American Gothic

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CBS (ended 1996)

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American Gothic Fan Reviews (26)

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8.7
out of 10
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428 votes
  • Really Miss This

    10
    I loved loved loved this programme. I sometimes manage to catch re-runs but loved the storyline and the actors suited their parts perfectly.
  • Perfect series of Mysery

    8.5
    Perfect series ,better from many, many, other more modern, pity that stop so early
  • the classic tale of good vs evil. set in the small southern town of trinity. the forces of good is represented by young caleb temple. evil sheriff lucas buck runs the town w/an iron fist, dealing for souls evey chance he gets.

    9.0
    this show ended way too early, it was definately ahead of it's time. predecessor to shows like buffy the vampire slayer, angel and supernatural. the classic tale of good vs evil, god vs the devil, etc. in the case of american gothic, the battle between god and the devil is more literal. sheriff lucas black rules the small town of trinity s carolina with an iron fist. most of the residents have sold their souls to the sheriff years ago. they are at his beck and call, sheriff buck gets what he wants when he wants. he sets his sights on young caleb temple, who we find out is the sheriff's son. caleb knows lucas is evil and wants nothing to do with him. the sheriff destroyed his family, he killed his mother and sister. trinity's doctor and caleb's cousin try to protect caleb, but they eventually get sucked in by lucas. terrific acting by all. gary cole as usual brings a great character to life, his sheriff buck is truly evil and despicable. lucas black steals the show however. he plays caleb temple, the young boy caught smack dab in the middle of the battle between good and evil. lucas' perfomance is well beyond his age, absolutely brilliant. and it's not just the dailog, his expressiveness really seals the deal. the show is worth watching just to experiance the genius of lucas black's perfomance.
  • I truly believe this show was ahead of its time. It was much better than Twin Peaks in my opinion.

    10
    It was just too good for TV when it came on, lol. It was way underappreciated and it is still underrated. The acting was good, the episodes were fun, plenty of black humor, great lines (which I still use from time to time) etc.

    I like the whole feel of the show. How it is filmed, the music, the characters. It was quite sentimental with the angel, but even that was cool. The cast fitted so well, especially the guy who plays the sheriff. He is one of my favorite bad-guys ever. It is still one of my favorite shows today. I wish it had lasted longer. It went by the name "Sheriffen av Trinity" here.
  • I came into this show late...

    9.5
    Here's the thing. I'm used to shows being taken off the air now. Television has got to that stage where if a show doesn't 'rate' in the first few episodes it is considered a failure. 'American Gothic' is the second show I have come on to late, after it had been cut (the other was Firefly), so I knew going in that there was only a limited amount of episodes. This is probably a good thing, cause if I had been watching it when it was on telly I would have probably had a really hard time getting over the fact that it was cancelled. The thing is, like Firefly, I got halfway through the season and just knew that I was going to be annoyed, cause there was absolutely no way that they were going to be able to wrap everything up without leaving me with that feeling that I was missing out on something.

    The story line of American Gothic seems like the kind of show that was more popular when Buffy and Angel had their run (Unless I am wrong and they came out around the same time). The sort of complicated, character driven, supernatural based shows which gained a storng cult following, but (Buffy aside) were never really allowed to hit their stride. I don't know if people are going to be annoyed with me comparing these shows, but they definitely had a certain something that is missing in today's television shows who only seem to involve medicine or crime. Maybe Supernatural will have better luck, but I honestly believe that American Gothic was just as brilliant if not better than these other similar genere shows.

    Okay, now I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. Basically, I thought this show was excellent. I loved the relationship between Selene and Lucas (seriously twisted). But my favourite thing was the incredible quality of acting from the main cast. I was absolutely amazed at how brilliant it was. Which is why, if I was given the choice, I don't think I would want them to bring it back. If the actors were different (and obviously they would have to be) I honestly think a lot of the character of the show would be lost. So while I don't know if it should be brought back, I know for sure that it should never have been taken off the air.
  • the local sheriff lukus buck has an evil dark side that should not be messed with.

