Once and Again: Everett Collection
Lynette Rice
August 23, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

We gave it an A-

As gorgeous as the first season was, Once and Again didn’t really find its soul until the second year, when sexy divorcés Lily (Ward) and Rick (Campbell) became engaged and began the delicate task of melding their two families. Ward, as usual, is luminescent, but it’s the children — played with extraordinary maturity by Evan Rachel Wood (Jessie), Julia Whelan (Grace), and Shane West (Eli) — who best communicate the pain of divorce. EXTRAS On the lone commentary (buried on disc 2), creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz talk about the episode ”Food for Thought,” which focuses on Jessie’s eating disorder and costars Zwick as a shrink. Listening to the duo — who, regrettably, have yet to put a new drama on the air since Once was canceled in 2002 — articulate how Once and Again is a ”show about discomfiture” is fun, but too often they reiterate what we already know: how lucky they were to assemble such an amazing cast. Perhaps they’re saving up the bonus materials for the release of the third — and, sadly, final — season.

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