The 4400: The Complete First Season Review
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Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m missing out on some really good TV—because I didn’t see the all-important first episodes of some of today’s most popular series. I never saw the early episodes of Lost—or 24—and I realize that, if I tried to start watching now, I’d be hopelessly confused. The same was true of The 4400. I’d always been intrigued by the commercials—but I just figured it was too late to start watching.

But thank goodness for DVD. In just a couple of evenings, I was able to watch the whole first season. Granted, it was a short, five-episode season, but it was enough to get me hooked.

In the two-hour pilot, 4400 people—all of whom had mysteriously disappeared over the last 60 years or so—return to Earth one night in a ball of light. The Department of Homeland Security immediately jumps on the case, trying to figure out who these people are, where they’ve been, what happened to them while they were gone, and why they haven’t aged a day since their disappearances. The show primarily follows one HomeSec team, Tom Baldwin (Joel Gretsch) and Diana Skouris (Jacqueline McKenzie), as they try to protect the Returnees—and solve the mystery of their appearance.

The show also follows some of the Returnees—like Maia (Conchita Campbell), the eight-year-old who can tell the future. Or Richard (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), a military man who was taken in 1951. Or Shawn, the teenager who finds that he has strange healing powers—and who’s treated like a freak at school. Or Lily (Laura Allen), who returns to find that her husband has remarried and her daughter doesn’t know she ever existed—and though she wasn’t pregnant when she disappeared 11 years earlier, she is now.

The 4400 has an X-Files tone to it—though it’s more dramatic, with more of an ongoing, character-driven storyline. The effects, however, aren’t nearly as spectacular—occasionally (especially in the last episode of the season) bordering on hokey. But by then you’ll be too hooked to really care. The cast of characters is diverse and real—and by the time the first episode ends, you won’t be able to stop watching until you find out what happens.

The 4400 boasts the highest-ever ratings for a new series premiere on basic cable—and the first season earned three Emmy nominations. If you missed the early episodes of The 4400, it’s not too late to get caught up. This DVD (along with the second season DVD, which is also available) gives you the perfect opportunity to see what you’ve been missing. You’ll find just the basics on this two-disc set—no special features or behind-the-scenes documentaries—but you’ll be able to watch the entire first season of the show in just a few hours, without commercials. And that’s what matters.

Ed. Note: To get a quick overview of the first two seasons of The 4400, check out The 4400 Special: Unlocking the Secrets at

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