Saturday, September 18, 2010

Digital Digest: Castle - The Complete Second Season DVD Review (9/21)

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) as you know is off for the summer and is missed. We hope to have him back in the next few weeks! As always, we have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our DVD review this week is of ABC Studio's Castle - The Complete Second Season. TV's most engaging and unlikely crime-solving duo is back!

DIGITAL NEWS

It was another pretty slow news week. Several sitcoms will have some long-awaited new releases in the upcoming months. It has been a long wait since 2005 for Season 4 for Boy Meets World fans. Lionsgate has announced The Complete Fourth Season on a 3-disc set for December 7th for a MSRP of only $29.98! Some cast reunions and TV appearances are also being planned to promote this highly anticipated release. California Dreams - Season 4 should be available as early as December from Shout! Factory's Shout! Select online store.

Parks and Recreation - Season Two will be available from Universal Studios Home Entertainment on November 30th. The 4-disc set will contain all 24 episodes from the second season of the mockumentary starring Amy Poehler. Hung, HBO's comedy series, will have their second season available on DVD and Blu-ray.

In other TV news, Perry Mason - The Fifth Season, Volume Two has been announced by CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment for November 17th. Package art has been released for Shout! Factory's December 7th release of Dragnet 1969 - Season Three. A press release is available for Warner Home Video's October 5th release of the Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection.

For more information on titles that we won't cover with full or blog DVD reviews, you can head on over to the news section of TVShowsOnDVD.com for all of the latest details.

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (September 21) will have a lot of sitcom releases. HBO Home Video is releasing the first season of the comedy series Bored to Death on DVD and Blu-ray. Sony will have Community - The Complete First Season. This set is jam-packed with special features. Look for our full review soon. Suit up for 20th Century Fox's legendary release of How I Met Your Mother - Season Five. The hilarious and Emmy-winner Modern Family will have their Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray. Shout! Factory is releasing Rhoda - Season Four via their online Shout! Select store. 30 Rock - Season 4 will be available from Universal. Finally, Warner Home Video is releasing Two and a Half Men - The Complete Seventh Season. Check for our full reviews of many of these releases in the upcoming days.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Castle - The Complete Second Season

DVD Review: Castle - The Complete Second Season
by Pavan

Castle: The Complete Second Season (ABC Studios, $45.99) brings the second season of the witty crime series starring Nathan Fillion on DVD with all 24 episodes! TV's most engaging and unlikely crime-solving duo is back in the spectacular second season of ABC's Castle. The banter flies faster than the bullets in this unique series, loaded with drama, romance, and laughs. Best-selling mystery novelist Richard Castle's unique approach to crime solving may have won over Detective Kate Beckett, but after crossing her, Castle is going to have to do his best work to get her back on his side. Relive all your cases in this 5-disc set. Packed with never-before-seen bonus features, including inside secrets from the set, this collection is a must-have for every Castle fan.
The series will return to its Mondays at 10PM timeslot on ABC this coming season following Dancing with the Stars once again after a decent summer run of repeats on Wednesdays at 10. The series stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett, Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito, Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan, Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain Roy Montgomery, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle, and Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers. Among the recurring stars are Stephen J. Cannell, Michael Connelly and James Patterson as themselves, Monet Mazur as Gina Cowell, Arye Gross as Medical Examiner Dr. Sidney Perlmutter, and Michael Trucco as Detective Tom Demming. Among the guests this year are Alyssa Milano, Debi Mazar, Tom Bergeron, Beth Broderick, Kelly Carlson, Dan Cortese, Bill Bellamy, French Stewart, Fred Willard, Mark Moses, J.B. Smoove, Anne Dudek, Rider Strong, Joe Torre, Rocco DiSpirito, Chandra West, Michael Ironside, Julie Gonzalo, Suzy Nakamura, Mitch Pileggi and Dana Delany.

