DVD Review: 'Grosse Pointe: The Complete Series'

DVDs and MoviesEntertainmentTelevision90210 (tv program)Shannen DohertyLindsay SloaneKyle Howard

"Grosse Pointe" may have been the funniest comedy The WB ever put on the air -- which, admittedly, isn't saying a whole heck of a lot. But even six years after its brief run ended, the show holds up remarkably well.

A big reason for that, even if creator Darren Star won't come right out and say it, is because we're free to read the characters any way we want to -- like, say, as stand-ins for the actors on one of Star's other shows, "Beverly Hills, 90210."

That sort of pop-culture baggage takes what's an already amusing Hollywood satire and amps up the comedy a little bit more. In the show's DVD set, out today, Star avers several times (in commentary tracks and an interview featurette) that the show is based entirely on his experience at "90210" and "Melrose Place." But if "GP" star Irene Molloy, playing a supremely teen-soap actress, reminds you of Shannen Doherty a little bit? Well, that's just fine.

What the show does take from "90210" (and "Dawson's Creek," and just about any other teen soap of the past 10 or 15 years), Star says, is the notion that these characters are thrown into the crucible of fame and wealth when they're just out of high school themselves, and the way that experience can warp their perception of the world. The cast, which also includes Bonnie Somerville, Lindsay Sloane and Kyle Howard, walks that tightrope between cockiness and crushing insecurity with aplomb.

As you might expect from a show that didn't even quite last a full season -- The WB aired only 17 episodes -- there aren't a lot of blow-out-the-budget extras on the "Grosse Pointe" set. Star and fellow executive producer Robin Schiff offer commentaries on a handful of episodes, and though they're generally informative, you also get the sense that, given the time that's passed, they're fishing for specific memories at times.

Star also discourses at length about the show in a featurette, once again explaining that no, "Grosse Pointe" is not supposed to be a one-for-one send-up of "90210." Whatever. It's funny, and that's what counts.

EXTRAS: Commentary tracks on four episodes; interview with creator Darren Star.
PRICE: $29.95

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