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Reba - Season 2

Fox // Unrated // December 13, 2005
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted December 20, 2005 | E-mail the Author
The Second Season

Reba is a television series starring country singer Reba McIntire. In season one Reba finds herself recently divorced, a mother of three, and in the middle of a dysfunctional family. Reba's ex-husband Brock left her for his twenty-something assistant. Her seventeen year old daughter is pregnant and married her high school sweetheart, and they're living under her roof. To make matters worse, Brock and his new wife Barbara Jean (BJ) is a permanent fixture in Reba's life. Together they make a perfect dysfunctional family perfect for television. For more details about this series please refer to my review of season one.

My impressions of season one weren't very high. I thought the show had some fun episodes, but on the whole it was lacking. The character roles were what I really disliked most. Their performances were exaggerated and over the top to the point where the comedy felt forced. There were a lot of oblivious-to-the-obvious roles and together they were an overload. With the second season, I felt the characters were toned down a level and they played off of each other in a better fashion. I really enjoyed how they turned some relatively straightforward situations into some hilarious moments.

In the beginning of season two, Reba is on the verge of getting her household back to normal, well at least as normal as it ever can get. Cheyenne and Van are preparing to go to college and move out. Van's football scholarship includes campus housing. Unfortunately, Van runs into a bad streak of luck and hurts his knee. He won't be able to play football, and decides to postpone his college career. When Reba and Brock start moving Cheyenne's stuff into the new apartment, they find someone else moving in. What makes this story so funny is how Reba reacts to the news.

Another fun part about this season deals with Reba and Barbara Jean's relationship. There are several funny episodes with the two working very well together and giving some hilarious performances. Some of these episodes include "It's Jake's Party, Cry If You Want To", BJ starts returning insults with Reba, and "Mommy Nearest", Reba reacts badly when Jake calls BJ mommy, and "Seeing Red", Reba gets jealous over the friendship between BJ and Kyra. In "Seeing Red" BJ also gets a Reba-like makeover, the hair and everything. Hilarious.

In this season Reba runs into some financial problems. In "Proud Reba" she reveals to the family they don't have much money. She decides to get a job, but finds out that years of being a mother doesn't translate well on a resume. Van and Cheyenne get on food stamps and Reba lets her pride get in the way. In "Reba Works For Brock", Reba gets a job at Brock's office and ends up working under BJ. Reba doesn't handle her new boss well. She lasts three days before quitting. In "The Rings" Reba decides to hawk her engagement ring on Ebay. Brock finds out and tries to buy the ring, which complicates matters when BJ gets the impression the ring is for her. "Location, Location, Location" puts Reba into a predicament. She wants to send Kyra to England for a summer study abroad program, but runs into a problem when she finds out Cheyenne needs to go to summer school.

This season has plenty of more funny stories. "Safe Dating" is a fun episode where Reba starts dating again. The dad of Kyra's boyfriend turns out to be handsome single parent who is equally interested in Reba. The season continues with more episodes about dating, all of which turn into some funny dating situations. "The Feud" has Reba being forced into a dispute between two dentists, her ex-husband Brock and her boss Eugene. It's fun to watch her try to decide which side to take and what finally tips the balance.

Overall this season turned out to be a lot more laughs than the first season. The general mood was the same, an over the top approach to comedy. However I felt that the characters were balanced better and while there are several oblivious to the obvious roles, they weren't as bluntly stupid or outright annoying. I enjoyed the cast a lot more this season. I also thought it was good that Kyra played a bigger role in this season. She has a very cynical attitude and in several episodes she put her cynicism to good use by making fun of everyone around her. Jake, however, still didn't play a huge role and it will be interesting to see where his character goes. In the end, I thought Reba season two was a lot of fun and should make any sitcom-goer laugh.

Episode Guide
1. House Rules
2. Skating Away
3. Proud Reba
4. Reba Works For Brock
5. It's Jake's Party, Cry If You Want To
6. Safe Dating
7. Mommy Nearest
8. Switch
9. Ring-a-Ding
10. Cookies For Santa
11. A Moment In Time
12. The Vasectomy
13. The Rings
14. Seeing Red
15. Terry Holliway
16. Valentine's Day
17. The Feed
18. And The Grammy Goes To...
19. The Wall
20. The Best Defense
21. For Sale, Cheap
22. The Will
23. Location, Location, Location
24. Your Place Or Mine?

The packaging for Reba: The Complete Second Season is a cardboard box that houses three slim DVD cases. The DVDs are dual-sided single layered discs. The first two DVDs and side A of the third disc each have four episodes, with side B of the third disc containing the very last two episodes.

The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture is the most impressive aspect of this DVD release, as it is very clean and crisp. There are no noticeable compression artifacts and colors tend to be very rich.

The audio in this DVD release is given in two languages, English and Spanish. For both languages the audio is in the same format, 2.0 Dolby digital stereo surround. The majority of the audio in this release is dialogue driven, which sounds very good with no noticeable distortions. It comes off flat and takes very little advantage of the multiple channels.

The extras include four audio commentaries and a featurette. The commentaries have executive producers Kevin Abbott and Matt Berry for episodes "House Rules", A Moment In Time", "Seeing Red", and "Location, Location, Location". The featurette "Reba 2.0: The Second Season " is an eighteen and a half minutes with Abbott and Berry talking about season two in general, and the characters Reba, Brock & BJ, Van & Cheyenne, Kyra & Jake. If you are interested in learning more about the series and its characters from the executive producers' perspectives, than these extras should be entertaining. I thought they were interesting, but lack any replay value.

Final Thoughts:
My impressions about the first season of Reba were mixed. I thought the show was funny, but overdid its approach to comedy. The show all too often relied on the characters saying or doing stupid things versus being funny. In the end, I wasn't left with very high impressions. When I sat down and started watching season two, I found myself laughing until it hurt. I quickly saw something I did not see in the first season. The characters were still acting stupid, but it was toned down and they were better working together. The jokes and laughs were more authentic and enjoyable. The bottom line is I enjoy this season a lot more than the first and look forward to seeing future seasons on DVD. This is a solid buy for those who enjoy a good sitcom full of cliches and goofy situations.

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