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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Laguna Beach - The Complete Second Season
Laguna Beach - The Complete Second Season
Paramount // Unrated // August 8, 2006
List Price: $38.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 4, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Second Season

In an effort to mix the popularity of reality television programming and teen melodramas, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County takes a look into a group of high schoolers as they drudge through the last stages of their young adult lives. The series focuses on the drama in their daily lives as they deal with their romantic relationships, backstabbing friendships, the popularity facade, and other related sorts. The first season featured eleven thirty minute episodes and focused on Stephen, L.C., Kristin, Talan, Morgan, Lo, Trey, and Christina. The majority of the drama centered around a love triangle with Stephen, L.C., and Kristin. In season two, the drama is taken up a notch with new faces, new relationships, backstabbing friends, complex love geometry, and more. And as the caption says before the beginning of each season two episode, "The following program was shot over an eight month period in the city of Laguna Beach, California. The people, the location and the drama... are real."

When I sat down with the first season of Laguna Beach, I was looking forward to it because I enjoy sappy teen-melodramas and the occasional reality television program. In the end, I found Laguna Beach to be intriguing, but nothing really great. Part of the problem is that several of the situations and people came off as whiny and annoying. Season two, however, was a lot more exciting. For me it was the increased drama from the sordid love affairs and while it felt hokey at times, it was still hard not to enjoy.

Season two features some cast changes due to six of the original eight heading off to college. From the original lineup, Kristin and Talan remain. They were juniors in season one. L.C. and Stephen also make several appearances and are continued to be credited as cast members. The new season cast members include Taylor, Alex M., Jessica, and Jason. There are also plenty of new and old faces.

Season two begins with "Since You Been Gone", which reunites the Laguna Beach cast (past and present) together. It is winter vacation and there is a lot of catching up to do. Stephen finds out Kristin has moved on and she is dating someone else. L.C. continues to pine over Stephen and returns to Laguna after finding college in San Francisco was not for her. The new characters are introduced, which are not limited to Jason, Jessica, Alex M., Taylor, Alex H., and Casey. Of interest is Jason. He is a senior and in the crosshairs of all of the girls. He is the source of a lot of drama in the season. He moves from Jessica to Alex M. to L.C.

As the season progresses, the drama focuses on the season one love triangle between Stephen, Kristin, and L.C. Stephen still has feelings for Kristin, and slowly starts to work L.C. into the picture. At the same time, Kristin and Talan hook up and matters get complicated when Talan wants something serious while Kristin is not sure what she wants. In addition, drama brews between Jessica and Jason, as their relationship is clearly not in a good place. Everyone keeps telling Jessica to watch out for him, because he is bad news.

Midway into the season, Jason and Jessica call it quits and it is not too long before he moves onto someone else. That someone happens to be Alex M., who conveniently was spending a lot of time with Jason while he was still dating Jessica. But of course, one girl is not enough for bad buy Jason, as he later cheats on Alex with Jessica. This act makes for a very dramatic spring break episode. Kristin also gives Talan a punch in the stomach (figuratively speaking of course) when she spends the weekend in San Francisco with Stephen.

Towards the end of the season, the drama continues to heat up when Stephen decides he wants to pursue something real with L.C. after realizing his relationship with Kristin is not going back to where they were in season one. But Stephen's plan is foiled when L.C. hooks up with Jason. Of course, Jason does not stick with L.C., as he finds his way back into someone else's arms.

Overall, season two of Laguna Beach is filled to the brim with drama which is mostly about the cast members coupling with each other and how they handle cheating boyfriends, backstabbing friends, and other such related things. If you enjoy this kind of teen melodrama, then you won't want to miss season two of Laguna Beach. It may come off as sappy, slightly over-the-top, or even a little forced at times, but it still makes for some thrilling and gripping television.