This second season is even better than the first season. I don't like most crime shows of today, but this one is a throwback to the ones of the past and focuses on characters than more about the case. I like that! And the back and forth banter between Castle and Beckett is sexy! As far as memorable episodes, we have the season premiere "Deep in Death," where Beckett is still plenty peeved at Castle for looking into her mother's murder against her wishes, yet Captain Montgomery forces her to chat with a reporter who is jazzed to write about her crime-solving partnership with Castle. The very next episode is a fun one called "The Double Down," when Castle and Beckett are handed the murder of a couples therapist and Ryan and Esposito are assigned to investigate the death of a dead man found shot in a park, Castle makes a bet on which pair can solve their murder first. In "Fool Me Once...," while dropping playful hints to Beckett about the plot of Castle's first book based on her, the two investigate the murder of a con man posing as a Arctic explorer for school children. In the classic episode "Vampire Weekend," as Halloween approaches, Castle and Beckett are assigned to investigate the death of a young man found stabbed in the heart with a wooden stake in a graveyard. In "Love Me Dead," Castle and Beckett are thrust into the world of ex-cons and escorts after a respected Assistant District Attorney is tossed off a multi-story car parking garage. In "A Rose for Everafter," Castle reconnects with a former girlfriend (Alyssa Milano) on her wedding day when one of her bridesmaids is found murdered, causing sparks to fly between them once again, and Beckett to have to deal with the possibility of being jealous. In "Sucker Punch," the case of the murder of an enforcer for an Irish gang takes a terribly personal turn when Lanie and a forensic expert friend of Castle's uncover an undeniable connection between the case and Beckett's mother's unsolved murder. In part-one of a two-part episode, Beckett and Castle team up with experienced FBI Special Agent Jordan Shaw (Dana Delany) in the hunt for a serial killer with an apparent obsession for 'Nikki Heat', the character Castle based on Beckett in his best-seller Heat Wave in "Tick, Tick, Tick..." In the conclusion, "Boom!," after barely surviving an explosion set by the serial killer, now identified as Scott Dunn, that destroys her apartment, Beckett pushes Shaw's imposed boundaries on her involvement in the investigation, and gets herself removed from the case. In "The Late Shaft," when a legendary talk show host (Tom Bergeron) is found dead after Castle appears on his show and he reveals to Castle that his life is in danger, Castle and Beckett work to piece together a timeline of his final hours that could crack the case even though it seems the victim died of natural causes. In "Den of Thieves," an investigation into the death of a thief uncovers some painful parts of Esposito's past and results in Beckett making a connection with the handsome robbery detective, Tom Demming, assigned to help with the case. In the season finale, "Deadly Game," the death of a man who was involved in a simulated spy game leads Castle and Beckett to wonder where exactly the game ends and reality begins.

The episodes run usually 42-43 minutes...unedited of course with all the great music intact. See the runtimes below:

Disc 1
1. "Deep in Death" 41:34
2. "The Double Down" 42:16
3. "Inventing the Girl" 42:39
4. "Fool Me Once..." 42:58
5. "When the Bough Breaks" 43:03

Disc 2
6. "Vampire Weekend" 42:43
7. "Famous Last Words" 43:17
8. "Kill the Messenger" 42:43
9. "Love Me Dead" 41:10
10. "One Man's Treasure" 43:04

Disc 3
11. "The Fifth Bullet" 43:04
12. "A Rose for Everafter" 42:12
13. "Sucker Punch" 42:58
14. "The Third Man" 42:52
15. "Suicide Squeeze" 42:58

Disc 4
16. "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice" 42:11
17. "Tick, Tick, Tick..." 42:18
18. "Boom!" 42:58
19. "Wrapped Up in Death" 42:49
20. "The Late Shaft" 43:01

Disc 5
21. "Den of Thieves" 43:06
22. "Food to Die For" 42:59
23. "Overkill" 43:05
24. "A Deadly Game" 43:05

Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom to get to the case inside, just like the last set. Both the thin outer box and case have the same artwork for both the front and back. The cover has a nice full body photos of Castle and Beckett at night in New York City during a crime scene as Castle holds one of his books. The show logo is present in white lettering. The back has a dark red background with information on the set and has some episodic screen shots from episodes and also a nice gallery photo of Castle & Beckett. There is also a section detailing the bonus features box with technical specifications also.
Opening the case, on the left side we see some inserts which includes an ad for the new Castle book "Naked Heat." On both the left and right panels we have nice artwork of episodic photos along with a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles. The discs this time are on plastic holders that you can flip a page in a book. That is much better than overlapping discs. Plastic holder one holds disc one on the front side and disc two on the back side. Plastic holder two holds disc three on the front side and disc four on the back side. Disc five is on the right panel itself. Disc artwork is very nice and has that dark red background. Disc one has episodes 1-5 with artwork of Richard Castle. Disc two has episodes 6-10 and has artwork of Kate Beckett. Disc three has episodes 11-15 and has artwork of Alexis & Martha. Disc four has episodes 16-20 and has artwork of Ryan, Esposito, Captain, and Lanie. And disc five has episodes 21-24 plus bonus features and has artwork of both Castle and Beckett.

The menu screen starts with the opening credits from the series with the theme music, then we get to the main menu where we see moving video images with the closing theme playing in the background, similar to the previous set. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features, and Sneak Peeks. But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: ABC on DVD, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and FLASHFORWARD. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc five on the main menu and has previews of Private Practice, Legend of the Seeker, Brothers and Sisters, Ugly BettyDVDs, and an ABC: Great Stories. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish and how you can register your DVD. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot. Bonus Features option has all the extras listed and is only on disc five. All of the sub-menus have different background music from the show. Catchy!

