Homefront: Everett Collection
June 07, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

TV shows you’d like to see on DVD

Thanks for all the responses you sent in to my question last week about what semi-obscure TV show you’d most like to see released on DVD. One title kept popping up, so I’m going to zero in on it: Homefront, the 1991-93 TV series set in the 1940s just after World War II. A period piece, a soap opera with a large cast centering around three Ohio families, Homefront had one of the best ensemble casts of any TV show, along some of the lowest ratings for a series of such quality, and barely dismal support from its network, ABC, which seemed to grant it a second season just to shut up passionate fans and TV critics only to kill it before its time.

I can really see why Homefront continues to resonate in peoples’ memories. It had the quiet, meticulous tone of a quality drama, the details of a bygone era of Americana that hadn’t been tapped into since The Waltons, and included enough soapy sex-and-lies subplots to hook whatever number of viewers tuned in. Prominent plots included earnest vet Hank (David Newsom) coming home to his fiancee Sarah (Alexandra Wilson) unaware that she’s been making time with his brother, Jeff (Kyle Chandler). In Rosie the Riveter-era action, some of the adult women in the series had scored factory jobs during the war, and now find themselves back in the kitchen as their husbands returned to re-claim their employment — a theme of proto-feminism that Homefront dealt with with subtlety. Break-out characters also included Tammy Lauren as the firecracker-tempered Ginger. Terrific character actresses such as Mimi Kennedy and Wendy Phillips added to Homefront‘s exceptionally strong female cast. Kyle Chandler had what is arguably his best role as put-upon Jeff — Chandler would go on to star in Early Edition (another cult tv show) and more recently as the vain movie star in Peter Jackson’s King Kong. He also has another shot at TV stardom this fall, as a wise coach in the prime-time adaptation of Buzz Bissinger’s great book Friday Night Lights, but for some fans, he’ll always be Jeff from Homefront.

I’ve come across a website devoted to getting this show on DVD; it’s called, sensibly enough, http://www.homefrontondvd.com. Sign their petition today. Who knows? It might help. This show deserves the full DVD treatment.

(Got a DVD-related question for Ken? Post it here.)

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