Saturday, May 09, 2009
October Road: The Complete Second Season (Buena Vista/ABC Studios, $34.99) brings the final 13 episodes of the small-town drama on DVD! October Road is a heart-warming drama set in fictional Knights Ridge, MA about friendship, love, and change that frankly ended way too soon. While the street October Road is not as popular as Wisteria Lane, it certainly has its fair share of drama. The second season of October Road opens just after Nick (Bryan Greenberg) has confessed his eternal love to Hannah Jane (Laura Prepon) and Nick and Eddie (Geoff Stults) head to New York in an attempt to bring Owen (Brad William Henke) back to his estranged wife Allison (Elizabeth Bogush) and family in Knights Ridge after Allison had an affair with Ikey (Evan Jones), and Hannah comes to terms with her true feelings for Nick. Later, Big Cat (Warren Christie) has a marriage proposal for Hannah and we still don't know the secret of Sam's (Slade Pearce) father's identity; the unlikely relationship between Eddie and Janet (Rebecca Field) continues; The Commander's (Tom Berenger) surprise bout with bone cancer; Aubrey (Odette Yustman) and Nick get back together; while Nick's brother Ronny (Jonathan Murphy) develops a liking to Aubrey; and Physical Phil (Jay Paulson) finally comes out of the house with the help of Pizza Girl (Lindy Booth). All that and so much more!
Packaging on this DVD is similar to the first season. We have an outer box that holds a snap case. I really don't think the outer box is needed because it is the same art as the case. On both the box and case we have the show's logo, followed by the complete second season line, then we have a nice big photo of Nick, followed by some of the other characters in the background (Hannah, Sam, Big Cat, Janet, Eddie, and Aubrey) with a nice fall season background. The back of the box and the case has synopsis of the series and set, along with a list of bonus features and some nice small screenshots (Ronny & Aubrey; Sam; Nick & Hannah; and The Commander). To open the case, we DON'T have two little buttons to pull like last time, now we just can open it regularly. Inside the case that we have a spot for an insert on the left, which is a listing for Buena Vista's Blu-ray sets. The discs are on the right. Disc one and two are on a little plastic handle that we can flip like a book, disc one on the front side and disc two on the back side of this handle. Disc three is on the right panel. All three discs have silver and white color with the show title and a headshot of a character. Episodes 1-4 are on disc one with a shot of Nick, episodes 5-9 are on disc two with a shot of Hannah, and episodes 10-13 and the extras are on disc three with a shot of Big Cat.
This series is excellent. The first season aired after Grey's Anatomy on Thursdays and was well sampled. But this second season was aired on Monday nights and didn't launch until Thanksgiving, which was a big mistake. Even with lower ratings, the plots of the episodes were still as good as the first season. We have character development on this season, as each character is unique. I liked how some characters get a nickname, like "Big Cat," Pizza Girl," "The Commander," and "Physical Phil." That brings more depth to characters and more of a homely feel. The episodes generally run close to 42:30 in length. The highest is 43:05 and lowest is 41:46. Nothing is edited out on the episodes, so that is good news. There are about 9 chapter stops for each episode. The video is in widescreen and looks very good, as it should! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The show never looked better or sounded better, unless you watched the series in HDTV on ABC. We hear the closing theme, which is always nice to hear since ABC doesn't show the ending theme.
The menu screen gives us a nice shot of an entire road...and you guessed it, it is October Road! The series is set in Knights Ridge, MA, a fake town. The series was shot in the Atlanta area in season one but they moved the sets to Los Angeles, as you'll learn in the extras. We get nice background music from the show playing in the background on the main menu and every submenu. Disc three has auto trailers for Army Wives S2, some movies, and Blu-ray. Options on the menu are: Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Set Up, Sneak Peaks. Sneak Peaks and Bonus Features options are on disc three only. The Episodes section has the episode number and title...and a cool screenshot. Set Up gives us the option to have Subtitles in English. We can also Register our DVD. Sneak Peeks has the same trailers as the auto trailers on disc three, but also we get a SOAPnet trailer.
Moving on to the bonus features. All of them are on disc three. We start off with "Bump in the Road", as we get a look at some goofiness on the set with bloopers! The bloopers run 2:53 and are much longer than the ones on the first season DVD. The next extra on the set is a behind the scenes feature titled "The Scenic Route: Behind the Scenes Tour." We go behind the scenes with the cast as the sets move from Atlanta to Hollywood. We get a tour from cast members, included are Bryan Greenberg, Tom Berenger, Laura Prepon, Geoff Stults, and Evan Jones. This runs 6:05. It's interesting to see how cool the set is! Then finally, what we have ALL been waiting for! We get a DVD exclusive called "Road's End: The Final Chapter." An exclusive series epilogue, produced specifically for the Season 2 DVD, wraps up the series and finally reveals the identity of Sam's father and the fate of Nick and Hannah's unrequited relationship. Everyone is back but Brad William Henke (Owen), as he was busy shooting Lost. This closing runs 9:50 and was shot in January. Tom Berenger is also not in it, but his character is explained in this, so I won't give it away. But maybe I just gave it away by saying that. Watch the closure...it is good.
I really hope you buy this DVD. This show was excellent and now have closure. It's too bad they had to close the show this way with a 9:50 finale, but that is better than nothing. I just wish this show was still on the air! If you are a fan, you must buy this of course. If you never saw it, give season one a try and then you'll be hooked and buy this set as well. All the characters are great. The young audience loved it. I really love the Aubrey character, played by Odette Yustman. She is very good and very attractive. Executive Producers André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg and Josh Applebaum had another ABC series on the air this season called Life on Mars, and it had A LOT of October Road references and even had some stars guest star (Odette Yustman, Brad William Henke), in addition to Jonathan Murphy being on every episode. And now they have a pilot in production called Happy Town, which stars Geoff Stults! It's good to see the Road members live on! So when you buy this DVD, be sure to say "What Goes On?" to the clerk! Remember, you can always go home.
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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