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Jesse Stone: Sea Change

Score: 80%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Sony Pictures
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 87 Mins.
Genre: Crime/Drama/Mystery
Audio: English 5.1 (Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: English

Features:

  • Previews

Someone commented to me that Tom Selleck seems all wrong as Jesse Stone, the main character from Robert B. Parker's series of novels that includes Sea Change. Selleck's easygoing portrayal of Magnum P.I. is certainly a departure from Jesse Stone, the washed-out, alcoholic police chief of a small town. My initial response was a suggestion to forget about older Selleck's previous parts and concentrate on how genuine he seems in the role of Stone. I thought more about it and realized that Selleck's popularity as a fun-loving detective on the beaches of Hawaii is exactly what makes him so great in the role of Stone. We've seen other actors like Bruce Willis make a radical transition from comedy to drama and it works on some level because we're confronted with opposite poles. The Ancient Greeks actually defined comedy as juxtaposition of opposite elements or unexpected events. The notion that people were faced with exactly the opposite of what they expected was central to staging a comedy. This leads us to why it's possible to relate deeply to Tom Selleck as both the owner of his Jess Stone role and his Magnum role. Stone isn't a tragic figure really, because he's passed through the worst time in his life and come out on the other end. You're always cognizant of how close he is to his pain; he sometimes appears to be teetering on the edge of the abyss. The final analysis always puts Stone in the "good guy" camp and he constantly upends people's initial perception of him as the washed-out, alcoholic police chief of a small town.

There is a strong theme of unanticipated consequences that ties Sea Change to the comedic form as it was originally envisioned. The line, "...unanticipated consequences" actually works its way into the script... no kidding. Stone has in the previous installments been introduced to the real flavor of his small town. Things are not so rosy, the covers have been lifted, the dirt was swept out from under the rug... The people around Stone now see him as sincere, but there's lingering doubt about his ability. The deputy, Suitcase, that was felled by a bullet in the last show (Death in Paradise) remains in the hospital under a coma. Another deputy is away on maternity leave, which puts Stone mostly by himself again. The solitude doesn't suit him at all and drives him to his old friend, The Bottle. After a particularly lonely and drunk stretch, Stone decides to dig up some new dirt from the cold-case files to give his existence a bit more spark. What he digs up produces more than a spark, it literally explodes. Stones life in Paradise gets quite a bit more interesting before the end of the compact, 87-minute show.

Critics can say what they will, but the test of a show like Sea Change is ultimately its "watchability." I like watching Selleck and he seems deeply invested in the character. Sean Young makes a blessedly short appearance along with some new cast members, but the camera is focused on Selleck or his dog 85% of the time. Fans of the novels must feel like they've died and gone to heaven. Even if you haven't read the books or aren't a huge fan of Tom Selleck, if you like crime, drama, or suspense flicks, you could do much worse than watching Sea Change with an adult beverage and a bowl of popcorn.



-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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