The O.C.-Season 2 (The OC) (2004)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Crew - 'Rainy Day Women'
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||1005:48 (Case: 1007)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (6)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Robert Duncan McNeill
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, inasmuch as the entire show is a product placement|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One year on from my review of the first season of this show, I hate to say it ... I’ve been converted. Yes, I found myself enjoying waiting for The O.C. on TV, and although I missed the odd episode here and there during its broadcast run and didn’t feel excessively bad about it, for the most part I had a great time watching this show. Part of that is its tongue-in-cheek style. Part of that was the weekly amassing of friends that we packed out the apartment with around the projector (love the digital age) with some Thai take-out and a couple of bottles of wine.
In my defence (once more), I blame my persistent tuning in on the promises of hot lesbian sex that were so drawn out by Channel 10, much to my amusement and the crowd on my couches. Rest assured though, any parental units reading this review to determine whether it is safe for your youngsters – no saucy sex scenes eventually culminated ... at least, not on screen anyway (more’s the pity). There’s a bit of fondling, a bit of kissing, etc., but this doesn’t ever get past the "recommended" for mature audiences rating. Still, it provided ample fodder for innuendo amongst our O.C. posse, including my girlfriend, often the ringleader, while still proudly sporting her O.C. t-shirt.
For those who missed the saturation marketing on TV last year (thank all deities known and unknown for the absence of such pervasive, intrusive and frustratingly mind-numbing advertising on this DVD set ... and remember, they don’t play those ads louder, just at a more audible frequency – hab******! Ahem, er, sorry), The O.C. is a show set in Orange County, down in Southern California (and if you can’t draw the source of the show’s name from that, I’m not going to spell it out for you) and follows the life of disadvantaged bad boy Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) who is taken in by kind-hearted public defender Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher), his wife Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) and the Cohen’s only son, the decidedly untrendy Seth (Adam Brody). Seth has had a childhood crush on local girl Summer (Rachel Bilson), whereas Ryan and the girl next door, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), have had a ‘thing’ ever since he moved into the neighbourhood. Sadly, life and love were put on hold the previous year when all manner of hell broke loose, in particular Ryan heading off with an ex-girlfriend he allegedly knocked up, Seth sailing a boat away down the coast, Marissa’s father, Jimmy (Tate Donovan), being declared bankrupt and divorcing her mother Julie (Melinda Clarke), who promptly marries Seth’s exorbitantly rich grandfather (Kirsten’s dad), Caleb ( of Neighbours fame ... or infamy, I’m not sure).
A complete review of each episode is beyond the scope of this review. If you want a good episode summary, you can find one at TV.com. The second season of the show is distributed across the six discs of this release as follows:
1. The Distance (41:59) 2. The Way We Were (41:54) 3. The New Kids On The Block (41:50) 4. The New Era (41:52)
5. The SnO.C. (41:52) 6. The Christmukkah That Almost Wasn’t (41:54) 7. The Family Ties (42:05) 8. The Power Of Love (42:06)
9. The Ex-Factor (42:01) 10. The Accomplice (42:04) 11. The Second Chance (41:51) 12. The Lonely Hearts Club (41:54)
13. The Father Knows Best (41:50) 14. The Rainy Day Women (42:03) 15. The Mallpisode (40:31) 16. The Blaze Of Glory (42:02)
17. The Brothers Grim (42:02) 18. The Risky Business (42:02) 19. The Rager (42:03) 20. The O.C. Confidential (42:02)
21. The Return Of The Nana (41:50) 22. The Showdown (42:01) 23. The O.Sea (42:00) 24. The Dearly Beloved (42:00)
Hot-damn, this show takes a couple of nasty turns. But it’s class all the way! ... or not. But it’s fun, whichever way you look at it.
I mean, how can you go wrong, with the aforementioned experimentation in lesbian sex, one family member’s attempt at complete and utter self-destruction, and the introduction of a series of new characters – including the badder than bad boy Trey (Logan Marshall-Green) who is Ryan’s elder brother just released from prison, local club manager Alex (Olivia Wilde) who may bat for both teams from time-to-time, a long-lost family member Lindsay (Shannon Lucio) and vapid drugged out rich girl party slut Jess (Nikki Griffin) – that all added a whole new dimension to the various “who would you do?” scenarios that were oft discussed after that last bottle of wine went down and the credits had rolled past.
