Arrested Development-Season 2 (2004)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Overview: Season One In 3 Minutes
Audio Commentary-Cast And Crew - "The Righteous Brothers"
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||None Given|
Twentieth Century Fox
Portia de Rossi
|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
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Burger King...not annoying at all - just clever.|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The story of the dysfunctional Bluth family continues here with the second season of the highly acclaimed Arrested Development. If you are unfamiliar with the concept and premise of this superb sitcom, you might like to first check out my review of Arrested Development - Season One.
Thankfully the high standard of comedy writing has continued into the second season. Although the situations are slightly more madcap than the first series, the show has not lost any of its unique brand of humour. I found the second series to be constantly hilarious. There is always more to an Arrested Development situation than meets the eye and many additional jokes are picked up on repeat viewings.
The entire cast, including Ron Howard's perfectly understated narration returns in the second season. This also includes the smaller but equally brilliant characters played by Henry Winkler, Liza Minnelli, Judy Greer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the first series. Arrested Development's trademark cameo roles also continue with some this season's new characters played by guest stars Ed Begley Jr, Martin Short, Ben Stiller, Dick Van Patten and Ione Skye.
The many layers of each Arrested Development storyline sustains the freshness and originality of the show. This also provides no end to the bizarre and hilarious situations bestowed on its characters.
Like the DVD presentation of the first season, the second season of Arrested Development is also presented as a three disc set. The eighteen episodes that make up season two are briefly summarised below. Some spoilers are contained in the summary, so feel free to skip this part if you wish, but with the episode storylines so rich in detail, this information is unlikely to spoil your enjoyment of the overall series.
The One Where Michael Leaves Part 2. (21:01)
George Sr is still eluding the authorities. Michael has had enough of the family and plans to leave for Phoenix with George Michael. That is until he discovers that he is next in line for prosecution and needs bail. Gob is now the token president of the company and embarks on a reckless course of mismanagement. George Sr's identical twin brother, Oscar, arrives and causes mayhem with police and Lucille. Lindsay and Tobias agree to an open marriage. Tobias auditions for The Blue Man Group.
The One Where They Build A House (21:00)
Michael conceives an idea to build a second model home, but Gob takes over the project and cuts corners all the way through. With a large gathering of media assembled, the ribbon cutting ceremony is a disaster. Lindsay has a date with a homeless man, with Tobias following close behind. Ironically, George Sr is arrested in Mexico for a crime Oscar committed, while Oscar resumes an old affair with Lucille. Buster joins the army.
Private detective Gene Parmesan discovers the Bluth stair car in Mexico - which in turn indicates George Sr's whereabouts. Michael decides to take a family trip to Mexico to pick up the car. A suspicious Gob hires a bounty hunter to follow Michael and track down George Sr. Lindsay is subsequently under the illusion that the bounty hunter is attracted to her. Lucille's housekeeper, Lupe, has an unexpected guest at her home.
Good Grief! (21:04)
The bounty hunter reveals to the family that George Sr is dead. The Bluths gather for a wake, but hide the details from Buster - telling him it's a party. Gob uses the occasion to unveil his latest illusion; Maeby tries to matchmake Lindsay with the bounty hunter - general chaos reins. George Michael discovers that George Sr is alive and well and hiding right under their noses.
Sad Sack (20:55)
Michael prepares to meet the new prosecutor in his father's criminal trial. Tobias is working out while waiting for a call from The Blue Man Group. Lindsay has developed an interest in Maeby's new boyfriend, Steve Holt. George Sr discovers that Lucille is really in love with Oscar. Tobias takes an accidental photo in the bath and nearly triggers an international incident.
Afternoon Delight (21:01)
The Bluth Banana Stand requires re-building after delinquents ditch it into the bay. Gob is busy intimidating his employees and preparing for the company Christmas party. When the party speeches go wrong, Gob sacks the entire staff. Michael comes to the rescue by organising another Christmas party a couple of days later, distributing gifts and reinstating their jobs.
