work on The Show
  • Building Character: Follow The Character Of Belle From Initial Concept Through Casting Of Emilie De Ravin and Costumes, To Filming
  • Welcome To Storybrooke: Meet The Residents and Watch The Small Port Town of Steveston, British Columbia, Transform Into An East Coast Village Trapped In Time
  • The Story I Remember… Snow White: The Cast’s Childhood Memories Are Interwoven In This Retelling Of The Beloved Tale
  • Fairest Bloopers Of Them All
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Once Upon A Time: Origins - Travel Back Through The Centuries With Josh Dallas to Uncover The Rich Historical Origins Of Classic Fairy Tales

Revenge: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on August 21, 2012
Revenge: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on August 21, 2012
Photo credit: Disney/ABC

“Revenge: The Complete First Season” DVD rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Beneath the luxurious lifestyle of the Hamptons lie a dark, dirty secret and a twisted tale of passion, suspense and ultimate redemption. Enter the alluring world of the rich and ruthless with ABC’s Revenge: The Complete First Season.

Wealth, beauty and power define the residents of New York’s most exclusive community, but one woman will stop at nothing to exact revenge from those who ruined her father’s life. Witness Emily Thorne’s (Emily VanCamp) brilliantly vindictive plot against Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), the reigning queen of the Hamptons, and all who destroyed her family. However, even the best-laid plans can unravel in the wake of an unexpected love triangle between Emily, the son of her greatest nemesis and a forgotten face from her past.

Experience all 22 episodes of ABC’s sensational new series, plus exclusive bonus features that draw you deeper into the mystery. It’s riveting entertainment that holds you in its grasp from the very first thrilling episode to the season’s final climactic moment!

StarClick here to buy “Revenge: The Complete First Season”
    Special Features:
  • Nolan Ross Exposed
  • Roadmap to Revenge
  • At Home in “The Hamptons” - Take a V.I.P. Tour of “the Hamptons” with Ashley Madekwe
  • Haute Hamptons: Femme Fatale Fashion
  • Bloopers
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music Videos - “Distance” Christina Perry and “For You” Angus & Julie Stone
  • Pilot Commentary With Creator Mike Kelley and Actor Emily VanCamp

“Revenge: The Complete First Season” was released on August 21, 2012. “Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season” was released on August 28, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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