"Once upon a time: The complete second season"
Overview: Relive every thrilling moment of the fairy tale-inspired series when “Once Upon a Time: The Complete Second Season” casts its tantalizing spell onto Blu-ray/DVD. The curse is broken, magic has arrived, and there’s no telling what – or who – will be unleashed! Now the exiled fairy tale characters must grapple with a flood of awakened memories as they come to grips with their new “reality.” Old loyalties will be tested, new heroes will emerge, and vengeful villains will wreak havoc. Amidst the backdrop of previously unexplored lands and a newly magical Storybrooke, love and sacrifice will set the stage for the ultimate battle between good and evil.
Once Upon a Time is a fantasy TV drama that takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose inhabitants are actually characters from various fairy tales that were simultaneously transported to today’s “reality” and robbed of their real memories by a powerful magical curse. Each episode typically features a primary storyline occurring in Storybrooke, as well as a secondary storyline usually from another point in the show’s characters life/live before the curse was enacted.
I always meant to check out this series during prime time but never got around to it. The premise is kind of interesting although I found some of the thematic elements to be geared a bit more toward the tween crowd. Season Two finds the residents of Storybrooke having regained their memories however the curse won’t allow them to venture beyond the confines of the town as doing so will erase their memories of the past leaving them with no knowledge of where they originally came from. With that the focus shifts as the fates of both the fairytale world and Storybrooke become intertwined with elements from each traveling back and forth via magical portals that are easily accessed. There evil mischief in the form of the evil Queen of Hearts, as she hopes to exact revenge on her daughter Regina, who now looks to establish a bond of trust with the residents of Storybrooke.
The storyline shifts from past (fairytale land) to present (Storybrooke) and continues to reveal secrets, quests, betrayals and connecting back stories that introduce characters and plotlines that feed the series’ unfolding events. The plethora of fairytale characters, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Prince Charming, Sir Lancelot, the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, Mulan, Red Riding Hood and more, are creatively intertwined in the twofold narrative that seems to have endless possibilities. At times I found it melodramatic and somewhat juvenile and other times I found myself involved and wondering where things would go next. I can’t say that Once upon a time is a TV drama that would appeal to a broad audience but it has its place and provides fans with entertaining bit of escapism. Season Three airs on ABC in September. Check your local listings.
Once Upon a Time stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret,
Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David, Emilie de Ravin as Belle, Colin O’Donoghue as Hook, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills, Meghan Ory as Red Riding Hood/Ruby and Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold.
From Storybrooke to Fairy Tale Land and beyond, experience all the mystery, romance, action and adventure of the second season featuring all 22 episodes and exclusive bonus features in this five-disc set that comes housed in a standard amaray style keep case with matching lenticular slipcover.
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
This is an excellent high definition video rendering that features well resolved images, defining sharpness and two dimensional depth that appear faithful to the show’s original elements. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation, tonal warmth and vibrant textures. Fleshtones appear descriptive with discernible complexional variety that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Contrast is well balanced which enriches both light and dark onscreen elements. I saw no signs of video related anomalies or artifacts.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue, robust dynamics and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spatial dimension and directional cues to create an apropos and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with show’s music, and accentuated the show’s thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.
Video rating = 88 Audio rating = 88
- A Fractured Family Tree – Explore the tangled magical genealogy behind the series’ fairytale family.
- Sincerely, Hook – Set sail with Colin O'Donoghue (Killian Jones/Captain Hook) and learn more about the man behind the hook.
- Girl Power – Enjoy a high impact look at Storybrooke’s fearless females as they fight for love and justice between the realms of magic and reality.
- The Fairest Bloopers of Them All – Fans will laugh-out-loud with outtakes from the latest season.
- Deleted Scenes – Experience never-before-seen moments from the magical series.
- Audio Commentaries – Join the cast and crew as they share details about what it was like to make each spellbinding episode come to life.
Blu-ray Release Date: August 13, 2013
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package