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Currently starring as "Nina Feeney" on WB's drama series "Everwood", and returns for a third consecutive season. Niznik began her acting career in the theatre in such productions as Crimes of the Heart and Dial M for Murder. She made the transition to television with guest-starring appearances on such hit shows as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Profiler, JAG, Frasier, Diagnosis Murder and eventually becoming a series regular on Guardian Angel and Vanishing Son. Niznik's previous film credits include Kismet, Memorial Day, Star Trek IX and Garry Marshall's Dear God. She received her Masters of Fine Arts from Duke University in North Carolina. When she is not filming Everwood in Salt Lake City, Utah, Niznik resides in Los Angeles. Niznik was born on May 20, 1967, in Bangor, Maine.
''Everwood'' season one 2002-03 is out on six DVD's
Season one (2002-3) is just out in a six-DVD set. It begins with the saintly neurosurgeon Andy Brown (Treat Williams) having his wife die tragically, re-evaluating his priorities, and moving his family to a tiny Colorado town named Everwood (filled with the requisite quirky characters) to set up a free clinic and reconnect with his children. The show’s mission — created in the wake of 9/11 — seems to be helping people cope with tragedy.
Brown’s pouty 15-year-old son Ephram (Gregory Smith) falls in love with the rival doctor’s daughter (Emily VanCamp) whose boyfriend is in a coma. Coincidentally, the only surgeon in the world skilled enough to resurrect the lad is Brown. Tom Amandes, who is excellent as a self-absorbed ninny and the town’s other doctor, helps leaven the melodrama.
The DVD set contains four guest-heavy commentary tracks, a decent making-of feature, good deleted scenes and a funny hidden camera ditty.
I remember when Everwood first aired on the WB. I wasn't really excited about the show, but I happened to catch the premiere episode, which was more or less because nothing better was on television that night. Quite frankly, I didn't find the show that entertaining. However, I do not feel that way now. It took a review of another television series for me to realize just how good of a show Everwood is. After reading Adam Tyner's review of Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season I decided to watch the entire first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. I really enjoyed it and I decided to give Everwood another chance, because I was hoping that it would contain the same great drama. After watching a few re-runs on television, I was hooked and very pleased to have the chance to review the entire first season of Everwood. At a quick glance, the premise of Everwood kind of sounds a little dry, boring if you will. A story about a big city family moving to a small town really doesn't sound that appealing. However, when you break it down further, it becomes a lot more interesting. This series is about a world renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Andrew Brown (Treat Williams) who moves his kids to Everwood, Colorado after the death of his wife. The show focuses upon the dramatic aspects of their new lives and their interactions within the small town community. There are several things about this series that make it very entertaining, but it's mainly the cast and writing that make it a really good show.
Each member of the show's cast, whether a main character or a supporting character is very important to the development of this show as a season. The reason is that the dramatic interactions of everyone are presented in a manner that really makes the viewer feel for each of the individuals. It leaves you both loving and hating them. As a result, you (the viewer) can easily associate with each of the characters and truly care about them. It also produces a strong desire to know what happens in the next episode. This ties into next reason that this series is very strong as a season. The writing produces episodes in the manner that you can't just watch an episode here and there. This is because each episode builds from the previous ones. However, there are recaps of the important details at the beginning of each episode, but unless you sit through the entire season episode after episode, you'll miss out on the important character development. In turn, you won't have that same care for each of the characters.
Furthermore, there are just some great stories that trickle throughout the first season. One of the major stories in the beginning is the adjustment of the Brown family into the small Everwood community. At first, things don't appear to be working out for them. Dr. Brown's son, Ephram (Gregory Smith) harbors some severe resentment towards his father and his daughter, Delia (Vivien Cardone) just isn't fitting in. As for Dr. Brown, he's welcomed by most of the community with open arms. However, the local family doctor, Dr. Harold Abbott Jr. (Tom Amandes) is less than thrilled with his arrival. This is really entertaining, because we get a chance to meet and learn about the main and reoccurring cast members of the series. The first few episodes do very well to develop their characters and the problems that are associated with each and every one of them. Additionally, there are some great stories about young love with a twist, bullies, greed, and jealousy. There is also plenty of focus upon the relationship between Dr. Brown and his son. We get to watch a father son relationship that was once very distance, filled with resentment, hate, and anger, slowly turn into something very special.
Later into the first season, we have some interesting stories that revolve around medical issues. Having stories like this make sense because two of the main characters are medical professionals. These episodes cover topics like ethical issues in modern medicine, quality of life, abortion, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and reprogenetics. Each of these topics make for very interesting stories because the writing details their effect upon the small Everwood community very well. There's also another big dramatic story that unfolds near the middle of the season and ends the season with a big cliffhanger. One of the recurring cast members is in a comatose state. This gripping story revolves around his friends, family, and the Browns trying to save his life and protect the emotional wellbeing of each other. The most exciting part about this story centers on the aftermath of their attempts. I'd hate to discuss it in further detail, because I don't want to ruin it for you. But I promise you that it's a truly compelling story.
