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"Picket Fences"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Picket Fences" More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Awesome thought-provoking show

Author: ctowner1
2 November 2004

With all the pap that's passing for entertainment these days, this show stands out all the more. Week after week this show tossed out thought provoking questions in all areas of our society - medical, criminal, religious, philosophical - any aspect of our society and lives was fair game. And it wrapped these questions around the lives of a hugely talented cast of fully realized characters. The show also had the courage to not play it safe. It routinely tackled "hot button" issues from abortion, to homosexuality, to belief in God, to constitutional protection of rights. Is there ANY show on TV now that comes close to this??

Ironically, I "discovered" this show while on vacation in the Midwest when I came across a full page advertisement by a religious organization, decrying it's blasphemy. The advertisement described some of the situations dealt with in the show - and I knew right away this was a show for me.

Entertaining, intelligent, funny, exciting, involving. If they ever get around to releasing the 5 seasons on DVD - jump on it!

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Each episode was a treasure

Author: lgmark from Los Gatos, CA USA
21 January 2005

Each episode pitted some sort of preconceived notion of what is "right" against what is the law, theocracy, or medical ethics. This was a show that would raise you to cheer and have you crying all withing one episode. Some episodes were emotionally crushing. I can see why it didn't last on TV very long. It wasn't that it didn't receive great acclaim, but that there are only so many wrenching episodes that one can write about before it's "washed up". David Kelly knew this and it's one reason that it was on late at night as well as why it only lasted for a few seasons. One of the truly great Television shows. The "Seinfeld" of Dramas. I wish it would come out in DVD.

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Just lovely

Author: talking_tree from Finland
2 May 2003

When ever I open the television and Picket fences is coming, I get a satisfactioned smile on my face and I crawl into sofa to enjoy. Today I saw the very emotional episode "Frogman returns" and now I´m sure that this is one of the greatest American series ever showd onto the daylight. Like many others have said, it has something for everyone. Drama, jokes, family moments, moral questions, children, teens, funny moments, emotional moments... LIFE. And it hasn´t really aged at all. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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28 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

we get Saved By the Bell seasons on DVD, and not Picket Fences?!?!?!

Author: natedogg103 from Hollywood, California
2 October 2003

For the love of all things good in this world...RELEASE "PICKET FENCES" on DVD. It was the BEST show EVER in the history of television. All of you fans of "Picket Fences" out there in imdb world, write David E. Kelley, or CBS, or TNN--whoever owns the rights to the show--and DEMAND it be released. There is no justice in the world until this is done.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

the best ever

Author: angie-27 from maine
19 March 1999

i think this was the best series ever to be on television. even after all these years off the air, i still love it. never before or since has a show made my think as much as this one always did. the writers tackled a lot of real and interesting issues, and usually made the viewer see it from both sides. it could be the funniest show on tv, or the most touching, or the most thought provoking. over the course of its run, it made me laugh, cry, get angry, smile, sympathize, and sometimes even hate. as for the cast, they were great. especially worthy of mention are tom skerrit, fyvish finkle, ray walston, lauren holly, holly-marie combs, don cheadle, marlee matlin, and kelly connel. but the best, in my opinion, was kathy baker. she was always so good, even though i didn't always like or agree with her character, jill brock. i don't know the actual episode titles, but a few of my favorite eps were: the dancing bandit; cupid; the green bay chopper; the murder trial when jimmy was the foreman; the cow babies; mayor kills carjacker and mayor explodes; man who can't recognize people kills his brother; howard buss dies (i cried); the shoe fetish (can you believe rachel harris stood up); parkinson's disease. another thing about the show, it always had great guest stars. anyway, i miss rome.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Picket Fences- Climb This Fence to Success ****

9/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
24 July 2010

Outstanding television show where plenty was going on in that Wisconsin town.

What an assortment of characters. From Fyvush Finkel to the late Ray Walston, they totally etched unforgettable characters. Kathy Baker and Tom Skerritt were wonderful as the town marshal and his doctor wife. Their children, the precocious Adam Wylie and Holly Marie Combs, gave us plenty of room to think. Then there was Ginnie, the Switchboard Operator, played with relish by Poltergeist's the late Zelda Rubinstein.

Different situations were acted out each week with irony resulting at the end of each show. It gave one lots of cause to think rationally in a sometimes irrational world.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

excellent study of family life in a small town

Author: blamar from Victoria, BC
27 March 2001

Another David E Kelley gem that won several Emmys. A wonderful series about Rome Wisconsin. It follows the lives of the sheriff, his wife, the doctor, their 3 children and their circle of friends. It shows them dealing with the frustrations and joys of everyday life, dealing with the town "characters" including, an ambitious deputy sheriff..a young woman trying to make it in a traditionally male profession, a tough but not terribly bright deputy who had an affair with the female mayor, an Alzheimer affected gentleman who had good and bad moments as the mayor, a grandstanding Jewish lawyer who took cases that were colorful and controversial, a world weary judge, and an insecure coroner. This is a wonderful show that stands the test of time.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

too preachy, hasn't aged well...

3/10
Author: nyan-nyan-274-520299
4 May 2013

I used to enjoy this show when it first aired.

Watching it decades later I feel that it hasn't aged well. I also find it too preachy, the writers really shove their opinions down the viewers throats. A lot of the subject matters seem silly today, at least to me as a Scandinavian. (but judging by the comments here it seems that this show is still controversial to some people).

Some of the stuff still works, the small absurd things, but all the politics really date the show.

Perhaps interesting as a time document, but to a modern viewer a lot of the show feels awkward.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not Always a Bed of Roses.

Author: tfrizzell from United States
31 October 2003

Sometimes a very intense drama, but sometimes very light-hearted, "Picket Fences" stayed around on CBS from 1992-1996 and stayed under the radar on Friday nights and usually had just enough momentum to win the night. The show took place in a small Wisconsin town that was anything, but normal. Usually one family (led by sheriff Tom Skeritt and doctor Kathy Baker) took center-stage. The children (Holly Marie Combs, Justin Shenkarow and Adam Wylie) also became key elements as problems for under-aged people were explored on several occasions. The townspeople (county judge Ray Walston, lawyers Don Cheadle and Fyvush Finkel, deputies Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor, secretary Zelda Rubinstein and mayor Marlee Matlin) would end up helping to create some of the strangest situations you could ever imagine. Up and down the whole way, I enjoyed the series for the most part due to its creativity and its black humor. Usually the episodes had something to say, but sometimes they would cover their messages in thick sugar. 4 stars out of 5.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

great show!

Author: storw1 from wilkes barre, pa
23 June 2003

I enjoyed the show "picket fences", especially the first several years, up until the change from current events to concentrating on individual characters(and relationships). When the show focused on different opinions of what was going on in the world and having the same thing happen in Rome was great! I particularly enjoyed the "religious" controversy with jimmy his wife and kids when jimmy said at the very best he was an agnostic. The show was great up until that change and I feel that's what did it in. Still would buy it if it ever comes out on DVD, but only the first few seasons.

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