Switch Hitter (21:03)
Tobias auditions for a film role. Lucille reacquaints herself with an old army friend in an effort to keep Buster from active duty. The baseball game between The Bluth Company and rival construction company Sitwell is on again. Sitwell boss, Stan Sitwell, entices Gob to work for them so that he can play on the Sitwell side in the game. Lindsay is taking pills that are bringing on uncharacteristic side effects.
Queen For A Day (21:02)
The Bluth Company stock is unfrozen and Michael is horrified to learn the family has sold off so much stock that they no longer have control. He discovers that his mother's archrival and one time lover in Buster's life, Lucille Austero has bought the stock. Buster is dating the company secretary. Tobias uses his money to purchase a club, complete with a male revue. Maeby stumbles into a job as a movie studio executive.
Burning Love (21:02)
George Michael prepares for involvement in a Christian record burning ceremony. George Sr gets a hot tub in his attic hideaway. Michael tries to get romantically reacquainted with his old flame, Sally Sitwell. Lucille is frantic with worry over the upcoming bachelorette auction. Gob makes a move on Lucille Austero.
Ready, Aim, Marry Me (21:02)
Michael donates his prize of a romantic package to Lindsay and Tobias. Suspicion grows amongst the Bluths that Lucille Austero is planning to sell the company. George Sr arranges for an old family friend called Uncle Jack to come and help. He turns out to be a very weird little man, with his eye on Lindsay. Gob and Buster are keen to find out what Lucille Austero is really up to.
Out On A Limb (21:00)
Michael discovers his brief romantic affair with lawyer Maggie Lizer has left her eight and half months pregnant. As Michael prepares to take on the responsibilities of a child, he is reminded of her previous lies. Lindsay and Tobias again act as spies and attempt to get information on Maggie. Buster learns that the army is sending him to Iraq for active service.
My Hand To God (21:01)
Buster has his hand bitten off while swimming in the ocean. The culprit is a grumpy seal, wearing a yellow tie that Gob had released into the ocean. Buster gets a hook to substitute for his missing hand, but forgets just how dangerous this hook can be. Michael is finally confronted with the whole truth about Maggie and her pregnancy.
Motherboy xxx (21:03)
Much to his misery, Lucille decides to make George Michael her partner at the annual Motherboy contest. Michael and Buster do their best to rescue him from this horrible fate. Tobias lands an acting role in a film depicting the Bluth family story and is cast in the role of George Sr. While he searches the attic for an old videotape, Tobias comes face to face with George Sr. Gob prepares to meet his wife in court.
The Immaculate Election (21:02)
George Michael runs against the popular Steve Holt for student body president. Gob gets involved and subsequently ruins his campaign. Gob films a magic video of tricks around the office, which forces Michael to fire his brother. Buster has an affair with Lupe, which forces Lucille to dismiss her from her housekeeping duties. Lindsay tells Tobias to pack his bags and leave, but he embarks on a scheme to hang around.
The Sword Of Destiny (21:03)
Michael is not impressed when Tobias takes on the role of personal assistant with The Bluth Company. George Michael begins to take driving lessons in the stair car. Gob and Buster meet with master magician Tony Wonder at the premiere of Gob's new sword illusion. Michael ends up in hospital with appendicitis. George Sr records a video message to his staff which is discovered by the FBI.
Meat The Veals (21:02)
When Michael learns that George Michael is planning to give his girlfriend Ann a pre-engagement ring, he decides to meet with her parents. Lucille is planning her wedding anniversary party and Gob is keen to bring an old friend. George Sr reveals himself to Gob and then asks for his help in kidnapping his wife.
Spring Breakout (21:03)
Lucille's drinking is becoming a problem and Michael has a plan to dry her out. Gob is out to settle an old score with Phillip Litt, the man who put Gob's magic mistakes on a spring break video. Kitty has found George Sr and plans to blackmail the family in an attempt to get what she was promised, long ago. George Michael has a re-kindled love for his cousin, Maeby.
