And not only did it get the South right, but it was a fantastic show featuring one of the best child actors to ever grace the small screen--Lucas Black as Caleb Temple. Gary Cole turns in a phenomenal performance as the charming, yet deadly, Sheriff Lucas Buck. The rest of the cast is stellar and authentic.
Written by former Hardy Boy Shaun Cassidy and produced/directed by Sam Raimi of EVIL DEAD and SPIDERMAN fame, the award-winning show was a lucious treat of Southern Gothic, mystery, suspense, romance, and the paranormal. Rolling Stone called it a collaboration between Stephen King and Tennessee Williams. The New York Times said it was a cross between Mayberry and Twin Peaks.
And yet, not enough viewers watched it to keep it going past a season. Like Firefly, Twin Peaks, Pushing Daisies, and Dark Shadows: Resurrection, the show was canceled before it could ever build viewer momentum. Part of the problem might have been network meddling. Shaun Cassidy penned half a season of nuanced scripts before the network execs stepped in and messed up his winning formula with heavy handedness. Another problem could have been the Friday night time slot. Or that the network did not air the episodes in their intended order. But whatever the problem, the show was still too good to be canceled in its infancy. The last four episodes weren't even shown until the SciFi Channel picked up the show and aired all 22 episodes in the correct order. (FYI: if you order the DVD, the shows are NOT arranged in the right sequence.)
So, if you wanna take a little trip to Trinity, South Carolina sometime to enjoy a good spook tale, check out American Gothic. The words "Someone's at the door," will never seem so innocent. And the devil will never be as charming as Sheriff Lucas Buck..