    10
    when i first saw american gothic i could'nt wait untill the next episode each week. i found the town sheriff lukus buck evil but i also found him very charming. i found that i was always rooting for him. and calab his son who with the most interasting accent tried very hard not to have anything to do with his father. it seem the only person lukus was scared of was calab sister. if you crossed lukus look out because he would make you pay for it. i loved the series and i just found them on dvd. its great to watch them again.
  • I hated the way they just took it off the air without even trying to keep it running. They don't mind pushing a lot of other junk shows. This was one of the best shows. Sorry it was taken off.

    9.7
    I loved everything about this show. Best thriller I have watched on TV. Nothing then or now can even compare. This show kept you on the edge of your seat. I loved the southern accents as they added to the show. It is to bad so many years have gone by as you can't restart the show now. I would like to know why it was dumped after one season. Was it ahead of its time? So many unanswered questions. Maybe you can make a movie. Mind you how could you replace Lucas or Calab as they were the best.
  • Best thing on the box when it came out, but after watching the DVD I realised how dated it became. Not that it hugely dents a wildly original, gothic fairytale in any way.

    8.5
    American Gothic will always be remembered as an underrated show that wears its one and only season like a badge of honour. Taking its cues from Twin Peaks and Stephen King, but not the point of wearing it on their influence on its sleeve, American Gothic was the first true horror show I can remember watching. Sure, Twin Peaks was scary, but Lynch and Frost were always self-aware of their show's quirks and played on them. American Gothic chose to play it straight down the line. Nothing funny, nothing quirky. Just a good horror yarn to keep you up at night.

    It's probably famous for being the best thing Gary Cole ever put his name too (other than Office Space). His take on Sherriff Lucas Buck made him an unstoppable, menacing figure that never once resorted to being a standard wild-eyed loon. Even when Buck lost out to his nemesis, Dr. Matt Crower, he'd still find a way of getting a victory no matter how small. There was a genuine sense that this man could never be beaten. He owned that town with a Southern boy charm. He didn't need to take resistence down by force, he did it through Faustian deals and trust. Of course, there were supernatural elements, but the show strived to play these elements down. Provoking the viewer to decide if it was more to do with his mind games than black magic. One of the finest TV characters ever created in my opinion.

    As for Dr. Crower, he was a perfect opposite. He was weak, paid dearly for his personal problems and helped give that show a protagonist you hoped see banish his demons to become an viable threat to Buck. He's one of the few TV protagonists/heroes I can think of that looked like he really wouldn't be able to win, despite his small victories over his near-perfect opposite. Sadly, the inevitable axing of Crower happened because some execs thought he was too weak and he was replaced with the stronger, yet ultimately dull, Dr. Peele. Part of the story was about Crower's struggle to be a better man and this loss didn't help the show win over any new fans.

    For me, Lucas Black stole the show. For a kid that young, he really showed maturity beyond his years for the role of Caleb Temple. He actually really moved you as he expressed his feelings on death and solitude through simple innocent attitudes, untainted by adulthood. I don't think any child actor could have fitted the tomboy role better than him, ever.

    From the first episode there was a definate sense that the show's aim was to portray some macarbe take on a Southern fairytale. A boy on journey constantly hounded by his evil adult shadow, with no-one to turn to but himself.

    At the time I was young and found this show scary as hell. Though recently, I bought it on DVD and noticed many flaws. Some scenes have a rushed quality, bad edits and not to mention the worst special effects ever created. Funny, as the time these were cutting edge for 1995! Other problems came in the form of the show's second half. Dr. Peele had no deep characteristaion and seemed to make Lucas look weaker than he used to. The Gail's baby sub-plot got a bit far fetched. Then there was the apparent love triangle sub-plots. All of which couldn't be more far removed from the opener if they tried. There was evidence that the second season would have gone into more soap-like territory as if adding more plot strands would secure a second season. Luckily the series ended on a decent and disturbing finale that wrapped up the main arc without too much lingering in the air for other plot strands.

    It's a great show marred by a slightly ropey second half and some bad rush jobs. But ultimately, it's the acting in this show that holds it together. Especially from Lucas Black and Gary Cole. It's a shame they cancelled it early, but then all the best series do don't they.
  • Who knew what lurked in the corners of teen idol Shaun Cassidy's mind?

    9.8
    A wonderfully dark television series lurked there. I loved this show! I just watched the whole series again on DVD a few months ago, and it was every bit as enjoyable.

