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American Gothic is an Americanmarker satirical horror series created by Shaun Cassidy and executive produced by Sam Raimi. The show first aired on CBS on September 22, 1995, and was cancelled after a single season on July 11, 1996.

Plot

The story takes place in the fictional town of Trinity, South Carolinamarker, and revolves around Caleb Temple (Lucas Black) and the town's corrupt Sheriff, Lucas Buck (Gary Cole). Though appearing affable and charismatic, Sheriff Lucas Buck is a murderous rapist whose powerbase is backed by apparent supernatural powers, which he generally uses to manipulate people to "fulfill their potential" and make life-changing choices (usually for evil).

Caleb Temple is a normal child whose paternity masks a horrific secret: Lucas Buck is his biological father, having raped his mother in front of Caleb's older sister Merlyn (Sarah Paulson). The horror of watching her mother being sexually assaulted caused Merlyn to become severely emotionally traumatized and withdrawn from the rest of the world, made even worse when her mother committed suicide after giving birth to Caleb.

During the pilot episode of the series, Sheriff Buck murders Merlyn in cold blood and manipulates Caleb's "father" (Sonny Shroyer) into committing suicide in order to eliminate Caleb's family and claim his biological son for his own. However, the newly arrived Dr. Crower (Jake Weber) begins to uncover the Sheriff's role in the death of Merlyn and Merlyn's father and with help from Caleb's out-of-town cousin Gail Emory (Paige Turco), struggle to prevent Lucas from corrupting young Caleb. They are aided in part by Merlyn's ghost, who personally appears before Caleb throughout the series in order to try to keep him from Buck's corrupt grasp.

Episodes

Cast of characters

Main cast

Actor/Actress Character Information Episodes
Gary Cole Sheriff Lucas Buck Lucas is the local Sheriff, he holds fear over the town of Trinity. He wants to adopt Caleb and raise him in his image. All 22 episodes
Lucas Black Caleb Temple Caleb is an orphan and is often tempted by Lucas to join the evil side but with help from the ghost of his sister, Merlyn, he usually does the right thing. All 22 episodes
Paige Turco Gail Emory A reporter from the city who lived in Trinity as a child. Her parents died in a mysterious fire in the Trinity news paper editing room. Came to Trinity to take care of her cousin Caleb and to uncover the truth about her parents. All episodes, except "Potato Boy", "Resurrector" and "Inhumanitas"
Brenda Bakke Selena Coombs The local school teacher who likes to sleep around. She occasionally dates Lucas. She usually helps Lucas in his plans to gain custody of Caleb and to keep the town under control. All episodes, except "Strong Arm of the Law", "The Beast Within", and "Strangler"
Sarah Paulson Merlyn Temple Caleb's sister, she is killed by the Sheriff, but occasionally appears to Caleb in the form of a ghost to guide him in the right direction and away from Lucas Buck. All episodes, except "Strong Arm of the Law", "The Beast Within", "Ring of Fire" and "Doctor Death Takes a Holiday"
Jake Weber Dr. Matt Crower Doctor at the hospital. Matt has a slightly shady past and came to Trinity to start a new life, but can not escape his past. He takes Caleb in after the death of Caleb's father. All episodes, except "Inhumanitas", "Learning to Crawl", "Echo of Your Last Goodbye", "Strangler", "Triangle", "The Buck Stops Here" and "Requiem"
Nick Searcy Deputy Ben Healy He is Lucas' deputy. He lives in fear of Buck, so much so that he covers up the murder of Merlyn Temple. All episodes, except "Damned If You Don't", "Meet the Beetles", "To Hell and Back" and "Rebirth"


Recurring guest cast

Actor/Actress Character Episodes
Chris Fennell Boone Mackenzie "Eye of the Beholder", "Dead to the World", "Damned If You Don't", "Potato Boy", "Meet the Beetles", "Strong Arm of the Law", "To Hell and Back", "Resurrector", "Echo of Your Last Goodbye"
John Mese Dr. Billy Peale "The Plague Sower", "Doctor Death Takes a Holiday", "Learning to Crawl", "Echo of Your Last Goodbye", "Triangle", "The Buck Stops Here" and "Requiem"
Alex Van Deputy Floyd "Dead to the World", "Meet the Beetles", "Learning to Crawl", "Echo of Your Last Goodbye", "Strangler", "The Buck Stops Here" and "Requiem"
Lynda Clark Rita Barber "Pilot", "The Beast Within", "Resurrector", "The Buck Stops Here" and "Requiem"
Tina Lifford Loris Holt "Eye of the Beholder", "Potato Boy", "Resurrector" and "Doctor Death Takes a Holiday"
Michael Burgess Dr. Daniel Truelane "Pilot", "A Tree Grows in Trinity", "Eye of the Beholder" and "To Hell and Back"
Robin Mullins Nurse Stacie Erichfreund "The Plague Sower", "Echo of Your Last Goodbye" and "Triangle"
Amy Dawn Anderson Nurse "The Plague Sower", "Learning to Crawl" and "Triangle"
Sarah Lynn Moore Mrs. Carol Russell "Potato Boy", "Strong Arm of the Law" and "Rebirth"
Troy Simmons Josh Davenport "Pilot", "Damned If You Don't" and "Dead to the World"
Evan Rachel Wood Rose Russell "Eye of the Beholder", "Potato Boy" and "To Hell and Back"


