DVD Review: The Big Easy: season one

MPI Home Video
Release date: June 24th, 2008
SRP: $39.98
Four-disc set with 22 episodes
Stars: Tony Crane, Susan Walters, Barry Corbin, Karla Tamburrelli

This cable TV adaptation of the 1987 Dennis Quaid-Ellen Barkin film premiered on USA Network in August 1996. Produced by Sonny Grosso and Larry Jacobsen, the series combined ensemble cop drama and romantic comedy.

In the pilot episode, Anne Osborne, attorney for the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife, arrives in New Orleans, and Det. Remy McSwain is assigned to be her escort. Younger and more open to each other than their movie counterparts, TV’s Remy and Anne (Tony Crane and Susan Walters) had a flirtatious chemistry that spiced up the typical murder investigation.

The series also starred Northern Exposure’s Barry Corbin as Remy’s uncle and boss, Chief C.D. LeBlanc, and Karla Tamburrelli as Remy’s smart-mouthed partner Darlene Broussard. Shooting on location in New Orleans gave the show luscious backdrops and an offbeat pace.

Though they showed considerable heat in the pilot, Remy and Anne’s relationship deepened convincingly over the first season’s 22 episodes. I thought it had gotten to just the right place when the season ended. A second season of 13 episodes aired but, without Walters’ Anne, it became a more conventional procedural.

The Season One DVD set includes all 22 episodes in fullscreen format on 4 discs. There are no extras or scene selection, but I’m glad to be able to watch the show after 12 years. I still remember a lot of the characters’ dialogue and mannerisms. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the show is also a bittersweet postcard of New Orleans as it was.

Order The Big Easy from Amazon.

Gerald So
For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…
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