American Gothic

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 22, 1995 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
44 votes
  • Gripping pilot.

    Thanks to an incredible pilot, this show had me from the very beginning. Take a small southern town, throw in a dose of the supernatural, add a menacing performance from the great Gary Cole, and you have a recipe for something special.

    American Gothic is more layered than the average television program and invites viewer analysis. For example, within the very first hour (the pilot), one can spot Arthurian undertones in Caleb's story.

    While some of the scares may be somewhat cheesy in light of today's more accomplished visual effects, I feel that this episode was still able to maintain a suspenseful and frightening atmosphere. Overall, a great start to the series.
  • Episode list in Shaun Cassidy's preferred viewing order (not the order on the dvds).....

    Episode list in Shaun Cassidy's preferred viewing order (not the order on the discs)

    01. Pilot
    02. A Tree Grows in Trinity
    03. Eye of the Beholder
    04. Damned If You Don't
    05. Dead to the World
    06. Potato Boy
    07. Meet the Beetles
    08. Strong Arm of the Law
    09. To Hell and Back
    10. The Beast Within
    11. Rebirth
    12. Ring of Fire
    13. Ressurector
    14. Inhumanitas
    15. Plague Sower
    16. Dr. Death Takes a Holiday
    17. Learning to Crawl
    18. Echo of Your Last Goodbye
    19. Triangle
    20. Strangler
    21. The Buck Stops Here
    22. Requiem
  • Great, creepy, twisting and turning pilot to an awesome tv series.

    The pilot episode pulls you in right from the get-go, starting out on a dark and stormy night in a rural South Carolina town called Trinity. We get introduced to most of the major characters, but it really focuses on Caleb and Sheriff Buck for the most part. Through several plot twists, we partly learn the origin of Caleb Temple and his relationship to Lucas Buck (or do we?). This was a very well-written and acted pilot, and had a wide range of emotional effects on the audience. It could at times be surprising, creepy, and tense, and yet touching poignant in others. As would be the case throughout the series, the pilot has knockout performance from Lucas Black as Caleb Temple, and Gary Cole as Sheriff Lucas Buck. The special effects and lighting were quite effective too.

    The really great thing about the pilot is that despite the fact that it gives away quite a bit about the characters of Lucas and Caleb, it only gives away just enough to keep us hooked. We know obviously the Sheriff is a bad guy with some very loose "perceptions" about guilt and conscience, and that he seems to have supernatural abilities, but we don't really know the nature of those abilities or just how evil he really is until later in the series. And some of the other characters, especially Gail, are left as more mysterious by disclosing the bare minimum about their backgrounds. We know that Lucas was the person who found Gail's parents dead, but we don't know the circumstances - did he kill them or not, or was he the sheriff or not all the way back then? We know that Lucas and Gail both know who each other are, and that Lucas seems to almost be afraid of Gail, but we have know clue how they know of each other or why he is upset when he hears she's in Trinity. When Lucas sees Gail, he appears to be shocked and angered and possibly fearful, and he obviously recognizes her, and she him. Gail even sceams "I know who you are!", but we as the audience are left wondering what this all means. This is excellent for tension and suspense, and it works very well.

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