    Gary Cole is so incredibly wicked as Lucas Buck, and yet, there's something . . . Well, anyway, another really great, original television series down the tubes. I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the fact that we've been inundated with reality shows and moronic talent shows, and that's what the American public wants to watch. Seriously, now they have a reality show about people who are going to pretend to be pirates and mutiny and whatever else these idiots can spoonfeed the viewing audience. More power to them. Heavy sighhhhhh . . . oh well, I have my books and my DVDs.
  • who couldnt love that southern accent.

    9.3
    I remember watching this show back when i was in high school. I missed the final episode and tis haunted me ever since. Im gonna download it soon, but boy this show was ahead of its time back then.

    T.v just didnt have fantastic shows in 1996. It was over 10 years ago which is scary but... it was something i will always remember. Good verses evil. Something to scare you at night :)
  • This a very weird show, but it was brillient while it lasted.

    9.2
    American Gothic only aired for one series of 22 episodes and was cancelled after airing 18. This show was well before my time so i bought the DVD set containing the complete series. I was really supprised how good this show actually was. It was created by Shawn Cassidy best know for Invasion which also has been cancelled. The show was really about evil in a small town. The sheriff Lucus Buck was the evil, and his son Celeb would ever follow in his fathers footsteps and become evil or be good. I think this show had lots of potential but didn't really get to show it. I would have liked to see more American Gothic but its long gone now. Maybe fans of the show can look forward to a remake?
  • This was a deeply dark, twisted supernatural/horror-inflected mystery from the angelic looking Shaun Cassidy. Who knew his mind could go *there*!

    9.3
    OK this one may not fully qualify as sci-fi–maybe more horror/mystery/drama, but I don't really know where else to put it. It may be this 'fuzziness' in categorization that doomed it, 'cause, boy do people like to put things in boxes! This was a finely written and well-acted show with admirable turns by a cast featuring Gary Cole, Paige Turco (Gail Emory), Jake Weber (Dr. Matt Crower), Lucas Black (Caleb Temple) and Sarah Paulson (Merlyn Temple). Cole's evilly menacing performance as Sheriff (or Devil?) Lucas Buck rivals that of John Glover's Satan in Brimstone, and provided some the absolute best moments in this series.
  • American Gothic was one of the best TV shows I have ever seen. It used a common well known scenerio, good and evil to dazzle your senses and propel you into the realm of illusion.

    10
    American Gothic was one of the best TV shows I have ever seen. It took a common thread, "good and evil" and spun it in a multifaceted cornicopia of illusions and scenerios that hightened your awareness and left you thinking about your own life and experiences. American Gothic takes you on a compelling ride through lifes adventures and mishaps and lets you see the what if scenerios. It also lets you see that Good always and in always out weight Evil and all that it encompass. American Gothic is a well written, well acted and well thought out show filled with adventure, emotion, and realism.
  • an interesting show.

    7.0
    iv first watched this show when it was first aired in the uk, probably around 1994-95, i later forgot about the show and had spent years since wondering what the show was about, and how it concluded, i always kept a look out incase the show was ever repeated and was pleased when i found out itv4 was to show the programme over 10 years sice it premierd in the uk. the show is a horror/thriller with a supernatural theme. set in the small town of trinity which is ran by the local sheriff lucas buck (who seems to have supernatural powers) who has a strong hold over the town . the sheriff becomes envoled in the life of local boy caleb temple after the death of the boys father, the sheriff claims to be the boys real father and seeks custudy of caleb. yet he has a fight on his hand as celebs cousin gail, town doctor matt and calebs dead sister merlyn all try to protect caleb from the sinister sheriff.
  • this was great!! now this was scary!

    9.0
    Like i said its pant wettingly scary sometimes and there really was few of these!!
    only watched a few but that means am watching again and again as it really does put you in kind of mind to really think about the characters and their problems!
    please please can anyone fill me in more as this was really really great and i loved it! i dont need the sleep i suppose lol

    i now check my room to see if nothing can burst in and get me! very good show and i would like to see more stull like this as it will really make me watch lol...xxx
  • Dark and mysterious. I love it.