Righteous Brothers (21:03)
George Sr is forced to leave the sanctuary of the attic because the house foundations have become unstable. Ann and George Michael protest against the American remake of Dangerous Cousins. Tobias decides to re-join the Blue Man Group and move to Las Vegas. Lindsay is upset to learn that Kitty has plans to go with Tobias. The penny finally drops for Buster as he realises Oscar is his father. George Sr is re-captured and returned to prison - or is he? George Michael and Maeby become kissing cousins - or are they?
The video transfer for Arrested Development Season 2 is outstanding and is identical in quality to the season one presentation.
The series is presented in the correct aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
As was the case with the first season, the second season of Arrested Development was filmed using high definition video and subsequently looks superb in that format on television. The levels of sharpness and clarity on this DVD are certainly very impressive and do justice to the overall visual quality of the series. Blacks are clean and bold with no evidence of any low-level noise. Shadow detail is also exceptionally good.
Colours were very natural, with no adverse issues apparent.
There were no MPEG artefacts and no significant film-to-video artefacts. Film artefacts were non-existent.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available on all episodes, as well as the audio commentaries. All subtitles are in white and seem to be very accurate.
All three DVDs are single sided, dual layer discs. The layer changes on all discs are neatly placed between episodes and cause no disruptions.
The audio transfer is quite impressive and is again equal with season one.
There are two audio tracks available on these DVDs; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), which is surround encoded and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
Dialogue quality was brilliant and presented no problems. Audio sync appeared highly accurate.
David Schwartz again provides the music for Arrested Development - Season Two. His music here is in the same suitably light and upbeat style as the first series. The main themes of the show are again retained for season two.
The surrounds were active with subtle ambient sound and music. Due to the very nature of the show, there was no need for precise or directional sound to be used.
The subwoofer was also active, adding enhancement to bass elements in the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
The selection of extras for season two is quite good, although slightly down on content from the first season's DVD presentation.
The menus are the same concept and design as the first series. Each disc features excellent animation in the form of short, humorous scenes from the series. The main menu of each DVD features different scenes relevant to the episodes on that particular disc. Most menus feature David Schwartz's music and all menus are 16x9 enhanced with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio.
The audio commentary on the first series had ten people involved. While those numbers are slightly down here, the result is still the same. This is a short, fun and very enjoyable commentary, with all seven people getting involved.
More bonus footage from five episodes on disc one. Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio.
The title describes it perfectly. This is an American Fox Network promo that gives an overview of the first season in precisely three minutes.
The same two web links are on all three discs and simply highlight two of the Fox Network websites.
The same group provides audio commentary for this episode. Again the commentary is very amusing and highly enjoyable. Jessica Walter's credits and accolades to the wrong director is very funny.
More bonus footage from five episodes on disc two. Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio.
A carbon-copy of the previous commentaries on discs one and two. Not particularly high on background information, but still extremely entertaining.
More bonus footage from five episodes on disc three. Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio.
Blooper reels are generally infectiously funny and this one is no exception. A wonderful collection of uncensored mishaps from the second season.
Go to the episode selection menu and scroll down to The Immaculate Election. With this episode highlighted, press left to open up a new menu. These are the three student body president campaign videos that are featured in this episode.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The differences between the R1 and this R2/4 edition of Arrested Development Season Two are quite minimal. Both editions are three disc sets and both contain the same features and extras. The R1 differs only in that it is an NTSC transfer and contains Spanish and French subtitles as well as English.
Unless the extra subtitles are of particular relevance, I would stick with the local R2/4 version.
In my opinion Arrested Development remains one of the most intelligent and outright hilarious American sitcoms to ever grace our television screens. The third season of the program has aired recently on the Fox Network in the U.S. With the second season delivering another consistent and quality result, I look forward to this third season not only gracing our television screens, but indeed our DVD players very soon.
The video and audio transfers are on par with the quality of the first season's DVD presentation - excellent.
The selection of extras should please the fans.
|DVD||JVC XV-N412, using Component output|
|Display||Hitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||Panasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS|
|Speakers||Fronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17|