In the majestic stillness of the Colorado Mountains, covered in snow and home to a population of “just over 9,000 and growing” is the picturesque town of Everwood. Well, according to the WB’s new drama it’s there, waiting to change the lives of one family that has lost its way.
After the sudden death of his wife, Dr. Andy Brown (Treat Williams, “Hollywood Ending,” “The Late Shift”) decides to leave New York and his prestigious medical practice with his son, Ephram (Gregory Smith, “The Patriot”) and daughter Delia (Vivien Cardon, “A Beautiful Mind”), for a place in the Rocky Mountains that someone once told him was beautiful. Ephram thinks the idea ridiculous and another reason to hate his father with whom he never had much of a relationship.
Upon their leaving New York the entire medical community is astonished, and the outrageous decision of Dr. Brown is even documented in Time magazine. Consequently, when the Brown family arrives in Everwood, everyone already knows them. Ephram soon falls in love with an outgoing, beautiful girl at school, Amy (Emily VanCamp, “Glory Days”) only to find she has a boyfriend in a coma. Amy is hoping Dr. Brown will know the cure. Meanwhile, in renovating the old train station for his new office, Andy meets the town’s pretentious “Primary Care Physician,” Dr. Harold Abbott (Tom Amandes, “The Untouchables”), who has practiced in the small town for 15 years preceding his father. It looks as if Andy will not receive a single patient, until he announces to the town gossip that he will be doctor to everyone, free of charge.
Thus, the scene is set for the regrowth of this family after their tragic loss, but not without more turmoil. Anger still runs deep in a family where little time was spent with the most cherished member. Andy finds himself talking to his dead wife in sad, intimate flashbacks where she once told him if she ever died first, she wanted him to move to a beautiful place she had once been to called Everwood, Colo., there she would wait for him.
If your heart is open to it, this story is very touching, but not without distracting quirks that the viewer cannot overlook. For example, the 60-something biker nurse played by Debra Mooney (“Tootsie”) is rather bizarre. One wonders if the WB is looking to create another “Gilmore Girls” cast of amusing small town folk but haven’t gotten it right this time. The acting at times is mediocre and the dialogue rushed. An interesting aspect of this episode was the use of a narrator we soon come to find is the bus driver in town. It gives the story a magical feel, as if a tale that will eventually teach us some great lesson.
The pilot episode was played in letterbox in an attempt, one assumes, to seem more movie like and professional. However, it almost implies a status this show has not yet received (i.e. “ER”) and may never reach. The story appeals to those older or younger than us , so a college student might find it hard to relate and quickly lose interest, but the plotline has potential and is worth a second glance.