Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Anatomy of a DVD Cover

Very soon, Season 6 of 24 will be released on DVD. This is always a moment when I just pick up the case and buy it, without hesitation. This'll be no different, although Season 6 was pretty weak (as far as 24 goes) and although I'll be waiting for Target to put it on sale for ten bucks cheaper a few weeks later (like they have before). But I am very upset about something. A few months ago on the blog, I saw a preliminary cover of the sixth season DVD. I have no way of knowing whether it was genuine or a fan design (although it looks professional and glossy enough to pass for a design sanctioned by Fox). This was it:

IMO, this is the best cover design for any DVD I've seen. It just captures the feeling of "24", and Jack Bauer, perfectly. Jack is, without a doubt, the most tormented character on TV today, perhaps ever. He has lost everything in the name of protecting his country. And that really came to a boil in Season Six, with the ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** killing of Curtis, after which he called Bill and told him that he couldn't do this anymore; his reuniting with Audrey, the woman he loves and the only person he has left, only to find that she's in a catatonic state; the involvement of his family (the Bauers get my vote for the most dysfunctional family on television); and his confrontation with James Heller in the last episode of the season, in which it all comes out.***SPOILERS OVER***

So, to me, this cover was just a natural. Jack is clearly at odds with himself and the world around him in Season Six, so this cover was just brilliant. But unfortunately, Fox isn't going with this cover. This will be the cover instead:

I like it, if it was the only one I saw, I'd be okay with it. The cover design isn't a big consideration when I buy my DVDs. But after seeing the first one, this just seems so damn generic. It's Jack Bauer in a typical badass pose covered transparently by the American flag. It's no surprise to anyone who's even heard of the show. But the first design is such an eye-opener, it looks different from anything else on the shelf. If it was something made by a fan, than I can't really fault Fox and the creators of 24. But if it was really being considered as being the cover and was turned down, than, shame on them. What a way to pussy out, for whatever reason.

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