    8.5
    I loved this show. The first thing that stood out to me was the writing. For most episodes, it was superb. The acting was extremely well done. The actors really made the writing even that much better. Those moments where things are said without actually saying them. They delivered their lines with that underlying tone of mystery and darkness that captivated my interest. Lucas Black plays Caleb Temple who whose visited throughout the show by his dead sister. Caleb is always trying to be mentored by Sheriff Lucas Buck, played by Gary Cole, who claims to be his father, but displays signs that he might be the devil himself. And what can I say about Gary Cole? Definitely the best and most interesting character that I have seen him play. Too bad the show got cancelled, because I for one thought it would have gotten even better.
  • What a great show

    9.8
    Thsi show had it all. I really loved it, but knew it was too good to last. IT focused on this little kid, his dead sister, people he lived with like the doctor, the evil sheriff, the evil teacher, a reporter, and the deputy. It had such plots with in plots that made you really have to think and follow it closely. Plus it was life in a small southern town. YEt it was supernatural and had evil things happen. The cast was perfectly chosen. The little kid wsa perfect as a good kid with hard choices. Sheriff buck was perfectr. I could really believe him as evil and almost devil. Plus the doctor was great too.
  • never had a chance to blossom

    8.2
    this was a truly great show. but just like shaun cassidy's latest cancelled show, invasion, it just was never given a chance. american gothic came along when there wasn't much else like it on television. gary cole was a great evil sherriff. i never got the chance to watch this every week when it was on, but i caught up on the sci-fi channel a few years later.
  • Such an incredible show, but before its time. I feared after episode 2 that nothing so good could last on network TV. Today it would run on Showcase of HBO and be a huge hit. I could not believe how dark and edgy the scripts were...

    10
    Lucas Buck was an extraordinarily complex and evil character, but the evil was never played over the top. They hinted at what he could do, would do, and had done. Often details were quite explicit, but his characater was always tempered with that handsome, southern charm. He exemplified the smart, sexy, sweet-talking devil much of the time, while his girlfriend, Celina, harboured so much smoldering menace that she often threatened to steal the show.

    These two characters formed the core of a deep, dark southern tale of lust, greed, ambition and unrelenting hunger that always threatened to consume the innocents skirting the eye of the storm.

    The show was so well written and well acted, and was without doubt one of the greatest shows on TV at any time in the medium's history. Had HBO been around then, it would have flourished. Unfortunately, at the time adult programming was hard hit by family and church groups who wanted all of television to be child friendly -- leaving informed adult viewers with little but pablum to feel their imaginations.

    This is one show I'd dearly love to see return, though the time is surely passed for that. I hope a Canadian network like Scream picks it up for reruns, because I can't wait to see it again.

  • A descent show none the less though.

    9.0
    A bit iffy and.. well.. badly written, plot holes, character flaws, bad graphics etc.. etc.. but other than that, a really good show. Needed refining, maybe some time would have fixed it but it was canceled so we’ll never really know. If you’re looking for something to past the time, and are looking for something with production quality that is rather low, I would recommend this show. It has potential, but it never really finds it.
  • Should have been on another network!

    9.0
    CBS was never cracked up to have a show like this. American Gothic is a terrific television series, canceled far too soon, and sadly mishandled by the network during its run (episodes aired out of order, entire episodes unaired, etc). Unfortunately this is also the case with the dvd set.

    Taken in the long view, the show is remarkable in it's subtlety and intrigue, despite certain poor episodes. The writing, acting, and directing are all outstanding. You'll never look at Gary Cole the same way again. Or, for that matter, Shaun Cassidy - who conceived and produced the show, along with Sam Raimi.

    Anyway, I would suggest this series to anyone. Pick up the dvds and try to watch them in the proper order then it will make a lot more sense.

  • Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste....and my name is Sheriff Lucas Buck.

    9.4
    American Gothic was one of those rare shows that went out on top, although that was due to it only lasting one season. From what I remember it wasn't a known or popular show, and if I remember correctly it was aired on Friday nights, so that would probably explain why (other than the fact it was also on CBS). If there is one word to describe this show, it's 'indescribeable'. It really didn't fit into any traditional genre labels, but really had a little bit of everything, with probably the exception of humor. The little humor there was was usually a dark humor, which perfectly fit everything else about the show.