The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from 2009-2010, so it had better be good. There is nothing to complain at all here...it is perfect! Perfection here. There are about 9 chapter stops per episode.

Moving on the bonus features. We don't get audio commentaries this time, which is ashame but we get plenty of featurettes! All of the extras are on disc five. But first, on disc one in the episodes menu we have a "Starter Kit" for the series as you can catch up in 4:05. Moving on to the actual extras, we have a cool behind the scenes featurette titled "On Set with Seamus & Jon" (7:37). They give us a tour of the set and secrets from the set. They are very funny, too, as you know. Next we have "On Location with Nathan" (6:49). Nathan is on location outside with many crew members and he introduces us to them! We see Ray Rifice (sound utility), Joe Foglia (sound mixer), Tina Amedun (craft services), Ruby Stillwater (2nd 2nd A.D.), Bernie Martinez (driver co-captain), Richie Elson (set production assistant), Artemio Carpio (costumer), and Joshua Check (assistant props).
Next we have a featurette titled "Manhattan's Most Unusual Murders" (7:55). Find out how much research goes into these crime stories along with props and special effects. Interviewed are Andrew Marlowe (creator/executive producer), Laurie Zaks (executive producer), Stana Katic, Rob Bowman (director/executive producer), Marta Evry (editor), Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones, Brady Romberg (stunt double), Nathan Fillion, Dennis Madalone (stunt coordinator), Alfred Sole (production designer), Bob Calvert (special effects coordinator), and Seamus Dever. Next, we have some "Misdemeanours: Bloopers & Outtakes" (2:35)...yes, bloopers! See all the goofs and play on the set! We have three deleted scenes from the episodes "Deep in Death" (0:30), "Vampire Weekend" (1:14), and "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice" (0:30). And finally we have two music videos from Haley Blue (played by Brianna Haynes), who was featured in the episode "Famous Last Words." The first music video is titled Haley Blue: Here Kitty Kitty (1:22). And the last one is Sky Blue: Threshold (2:51).

I recommend this series and set once again...it is an ABC Studios DVD, so it is good and filled with special features. This series really breaked out last season, especially after the thrilling two-part episode with Dana Delany. This DVD is awesome! We get of course all 24 great episodes from the second season, good and improved packaging, and great extras. Too bad we don't have a great extra like last time when we had Fillion and Cannell playing around in a very funny featurette. However, the extras on this set are still good! I don't understand why the DVD is coming out on Sept. 21, when the third season launches a day before on Sept. 20. They did this last year, too. ABC did re-air the show this summer on Wednesdays (and some Saturdays, too). So I hope you saw them all, if not get this DVD for sure then. Everyone needs to be watching this show and I think it will get even better this season. Has Castle moved away from pursuing Beckett romantically? Shut the front door!

(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Official ABC Website
Castle TV.com Page

LOOKING AHEAD

Come on back right here next week for more news and reviews. Next week we will have another good blog review for you. And don't forget to read our full DVD reviews, as many sitcoms are coming fast now as we enter the fall season. Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) will hopefully be back next week. We've greatly missed his DVD reviews and contributions to our blog. So please stay with us! Stay healthy and keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, December 8

The Big Bang Theory - "The Military Miniaturization" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Colonel Williams (Dean Norris), an Air Force representative from the Department of Material Command sits down to talk with Wolowitz.

The Great Indoors - "@Emma" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Emma quits after being turned down for a raise, Jack and Roland become the magazine’s newest and worst ever social media managers. Also, in a misguided attempt to boost business, Eddie re-brands his bar as “magic-themed.”

Mom - "Cornbread and a Cashmere Onesie" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy and Bonnie worry about Jill after her cry for help on the anniversary of her mother’s suicide.

Life in Pieces - "Swim Survivor Zen Talk" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When John decides to try out for “Survivor,” Tim gets jealous and attempts to undermine his audition tape. Also, Colleen confesses she can’t swim when she and Matt discuss Hawaii as a honeymoon destination; Jen pretends to get hooked on meditation so she can use the time to play cell phone games; and Heather gives Sophia the “sex” talk. “Survivor” host Jeff Probst guest stars as himself.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Thursday, December 8

  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Catch Jennifer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Lola Kirke (Mozart in the Jungle) - Lola is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril guest co-hosts Rachael Ray and makes sausage-stuffed mushrooms, so check your local listings.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Full House) and Andrea Barber (Fuller House/Full House) - Jodie and Andrea chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. Jodie joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) - Judah is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Full House) - Lori is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She also talks about what to expect from Season 2 of Fuller House on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott talks about Luke and Lorelai’s wedding scene from Gilmore Girls – and if he thinks the two will ever have a baby on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
  • Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) - Emanuelle appears the AOL Build Show 3:45pm.
  • Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) - Gael is a guest on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.