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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Moonshiners Season 2
Moonshiners Season 2
Discovery Channel // PG-13 // April 8, 2014
List Price: $14.93 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 14, 2014 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:
A thought occurred to me while watching "Moonshiners": why not have moonshiners unite? Strength in numbers, combine to create a corporation, follow rules and reg (go legit), improve production, call it "artisanal" and "small batch" and slap a premium price tag on it. With multiple brewers, you have a portfolio of "brands" - a backwoods Jim Beam.

Of course, with going legit, maybe there's not the Discovery Channel series, but there's also not the pesky aspect of having to continually turn your production into a covert operation to hide it from potentially being busted by the feds. The series has apparently run into some controversy with the local police, who have said that there's not actual liquor being made in the series and that it's a dramatization (or else they would have shut it down already.) The series does walk a bit of a fine line and it's likely upsetting to law enforcement that the show promotes the business as well as maybe gives amateurs an idea or two. The moonshiners have said that they haven't gotten in trouble because they need to be literally caught in the middle of making moonshine.

As for the illegal nature of the business, as one of the show's stars noted: "And that's why moonshine's illegal, because there's no taxes being paid on it. It's not that it's unregulated or that the government thinks it could possibly be an inferior product, which if you know what you're doing making moonshine, that's absolutely what you don't want to put out there. Your product, you can't put a label on it if you're making it out in the woods. Your product has to sell itself. If you've got a bad product, nobody will ever buy shine from you again." (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/12/06/moonshiners-explain-how-evade-law-on-national-tv/)

It very well may be a dramatization, but if it is, it's at least a moderately engaging one following a series of moonshiners who have to come up with increasingly inspired ways to go about their illegal business while hiding production from the local police. Tim and Tickle (the latter winding up with his own spin-off) are a particular focus.

The series does appear to go overboard at times trying to dramatize the evasive action the moonshiners try to take to hide their operations, but it makes for watchable television and it is interesting to see the process that these people have to go through the produce what they have to secretly try to sell (or just drink themselves), not to mention the tactics that they manage to come up with to evade detection by the local law enforcement.

Going back to the idea of having these people work together to create a liquor company of their own, it would be an interesting episode to actually have the moonshiners of the series take a tour of a distillery of a major producer (such as a Beam or Diageo.) Some of the more interesting stories that do happen this season include: Tickle's attempts to go it alone after Tim decides that it's time to go legit ("Tickle Goes Rogue", "A Shiner's Last Stand" - Tim's website - http://timsmithmoonshine.com) and some of the natural dangers of the business are shown, including toxic black mold being found in one of the underground sites ("Tickle Goes Rogue") and wet weather causing flooding ("Storm's A Brewing").

Episodes: "Rise 'n Shine!", "Moonshine Goldmine", "Moonshiner Vs. Hogzilla", "Storm's a Brewing", "A Shiner's Last Stand", "Prophecy Fulfilled", "Tickle Goes Rogue", "Troubled Waters", "Adios, Mr. Still", "Moonshine Treasure Hunt", "Hat in Hand" and "Last Shiner Standing". The two part special, "Secret Summit", is also included.

Video: "Moonshiners" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation of the series looked crisp and detailed throughout the majority of the running time, with only a few mild concerns spotted. These issues included a few minor instances of edge enhancement and a few traces of artifacting. Not surprisingly, no wear or additional issues were seen with the source material. Colors looked natural and accurate, with no smearing or other faults.

Audio: The show's stereo soundtrack offered crisp dialogue and clear music.

Extras: None.

Final Thoughts: "Moonshiners" is a fairly engaging look at the continuing production of moonshine and some of the personalities at work trying to produce the best 'shine. The DVD offers no extras, but fine audio/video quality. A light recommendation.
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