It's the characters and their interactions and the superb writing that make the first season of Everwood a very strong series. Individuals who are looking for a mesmerizing drama with a horde of loveable characters need not look further. The first season release of Everwood has more electrifying drama packed in its twenty-three episodes than most other television season releases do. I really fell in love with show and I think that you will too. So give Everwood a chance, it's a spellbinding series that is hard to stop watching.
Overall, I found that watching the entire first season of Everwood was a very entertaining experience. I quickly fell in love with the entire cast. Even those that I didn't like at first, slowly turned into characters that I really cared about. The gripping stories told in this season made me wanting more, to see what happened next. I really can't wait to see future season releases on DVD. The bottom line is that if you enjoy drama that you can get easily hooked to, Everwood should fit the bill very well. I highly recommend this release.
Stephanie Niznik stars in the hit drama ''Everwood''
With many well-received roles in television, film and theatre under her belt, Stephanie Niznik returns for a third season as Nina Feeney, Dr. Andy Brown's (Treat Williams) neighbor and confidante in the hit Monday night drama Everwood.
This engrossing series has proven itself to be much more than the average family drama. Unafraid to tackle any subject, the first two seasons of Everwood confronted topics such as teens with sexually transmitted diseases, medical marijuana, a husband who was living a lie by hiding his homosexuality from his wife and a frightened 18-year-old girl who decided to have an abortion. Set in a breathtaking small town in the Rocky Mountains, the series' emotional center is the visceral and often heartbreaking relationship between a father and son.
Dr. Andrew Brown's (Treat Williams) own life changed forever the day his loving wife died. Up until then, he was a world-renown neurosurgeon whose career always overshadowed his obligations as a parent. When he was faced with the daunting task of raising his two kids, pre-teen Delia (Vivien Cardone) and teenage Ephram (Gregory Smitht) by himself, Andy traded in the New York skyline for the breathtaking vistas of the Rockies to settle in Everwood, Colorado, a charming and picturesque little town tucked in among majestic snowy peaks.
When Andy opened up a free clinic for the citizens of Everwood, popular opinion was that he had lost his mind, but that didn't stop one local character, Edna (Debra Mooney), from applying for a job as his nurse and office manager. Andy's welcome wagon consisted of just three people: Edna, her husband, school bus driver Mr. Irv (John Beasley), and Andy's new neighbor, Nina Feeney (Stephanie Niznik, Guardian Angel, Vanishing Son). The person most disturbed by the new clinic was Edna's son and the only other doctor in town, Dr. Harold Abbott (Tom Amandes). Dr. Abbott quickly forbade his wife Rose (Merrilyn Gann) and teenage children, Amy (Emily VanCamp) and Bright (Chris Pratt) to have anything to do with the Brown family.
Despite Dr. Abbott's attempts to keep the families apart, Ephram Brown fell for Amy Abbott the first time he saw her. He soon learned that she was obsessed with her boyfriend, Colin Hart (Mike Erwin), who remained in a coma after a traffic accident left him with a serious brain injury. For Amy, the arrival of Ephram's father - the country's most respected brain surgeon - seemed like a gift from heaven.
Andy reluctantly agreed to use his skill to try and repair Colin's brain damage and bring him out of the coma, and the results seemed to be a true miracle. It wasn't long, however, until Colin was suffering from seizures, and Andy knew that another surgery was needed. This second operation was even more dangerous than the first, and Andy was not able to save Colin's life a second time. Lost in grief and depression, Amy was unable to forgive Andy. She acted out her feelings by experimenting with drugs and dating bad boy Tommy (guest star Paul Wasilewski).
While still struggling with the loss of Colin, Andy decided that Delia needed more attention and hired a college student, Madison (Sarah Lancaster) as a part-time housekeeper. Despite their age difference, and over Andy's strong objections, Madison and Ephram began to date. Not long afterward, Madison revealed to Andy that she was pregnant. Concerned for Ephram's future, Andy promised to take care of all Madison's expenses if she would leave Everwood and keep the pregnancy a secret.
Andy's relationship with Dr. Abbott's sister and medical partner, Dr. Linda Abbott (Marcia Cross) also ended painfully. After Andy reluctantly broke off their relationship, Linda left Everwood, but the fact that she had not revealed her HIV status to her patients caused Dr. Abbott to lose his liability insurance. When Andy suggested Abbott join his practice, an unlikely partnership was born.
As season three begins, Andy is still questioning whether he made the right decision concerning Madison's pregnancy. Dr. Abbott inadvertently leases his old office space to a new doctor, Jake Hartman (Scott Wolf), who will have quite an impact on the town. Delia will surprise everyone by growing up, and Nina will accept her true feelings for Andy.
Ephram and Amy will begin their senior year as a couple. Though they are in love and happy to finally be together, Ephram is overwhelmed with the work he must do to get into Julliard. Amy and Ephram will befriend a new girl named Hannah (Sarah Drew) who is temporarily living with Nina. Bright will continue to try to figure out a future for himself after the disappointment of being turned down by all the universities to which he applied.
From creator/executive producer Greg Berlanti (Jack & Bobby, Dawson's Creek) and executive producers Mickey Liddell (Go) and Rina Mimoun (DawsonÂ¿s Creek), Everwood is produced by Everwood Utah, Inc. in association with and distributed by Warner Bros. Television Production Inc.
Stephanie Niznik's sci-fi movie ''Epoch'' on DVD now
Epoch is one of those sci-fi efforts that's sadly too big for its own budget. In the film, a huge rock-like object smashes into the Earth in 4,000,000,000 B.C. Cut to present day when the rock actually emerges from the ground, hovering over the country of Bhutan near the Chinese border. The arrival of this mysterious object launches the US Government into action, sending a team of scientists and military men to determine its purpose. However, the sinister Chinese government wants to destroy the object, and doesn't mind wiping out the Americans studying it either.
Is it too much to ask that when a big object threatens the planet Earth, people take it seriously? The concept behind Epoch is terrific (there's a lot more to it than just "rock smash planet"), but the need to inject humor into the film undermines the seriousness of the situation. David Keith (an actor I enjoy and wish would get better roles) is the brains behind the scientific team studying the object, but because his character is dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease, this apparently gives him license to not care so much and be rather happy-go-lucky about the whole situation. I would hope that when the world is threatened in reality, the people in charge are able to keep a straight face and not joke around.
The cast features many familiar faces, mostly people in the "Hey, it's that guy" category. Also, Craig Wasson (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) gets to add a bit of fun to his government agent character (this is where the humor should have come from... the characters stuck in meeting rooms far away from the situation).
As I said, the storyline is incredibly ambitious, but only some of the special effects are up to snuff. Every once in a while there's a superbly done effect, but then later it'll be followed by something hideous. With a bigger budget and some rewriting on some of the film's plot elements, Epoch could have really been something. Epoch is available on DVD from Studio Home Entertainment.
Stephanie Niznik stars in the horror movie ''Spiders II: Breeding Ground''
The first “Spiders” (2000) was a case of lively idiocy which was fun to watch in an ironic MST3K sort of way. Its 2001 sequel, “Spiders II: Breeding Ground” is a case of dreary idiocy which is a slog to watch. It is a sequel in name only and unrelated in any other way to the first film except in that it also features gigantic overgrown spider monsters.
Alexandra (Stephanie Niznik) and Jason (Greg Cromer) are a young generically good-looking American yuppie couple (don’t you hate them already?). On their way to Hawaii in their private sail boat, the boat capsizes and sinks during a bad storm. They are rescued by a huge cargo ship that happened to passing by. The cargo ship appears to be going in circles and the ship’s radio, said to be broken by the Captain (Daniel Quinn), actually seems to be working. The crew is obviously hiding something – but what?
And then there is the mysterious Dr. Gabec (played by Richard Moll whom, if he seems familiar to you, it is because he memorably played court guard Bull Shannon on the long-running TV sitcom “Night Court”). Later on it is revealed that Gabec is your typical over-the-top movie mad scientist type, performing experiments involving giant-sized spiders. It is never really revealed what exactly he has in mind with the experiments – not that it really matters in this kind of movie.
Gabec wants to use Jason in his devious experiments and it is up to Alexandra to rescue him. Strangely enough the life cycle of the spider monsters in the movie resemble more those of the alien in the “Alien” movies than any spiders we might know from nature documentaries. The “Aliens” rip-off aspect becomes more apparent when we see the pods in which Gabec stores his unfortunate victims/subjects – I am sure the prop master from the movie bought the ones from James Cameron’s 1986 “Aliens” on e-Bay!
The climax is taken straight from “Aliens” as well as Stephanie Niznik pulls a Ripley/action heroine on us. Not only does she beat up several full-grown sailors (in one memorable scene she attacks a sailor with the toothpick he was nonchalantly chewing on!), she also outwits and fries several spider beasties.
Most of “Spiders 2” takes place on a deeply entropic (i.e. crummy) cargo ship. Characters go down the same corridor with the same fake background-painted hallway so many times that you want to scream. Same goes for the stairways, rooms, etc. on the ship. But this is actually a good thing. Where the movie really falls on its face is when it kicks off and the script calls for a storm that sinks a small sailboat yacht. Here the CGI is especially crummy (you’ll notice that I’m going to use the term ‘crummy’ a lot in this review), replete with smudgy Vaseline edges where the boat’s hull supposedly sticks out of the water.
Things get a lot worse towards the end when said cargo ship is being overrun by giant spiders ranging from Volkswagen Beetle-sized ones to “Alien” face hugger types. Here you can practically see the inert rubber beasties being dragged along by pieces of string! However, its worst problem is the humourless and overserious way in which the movie goes around its business. Except for Richard Moll’s over-the-top performance, this is a B-movie that takes itself way too seriously.