While the start of this season was a little slow by comparison to the rest of the series, it really does bring it home much stronger than the first season, with an outstanding final episode that is going to make an interesting start for the next season. Plus, with more than enough nods at petty consumerist values and popular culture, including cameos from many of the industry’s finest, this show really is a deconstructionist’s wet dream. And it doesn’t hurt that Marissa is still eschewing a bra in 98 per cent of her scenes. It’s becoming quite the trademark.
As an exercise in self-debasement, this show has masochism written all over it. But with the aid of a lot of friends, it can be a total laugh riot – even the second time through. And to be fair, it has some fantastic dialogue all on its own account (really – not being facetious there). Heartily recommended.
Shot on Super 16 (16mm) in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, mastered in High Definition Digital and broadcast in Australia in 1080i HD (1920 x 1080 pixels at interlace), this transfer is probably the best one I’ve seen for a TV series so far – knocking even The Sopranos: Season 5 from its perch (although Warner Home Entertainment dropped the ball on the last disc there).
Upscaled to 720p at 60Hz (1280x720 pixels at progressive scan), my mouth was just gaping. Bear in mind that I had just watched this season’s full run at 1080i through my HD STB on the same 80” screen, and this was matching up to that with only the faintest of loss of quality. Not bad for a standard definition digital source. And when you line it up against the DVD release of the first season ... well, there just is no comparison. Detail is stunning.
Colour is outstandingly good, and there’s a lot of it in this show. Rich saturations that make even top-notch movie transfers look pretty pale. I am extremely impressed.
Shadow detail is faultless, although to be fair there aren’t an overabundant number of scenes shot in low light – this is a very ‘bright’ show, which would be far more prone to oversaturation and wash out. However, the few shadowy shots there are (a couple inside some night clubs, a few on the beach at night) are outstanding.
There are no MPEG artefacts, no aliasing or moiré, and no detectable low-level noise.
Dirt and other film artefacts are largely non-existent.
Subtitles are available in English, Dutch, and English for the Hearing Impaired. They are white with a black border, clear and easy to read and follow the dialogue quite closely.
The dual layer pauses are between the layers and invisible.
This show trades on its score, an integral part not only of the mood of the show, but also the overall marketing ploy of the series. I’m not being callous or derogatory there, just stating a fact – the producers of this show pay top dollar to introduce new and outstanding talent to an international market. It’s only fitting, then, that they should get a decent reproduction.
Sound is English 2.0 Dolby Surround (192Kb/s) only. This was a wise choice by the producers of the DVD, inasmuch as they only put one soundtrack on, as this left the maximum amount of room possible for the video information. While it would have been nice to have a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, I don’t begrudge Warner Home Video for this choice.
Dialogue is flawlessly reproduced, which is important given it is an entirely dialogue driven show. There were no detectable sync issues that were transfer faults.
There is a fair bit of left-right directional cueing, but very little from the rears except for a bit of crowd sound and the music. I mean, this is clearly a stereophonic field, but it lacks the depth of a 5.1 Dolby Digital field. Still, nicely mastered.
Sadly, the subwoofer did not get kicked into life of its own accord.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The home menu has the theme in 2.0 Dolby Stereo and clips from various episodes running in three panels. The episode home menus are static and silent.
Produced in 2.0 Dolby Surround (192Kb/s) the commentary is by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Alexandra Patsavas, and Matt Ramsey. It makes for amusing listening.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 is so totally the clear winner on this one. I am a little upset. We miss out on:
I believe that we have the extended creator’s cut of The Rainy Day Women here in Region 4, judging by the audio commentary – so at least that wasn’t a total bust.
I don’t know if the Region 1 picture quality is as good, though I hear it is. If anyone knows otherwise, let me know.
The OC: The Complete Second Season is an amazing amount of fun if you’re in the mood for it. Sure, there’s a subtext in there and a lot of popular culture. There’s also some brilliant dialogue. But, hey – like we watch it for that.
Video is absolutely outstanding. Way to go Warner Home Video.
The audio is a good surround mix, but lacking the depth of a 5.1 channel mix.
Very few extras this time, but being a purist I’m not going to hold that against Warner Home Video who spared no expense on the video.
|DVD||Momitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-HS50 LCD Cineza Projector with HP 80" Widescreen (16:9) HDTV Mobile Projector Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Digital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer|