DVD Review: ‘Heroes’ Season 2 (Blu-ray)
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Season 2
Starring Masi Oka, Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: August 26th, 2008

After going back to re-watch Season 1, and finding myself pleasantly surprised at how well it held up, I also went back and watched the second season of Heroes. You may call me an apologist, but I enjoyed season 2 almost as much as the first one. Did the season have its problems? Sure. A lot of the new characters were dumb and annoying, and their introduction caused characters the audience had grown attached to in the first season to be cast aside. It also didn’t help the show that the writer’s strike occurred just as the story was gaining some speed and becoming more interesting. Having seen some of what the creators had planned for the second half of the season, I’m sad that we didn’t get the story as planned. Still, we get 11 solid episodes on this set, and while they may not be quite as good as the first season, they still have their moments, and are more enjoyable than a lot of other crap on TV.

The episodes on this set cover the entire second season, which saw Hiro (Masi Oka) sent to the past to inspire his childhood hero. We also got Peter’s (Milo Ventimiglia) trip to Ireland, then his trip to the future, followed by his journey to Texas. We got Claire (Hayden Panettiere) and her annoying new boyfriend, the “death” of HRG (Jack Coleman), and then we got to meet Claire’s birth mother.

Probably the character arc I enjoyed the most was the growth of poor schlub mind-reader Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) and how his powers expanded after being reunited with his father. Season 2 saw Matt go from basically being an observer, to being in the heart of the action.

And of course, we get the introduction of a bunch of new heroes, such as Claire’s boyfriend, the annoying toxic wonder twins Maya and Alejandro, Mica’s Taskmaster-esque cousin, and the winner of the season, Kristen Bell‘s crazy lightning lass Elle. Bell turns in some great work over the season, and is pretty much the only one of the new characters worth keeping around. Of course, my opinion on this may be biased, as Bell is very attractive, and like me, a Detroit Red Wings fan, so I’ll admit my view may be skewed. Still, I don’t think you can argue that she did a great job with the character. All told, the season had some good storylines to follow, and some that I was less interested in, but on the whole, it kept me entertained, and that’s all I ask for.

As for the extras on this second season Blu-ray set, I found them to be slightly better that the first. You do get picture-in-picture commentaries on the episodes from the cast and crew, which is a nice plus, although I found some of them to be a bit on the boring side. Still, it’s nice to see them.

The big extra on this set is the alternate ending to episode 11 that was planned before the writer’s strike happened, as well as scenes from the next three episodes that had started filming but were never finished. These give a pretty interesting look at what we may still get in season 3, with stuff like Elle hunting down Syler, Syler picking up some pretty interesting new powers, and the possible reveal of Mrs. Petrelli’s powers (yep, those are her powers, as seen in the season 3 premiere). There’s also a very nice discussion by the creators of the show about what would have happened in the next arc of the series had the original ending happened. Really, the extras are better than on the first season set, but I would still enjoy a few more. I’m just picky that way, and maybe I’m being too harsh.

As with the first set, the sound and picture are great when you’ve got the whole HD set-up needed to enjoy the Blu-ray experience. Is there enough here to recommend this over the standard DVD release? Well, not really. As with the first set, and really most TV shows, they aren’t designed to really take advantage of the full HD upgrade. Sure, the screen is a little clearer and the sound is a little sharper, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth the extra cash.

The bottom line is, if you’re a fan of the show, and you’re already set for watching Blu-ray, this set is a must-buy. If you’re a fan but you’re not ready to make the jump to HD, just stick with the regular edition DVD, you’re not going to miss anything that’s on the Blu-ray set. There’s still a good story and the characters that we fell in love with in the first season, however, newcomers to the show will definitely want to start with season 1 before picking this up. If you didn’t enjoy the first season, this one probably won’t change your mind, and that’s okay. Having seen the first two episodes of season 3 now, I’m glad to see the show is back, and can’t wait to see how some of the new mysteries shake out. Get ready for another fun ride.

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