'Til Death Do Us Part: The Complete First Season DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Maverick filmmaker John Waters has always been obsessed with murder and the court cases surrounding them. From films like Female Trouble and Serial Mom to an entire chapter devoted to the subject in his autobiography Shock Value, it comes as no surprise that he would be our host in Court TV’s first dramatic television show.

‘Til Death Do Us Part is a fascinating show. It sort of feels like a take on Tales from the Crypt minus the fantasy element and a focus on married couples. Instead of the Crypt Keeper we have John Waters as the Groom Reaper who introduces each story and layers the puns higher than the biggest wedding cake. And because the show is on Court TV each episode is based on actual court cases.

Each episode opens on the couple in questioned on their happiest day: their wedding. We meet the bride and groom and wonder what could possibly happen that would lead one of these happy people to kill the other. The Groom Reaper gives us some pun-laden clues but who is killer and who is victim remains a mystery until the final deadly blow is given. Then we cut to years later. The happy couple isn’t so happy any more and the cracks are beginning to show. Usually, but not always, another man or woman is involved. Red herrings are dropped left and right giving each person cause for murder and instead of a whodunit?, it becomes a who-will-do-it? Finally a line is crossed and someone is murdered. Many of them choose a gun as weapon of choice, but knives, scissors, poison and even a child’s metal lunch box become instruments of demise. Finally we see how the murderer screws up and gets caught and finally sent to prison.

This is an interesting show with elements of mystery, drama, horror and even humor. It has a dark gallows humor for sure but that won’t stop for laughing out loud or at the very least cracking a guilty smile. Beyond John Waters there are no big name actors in the show. The quality of the performances varies but is never terrible and even in the weakest acting moments the stories are fascinating enough to forgive or forget.

‘Til Death Do Us Part is certainly not for everyone. If you’re not a John Waters fan or interested in the macabre then this show might not be for you. It shows people at there absolute worst and while it isn’t a gory per say, but someone does get killed every episode, which might leave a bad taste in some peoples mouths. However if you have an interest in the darker side of life this show might just be right up your alley.

Episodes:

Disc 1:

Funeral Parlor Murder 3/19/2007

Tension rises between a Mortuary owner and his wife when he wants her to quit her sales job and come work for him with dead bodies. But she’s quite happy with her job and her overly attentive boss. Some one’s going to have to give, but who?

Storage Unit Murder 4/16/2007

Life doesn’t always go as planned and young bride gets frustrated with her lethargic husband who would rather stay home dealing drugs than get a real job. So when she falls for the leader of her weekly book club her husband is given the motivation to get off the couch, but to what ends?

The Airplane Murder 3/19/2007

When a young trophy wife tries to blackmail her conniving doctor husband she turns to her husbands lawyer to assist her. But where do the lawyer loyalties really lie?

Car Keys Murder 4/23/2007

When a football hero and his young bride tie the knot their picture-perfect wedding quickly comes to a fault when the bride falls for the guitarist in the wedding band. With two men demanding all of her love and attention something is bound to snap.

Time Capsule Murder 10/19/1979

After a Las Vegas wedding the groom develops a bit of a gambling habit, which drives his wife nuts. But when he ends up owing money to the wrong kind of people and she locks him out of their savings account someone’s luck is finally going to run out.

Disc 2:

The Strip Club Murder 4/2/2007

When the owner of a Gentlemen’s Club marries his star dancer jealousy grows as he suspects her of having an affair with one her customers but when the truth comes out it is the last thing he’s suspect.

The Clown Case 4/9/2007

A college student and her math professor are married for ten years when she meets a clown at her child’s birthday party. He shows her all the attention that has been lacking in her marriage. But when she has to choose between her clown and her husband someone won’t like her decision.

The Pond Scum Murder 4/30/2007

When an upper-class man marries a fresh-out-of-prison-trailer-park girl, culture’s clash when he wants her to start acting proper. She starts changing her colors but fears it might not be enough.

The Bog Murder 5/7/2007

The marriage of a frequent flyer and a flight attendant seemed like a match made in heaven, but when a shocking revelation comes her way she might not be able to handle this change in their lives.

Murder Mystery Weekend 5/13/2007

When reality sets in for two aspiring actors he has given up the dream while she still thinks of Broadway. When a co-worker seems to share her dream the final act may be closer than either could guess.

Disc 3:

The In-Law Murders 5/20/2007

When a man becomes more interested in his bride’s parents than his bride she’s had enough and wants to end it. But how exactly will it end?

The Beauty Queen Murder 5/27/2007

When a Beauty Queen marries a Donut King she has big plans for her little princes to follow in mommies footsteps. Too bad dad thinks it’s all a waste of time and money. When both end up cheating on the other a series of lies and duplicity will lead one of them to an early grave.

A Christmas Murder 6/3/2007

It may come as a surprise that two holy devoted missionaries who meet and marry in Africa could ever resort to murder. But when she begins to control every element of his life the church organist seems like a nice out. But soon one of them will be breaking the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

The show is presented in a anamorphic widescreen 1:78.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. This is a fine looking show. It is very well produced and the transfer is great.

Interviews: (24 min.) Interviews with Ken Hanes, Executive Producer/Writer/Director, John Morayniss, Executive Producer, Dara Cohen, Executive Creative Consultant and of course John Waters, the Groom Reaper. They talk about the creation of the show and how it all came about. They talk about the formatting of the show and of course they talk about John Waters. Each interview is roughly six minutes.

This isn’t the best show ever, but it is very entertaining and fascinating. Some of the plots are so preposterous you could hardly believe them if you didn’t know they were based on truth. I don’t recommend buying it right out but you should certainly rent this grim little gem and check it out for yourself.

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Fremantle Media and Blue Print Entertainment present ‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Complete First Season. Created by Ken Hanes. Starring John Waters. Running time: 286 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: July 1, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.