    This show was all about tension, suspense, creepiness, and plot twists, with a good bit of the supernatural thrown in to the mix. The series mainly focused on the trio of Lucas, Caleb, and Gail, which might have been its weakness. Its slow, droopy pacing was reflective of the small-town rural atmosphere it gave off, and was the perfect way to showcase the evil that resides in the town in the form of the Sheriff - charming and pleasant on the outside at first glance; but sinister and always ready to explode under the surface. Sheriff Lucas Buck was one of the greatest tv villains in history and he had an odd way of making you like and yet fear/hate him at the same time. This is due to the unforgettable performance by Gary Cole.
  • The episodes on the dvds are not in the correct order......

    9.0
    The episodes on the dvds are not in the correct order......


    Taken from:
    http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/sitereviews.cfm?ReleaseID=5117

    Here's the proper order to watch the episodes, including the disc number, side and episode number on the disc, with spaces between disc swaps:

    * Pilot (Disc 1, Side A, Episode 1)
    * A Tree Grows in Trinity (Disc 1, Side A, Episode 2)
    * Eye of the Beholder (Disc 1, Side A, Episode 3)

    * Damned If You Don't (Disc 1, Side B, Episode 1)

    * Potato Boy (Disc 3, Side A, Episode 4)

    * Dead to the World (Disc 1, Side B, Episode 2)
    * Meet the Beetles (Disc 1, Side B, Episode 3)
    * Strong Arm of the Law (Disc 1, Side B, Episode 4)

    * To Hell and Back (Disc 2, Side B, Episode 3)
    * The Beast Within (Disc 2, Side B, Episode 2)

    * Rebirth (Disc 2, Side A, Episode 1)

    * Ring of Fire (Disc 3, Side B, Episode 1)

    * Resurrector (Disc 2, Side A, Episode 2)
    * Inhumanitas (Disc 2, Side A, Episode 3)
    * The Plague Sower (Disc 2, Side A, Episode 4)

    * Doctor Death Takes a Holiday (Disc 2, Side B, Episode 1)
    * Learning to Crawl (Disc 2, Side B, Episode 4)

    * Echo of Your Last Goodbye (Disc 3, Side B, Episode 2)
    * Strangler (Disc 3, Side B, Episode 3)

    * Triangle (Disc 3, Side A, Episode 1)
    * The Buck Stops Here (Disc 3, Side A, Episode 2)
    * Requiem (Disc 3, Side A, Episode 3)

    You'll have to jump between the discs a bunch, but you have to do it if you want the show to flow properly.
  • A very odd series about a boy who had powers...and how it effected all around him.

    10
    I remember see this series a long time ago on Channel 4 in the UK, where they said it was a 4 part series....the longest 4 part series I have ever seen!
    I thought this was an amazing series and I was hooked from the very start, very odd....but oh so very cool!
  • CBS made THIS?!

    8.1
    I'd known about Shaun Cassidy's cult classic American Gothic for a long time, but I never actually watched it. I'm a HUGE fan of the short-lived FOX series Roar, which was Cassidy's second masterpiece. I recently saw his latest work, the sci-fi thriller Invasion for ABC. After TVShowsonDVD.com announced that American Gothic was being released in October 2005, I wanted to know if I would like this show well enough to buy the DVD set, so I downloaded a couple of episodes.

    WOW!

    While I have to admit the effects are much poorer than what they should be. This show premiered in 1995 but looks like it's from the early 80s, but I suppose it's budget problems, like always. But despite the effects, the show is spectacularly written and acted, and a really fun show to watch. TV shows that feature an evil main character is very rare. It's no wonder that this show is such a fan favorite.

    If you haven't seen American Gothic I highly suggest you rent the DVDs.
  • This belonged on Fox

    8.5
    This was a truly creepy show created by none other than Shaun Cassidy. It aired on CBS, a network not really known for airing cutting edge shows. Gary Cole was perfectly evil as a small-town sheriff who seemed to actually be the devil. It was a good vs. evil showdown and the lines between good and evil seemed to be blurry, so sometimes you found yourself rooting for evil. I think the show stumbled a bit at the end with Paige Turco's character seeming to fall under the spell of the evil sheriff Lucas and good guy Matt being written out. But this was groundbreaking for CBS. I just don't think they knew what to do with this show. If it were on the Fox network today, I do believe it would be a major hit. But, shows like this are cult classics because of the fact that they didn't make it. And that's not always a bad thing.
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