DVD Release

Universal Studios released the complete series of American Gothic on DVD as a Region 1 NTSC double-sided 3-disc set in the United Statesmarker (October 25, 2005) and as a Region 2 PAL single-sided 6-disc set in Europe (released March 20, 2006).

The Region 1 and Region 2 Discs have the episodes in the same order (by air date as opposed to producer's intended order). The only exception is the German boxset (to be released October 5, 2007 by "Koch Media Home Entertainment"), which features all episodes in the intended order on 7 DVDs. The order is as follows:
Region 1 Release Region 2 Release Episodes
Disc 1, Side A Disc 1
  1. "Pilot" (46:48) # *
  2. "A Tree Grows in Trinity" (46:37)
  3. "Eye of the Beholder" (46:54)
  4. "Damned If You Don't" (45:58)
Disc 1, Side B Disc 2
  1. "Dead to the World" (45:17)
  2. "Meet the Beetles" (45:53)
  3. "Strong Arm of the Law" (44:17)
  4. "Rebirth" (46:13)
Disc 2, Side A Disc 3
  1. "Resurrector" (46:06)
  2. "Inhumanitas" (44:12)
  3. "The Plague Sower" (45:56)
  4. "Doctor Death Takes a Holiday" (45:32) *
Disc 2, Side B Disc 4
  1. "The Beast Within" (44:35)
  2. "To Hell and Back" (44:33) *
  3. "Learning to Crawl" (45:48) *
  4. "Triangle" (45:59) *
Disc 3, Side A Disc 5
  1. "The Buck Stops Here" (44:26) *
  2. "Requiem" (45:15) *
  3. "Potato Boy" (44:55)
Disc 3, Side B Disc 6
  1. "Ring of Fire" (46:02) *
  2. "Echo of Your Last Goodbye" (46:03) *
  3. "Strangler" (44:11)
# Bonus Materials include optional Audio Commentary for this episode.
* Bonus Materials include non-integrated deleted and/or extended scene(s) for this episode.


The intended viewing order:
Region 1 Release Region 2 Release Episode
Disc 1, Side A Disc 1 1. "Pilot"
Disc 1, Side A Disc 1 2. "A Tree Grows in Trinity"
Disc 1, Side A Disc 1 3. "Eye of the Beholder"
Disc 1, Side B Disc 2 1. "Damned if You Don't"
Disc 3, Side A Disc 5 4. "Potato Boy"
Disc 1, Side B Disc 2 2. "Dead to the World"
Disc 1, Side B Disc 2 3. "Meet the Beetles"
Disc 1, Side B Disc 2 4. "Strong Arm of the Law"
Disc 2, Side B Disc 4 3. "To Hell and Back"
Disc 2, Side B Disc 4 2. "The Beast Within"
Disc 2, Side A Disc 3 1. "Rebirth"
Disc 3, Side B Disc 6 1. "Ring of Fire"
Disc 2, Side A Disc 3 2. "Resurrector"
Disc 2, Side A Disc 3 3. "Inhumanitas"
Disc 2, Side A Disc 3 4. "The Plague Sower"
Disc 2, Side B Disc 4 1. "Doctor Death Takes a Holiday"
Disc 2, Side B Disc 4 4. "Learning to Crawl"
Disc 3, Side B Disc 6 2. "Echo of Your Last Goodbye"
Disc 3, Side B Disc 6 3. "Strangler"
Disc 3, Side A Disc 5 1. "Triangle"
Disc 3, Side A Disc 5 2. "The Buck Stops Here"
Disc 3, Side A Disc 5 3. "Requiem"


Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1996 Saturn Award Nominated Best Genre Television Series
-
Artios Award Best Casting for TV, Dramatic Pilot Marc Hirschfeld, Michael A. Katcher, and Meg Liberman
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Series John Asman, Sam Black, David E. Fluhr, and Richard Van Dyke (For episode "Damned If You Don't")
Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series John Asman, Sam Black, David E. Fluhr, and Richard Van Dyke (For episode "Damned If You Don't")
1997 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama TV Series Lucas Black


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