Once Upon a Time - Season 2 Blu-ray Review
fairy tales? Interested in a series with a new spin on classic stories?
seems to be putting a firm bet on all of that, as the show Once
Upon a Time continues to be a ratings hit, something of a
prime-time wonder-kid for the network, and in bountiful ways. The show
something that goes beyond the ordinary realm of standard television
becomes the entirely unique and inspired effort that keeps around 8
viewers in suspense and full wonderment on a weekly basis as the
the fascinating characters that inhabit its world of creativity
unfolds before the audience.
beginning of Season 1 introduced the intriguing concept that a curse
placed upon a story-land world with classic fairy tale characters: only
were real, and the world they lived in had disappeared from their grasp
the Evil Queen cursed them to be living out a normal, droll live where
are no 'happy endings' -- the place of banishment? We'll just have to
the place we humans like to call home: the land of modern day Earth.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven't seen
Season 1 yet, you'll want to stop reading, as some details will be
that a viewer of season 1 can listen to but that a newcomer won't want
season one finale introduced the concept of Magic arriving to the place
banishment, the land called Storybrooke: Rumplestiltskin (performed by
Carlyle, in one of his absolute best roles of his entire career)
ability for magic back to the land and an element of the curse seemed
when Emma was able to help save her son during what seemed to be a last
moments. People were so surprised by the season's end: Was the curse
lifted? People could remember themselves. However, could they return to
magical land? Magic Eight Ball Says: Time will tell.
second season's early stages actually introduced some concepts familiar
for the Lost fans out there as the show takes
some rather surprising turns at the start of the year and two elements
show converge in a surprising way when the season picks up from where
series debut season left off. Some of the characters wind up back in
magical world and others are left living in Storybrooke. While most of
characters in Storybrooke want to find a way back, some are actually
to get those tossed back, um, well... back to Storybrooke land!
diverge (in a similar fashion to some of Lost's
later plot-divisions) and are then unfolded leading back to a
de Ravin has an expanded role as Belle from Beauty
and the Beast, and fellow Lost
alum Jorge Garcia returns to play a lovable Giant named, you guessed
it: Tiny! Or Anton. Take your selective pick of names.
Such as is the case with many of these characters on the show, as the
of them seem to have "original names", "magical world
names", and "Storybrooke" names. Huh... well, it does keep
things interesting, for sure.
memorable supporting roles such as Grumpy (of the Seven Dwarfs) and Red
Hood) are sadly minimized during this season but occasional great
happen to unfold for these parts, but with a much slower pace.
main storyline elements in the second season seem to have been much
focused on the relationship between Regina (Lana Parrilla) and her
introduction of dastardly villain Hook, and the continuing storyline of
Rumplestiltskin looking to find his lost son and to save his
him, as well as his love, Belle.
the way, some shocking plot-lines unravel with the other characters,
with Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), Emma
(Jennifer Morrison), Henry (Jared Gilmore), and the other lead
some curious and fascinating directions with them begin to unfold
what happens when a surprise visitor stumbles upon Storybrooke? And is
visitor actually up to more than what it seems like at the start? The
concludes with an odd, briefly done and ultimately major
change affecting Storybrooke in the form of some rather
unwanted visitors with their own plans that might involve the magic of
Upon a Time
one of the best series on all of television (network or cable, take
and it continues to generally impress with its creative plot-lines,
and events that make the show one of ABC's must-watch programs. The
creativity of the show is something that impresses often, with a
never-ending array of unique ideas that the writer's come up with for
ways to spin classic fairy tales into entirely new stories for a more
of television viewers.
of the genius of the show's creation is found in how it's something
blended perfectly into the world of the fairy-tale universe established
parent company, Disney, who have told a immense array of the stories
in animated efforts over the past several decades. The creation of this
a delight with many layers as a result and it feels like something
only be found on the ABC network: it's perfect matching home.
series is from creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who were two of Lost's creative brains (they actually wrote
the most episodes after Lost show-runners
Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof). This season, however, they actually
only a handful of episodes and the stories excelling the plot-line the
seemed to be coming from some of the supporting players, such as Jane
who writes a lot of the best episodes during the season, and manages to
show mainly works so well because of the writing team, which was a
well-assembled one to have to be sure, but the direction, costuming,
designs, and overall high production qualities all lend an aspect to
that is distinct, impressive, and beautiful for the show's realized
Upon a Time has
bursts of energetic creativity at each turn and these individuals who
helped in spades to make the series become a reality have continued to
what is one truly amazing program; one which will go down in history as
the greatest, smartest storybooks realized in the history of ABC
is one expanded fairy-tale universe you absolutely don't want to miss.
Upon a Time
on Blu-ray with a stunning 1080p AVC encoded presentation that is one
greatest looking transfers you will find for a modern television show
on the format. The colors are lush and accurate, skin tones are
is impressive, and there certainly is an overall clarity and resolution
remarkable. The image never seems soft or underwhelming. This is a
with PQ that will please even the most "Grumpy" of fans. There
actually seems to be a minor improvement in the clarity and quality of
video over season one.
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
presentation is a good improvement over the first season's lossless
design. The first season's mix wasn't that involving and seemed almost
minimalistic in design with a front-heavy quality. The second season
audio isn't perfect, but it's a dramatic improvement. Surround usage
common during some adventurous sequences and crowd chatter and music
is a bit better on this set.
it certainly won't impress
as a top-tier television production in the audio department (it was
never as interesting a sound mix as Lost was
or shows like HBO's True Blood).
However, fans will be pleased with the improvements made to Season 2.
crisp, clear, occasionally impressive, and worthwhile sound mix with a
boost from lossless audio.
SDH subtitles (for the deaf
and hard of hearing), Spanish, and French subtitles are included.
supplement element of the set is
not quite as in-depth as I was personally hoping for it to be. The
extra of note is going to be found in the six audio commentaries included across the
season set, which comprises commentary from actors, writers, and
with the series.
set also contains several brief
featurettes. The first, "Good
Morning Storybrooke" is a silly, fake news program telecast with
select cast members participating (along with some celebrities and
to make a comedic spin on a news broadcast in Storybrooke. It also
"resolves" (hopefully not...) some storylines seemingly dropped
during the actual season of the show. It wasn't particularly great, but
will want to check it out (especially to hear Robert Carlyle doing a
ad for "Mr. Gold's" shop of wonders). The piece runs 12 minutes (HD).
Fractured Family Tree
(7 Min., HD) is narrated by ABC Family's Sarah Hyland, and it's
odd piece exploring the many ways in which almost all of the characters
exploring this show's family-tree seem to actually be related to one
some degree. Generally silly, this piece felt just a tad "fluffy" but
also somewhat interesting for connecting these family dots.
(11 min., HD) are found on the set as well with eight cut moments from
show's season. (Note: Extra deleted scenes are included on the Best Buy
(13 min., HD) is a fun feature exploring the kick-butt hero's of the
show, who definitely
demonstrate great "girl power" with finesse, strength, brains, and
skills in large quantities. The show's main heroes tend to be women,
piece explores that strong, wonderful element of the series with
writers and actors from the show.
Min., HD) is a fairly standard EPK style interview with the actor who
the Hook character on Once Upon a Time.
HD) offer some comedic moments behind the scenes of the show's fun
Best Buy exclusive edition
includes an extra disc with a featurette on the style of the
takes a look at the production and costume designs on the series. The
piece runs 15 minutes and explores some of the best design aspects of
Upon a Time is
one of the best shows on
television at the moment. I was blown away throughout most of the
season, but it did have some moments where the writing of characters
feeling a bit repetitive, and the conclusion of the season (including
confusing finale) makes it end with a bit of a "huh?"
going into the third season: yet the creatively smart
team hasn't really let the show down
much at all, yet, so one can hope
everything turns out splendid with the third year of the show. It's a
thrill ride of fascinatingly realized characters in a fairy-tale world
fun, enchanting, and quite (remarkably!)
season PQ/AQ is impressive throughout and with a decent selection of
serious fans will absolutely want to add the set to their collections.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.