Episode Guide
1. Since You've Been Gone
2. You Can't Trust Him
3. It's Hard To Say Goodbye
4. More Than Friends
5. Winter Formal
6. I Hate Valentine's Day
7. Get Over Him
8. What Goes Around...
9. Cabo, Cabo, Cabo
10. Lies And Goodbyes
11. Don't Hate The Game
12. Our Last Prom
13. Boyfriends Are Like Purses
14. The End Of The Beginning
15. I Saw You Kiss Her
16. Nothing More To Say
17. One Last Wave

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in anamorphic widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The picture quality is pretty good. There are minimal distortions in the video, with some traces of edge enhancement. Colors look good, especially brighter ones.

Audio:
The audio track included is in English Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio track is dialogue driven, but is supplemented with plenty of music from artists like Hillary Duff, Dashboard Confessionals, Michelle Branch, and more. The music came off fairly rich. For the dialogue, I noticed that the sound levels would sometimes jump around. But it did not occur often enough to be a real problem.

Extras:
Laguna Beach: The Complete Second Season comes on three DVDs and the third disc is devoted entirely to extras. The special features include deleted scenes, cast interviews, featurettes, and more. The following is a complete breakdown of the extras.

Like the season one set, there is a lot of content to watch with Deleted Scenes. There are a total of twenty deleted scenes with a runtime of 45:41.

Cast Interviews is another massive set of extras and like the season one set, there is a lot of material to watch. The interviews include Alex M., Taylor, Kristin, Stephen, Jason, L.C., and Jessica. The total runtime is 1:08:59.

Under the Featurettes category, there are five different items to watch. First is "Laguna Guide to Love" (11:44) and it provides the viewer a chance to get to know the cast (Jason, Alex, L.C., Jessica, Stephen, Kristin, Taylor) better through interviews. The topics include what do you look for in the opposite sex, what do you look for in a relationship, what is the best thing about being in a relationship, and other such questions related to love, dating, and relationships.

In the beginning of "Fight the Slide 2005" (13:01), Stephen and Dieter take you on the scene of the June 2005 disaster. Heavy rain and mudslides caused the destruction of homes and displacement of residents in Laguna Beach. The remainder of the featurette includes additional footage of the fashion show (Talan and Alex singing) in episode "I Saw You Kiss Her".

"Seventeen Magazine Cover Shoot" (6:17) is behind the scenes footage of the photo shoot Kristin did for Seventeen Magazine.

"Behind the Season Finale with the Cast" (2:42) is a very short featurette with a few interviews with star-struck fans and words from Stephen.

The last featurette is "Cosmo Girl Magazine Photo Shoot" (4:45) and it has some footage of the guys from Laguna Beach in a photo shoot with Cosmo Girl Magazine.

Laguna Memories features two additional aspects to remember the cast of Laguna Beach, "Cast Home Videos" and "Cast Photo Album". The videos include footage from Kristin, Jessica, L.C., and Stephen's childhood. Total runtime is 22:18. The photos include pictures of Kristin, Alex M., Jason, Jessica, L.C., Stephen, Talan, Taylor, and miscellaneous cast photos.

Highlights are two clip montages from the season episodes. "The Girls Are Vicious" (1:06), the girls and the harsh gossip, and "The Two Triangles", (4:35), various moments dealing with the love triangles.

Casting Tapes (4:23) is a short montage of casting tapes with Jessica, Jason, Alex H., and Taylor.

Lastly, there are several advertisements, "Virtual Laguna Beach", which is a teaser/trailer for an interactive online game, "MTV Overdrive", an advertisement for MTV's free Broadband Video Channel, "Previews" for Laguna Beach Season Three Sneak Peak, Laguna Beach: The Complete First Season, All You've Got, MTV Books Teen Fiction, She's the Man, and The Hills: Season One.

Final Thoughts:
I reviewed season one of Laguna Beach and found it to be a pretty enjoyable television series, although there were some points that were dry and hard to get through. Season two conquers the "dry and hard to get through" spots by incorporating more drama with the cast in some very complex love geometry (multiple love triangles intersecting). It makes for some solid drama that viewers who enjoy soapy teen melodrama will fall in love with. Laguna Beach: The Complete Second Season is worth watching. The season set also comes with a lot of extras that make for a good watch (if you enjoy the series).

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