OFF THE MAP Complete Series DVD Review

off the map dvd

ABC is releasing the complete series of OFF THE MAP on DVD. The DVD contains all 13 episodes of this short-lived series. Also on the DVD are bonus features including a behind the scenes feature, a jungle medicine feature, deleted scenes, and a bloopers reel.

Off the Map is a medical based series produced by none other than Ms. Shonda Rhimes, producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Who else would you expect to tackle the storytelling of medicine admist the jungles of South America? The premise involves three new young doctors who are dropped off in the middle of a South American jungle to practice medicine in an area that is sorely lacking in even the basics of drugs, supplies, and professionals. As the series went on, the viewer comes to realize that each of the three doctors are there for a very specific reason and mostly based upon their own demons.

The series attempted to balance the medicinal aspect including somewhat outrageous and farfetched scenarious and injuries, with the almost Survivor like aspect that the doctors had to endure in attempting to rectify the situations and save their patients. I am not sure if viewers had a hard time with the stories or with the inevitable slew of love triangles and entanglements that end up in a Shonday Rhimes’ show.

Special features:

On Set at Off the Map – Perhaps one of my favorites, this feature takes you behind the scenes on the set of the show. Creator Jenna Bans explains the thinking behind creating the show and choice of locations. I may be the last person to realize this was filmed solely in Hawaii, similar to Lost. The feature was interesting in that it showed how, despite having most everything available to make it look like they were in South America, some things still needed to be created. I also found it interesting to hear what exactly inspired Jenna Bans to come up with the idea for the show. The most surprising reveal was where they filmed the underwater amputation scene. I never would have guessed!

Jungle Medicine – This feature, while not long, was also not very informative. It merely served to let the viewer know that many of the jungle medicine remedies used and referenced in the show were, in fact, based on actual research and tips from those in the jungle.

Deleted Scenes – I am always fascinated by deleted scenes, specifically why they were cut and why other scenes were chosen. Some day I hope that a DVD will tackle the why. Off the Map does not do this either. There were 11 deleted scenes in total and many of which included Charlie, the true star of the show in my opinion. He is the best scene stealer! My favorite deleted scenes are “Employee Dating Policy” and “Culture Shock,” although if a person’s trachea is blocked by a broken clavicle, what good is it to blow into his mouth?

Bloopers – Unfortunately, the bloopers are disappointing. I only laughed at the third one. Most of them consisted only of the actors laughing or flubbing their lines in nonhumorous ways. What I did infer from the bloopers is that the other actors did not really appreciate Maimie Gummer, who played Dr. Mina Menard, all that much.

Although I watched Off the Map when it was on the air, I did not catch every episode. It was nice to have the opportunity to do so with the DVD, however, I am not sure I would have purchased it. Off the Map was one of those shows that I would watch if I caught it, but would not bother to DVR. For me, it was too much love triangle forced on me too quickly that made me lose interest.

For those Off the Map fans that are disappointed that it was cancelled, I think you will enjoy having all of the episodes together again for your viewing. The deleted scenes are also a bonus for those that wanted more. However, if you caught the show the first time around and thought it was just okay, like me, you will probably want to skip buying this one.

Off the Map: The Complete Series will be released to DVD on August 23rd.

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