Top 13 Supernatural villains

On 13 September, 2005, Eric Kripke introduced the United States to Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester and the convoluted Supernatural world where demons and angels walk around wearing human “meat suits” and Baby is a beloved black, ’67 Impala. These monster-hunting brothers have been to Hell and back several times. They’ve met old-time gods and served as unwitting pawns in cosmic plans. Time travel, historic rewrites, and romps through a confused theology further the story lines. The reluctant heroes exchange witty dialogue while solving weekly stand-alone episodes that evolved into far-reaching plots involving Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and absentee fathers. The special effects and makeup are slick and interesting, and the cool soundtrack introduces younger viewers to cool tunes from the 1970’s. The dark show with its humorous interludes aired on the WB and moved to The CW’s lineup. Its huge fan base inspired merchandising, comics, novels, an anime series, and a spin-off series, “Ghostfacers.” Although the series concludes 20 May, fans are calling for a continuation of the series. All of the seasons are available for purchase, and there is talk of a sequel, “Supernatural Bloodlines.”

Although the Supernatural world is populated by ghosts and creatures from urban legends, the following list includes some of the memorable longer-lived villains from the show.

leviathan4

13. Leviathan. This body-hopping blackness from season 7 showed promise, but the story line resolved too easily. Dick Roman (portrayed by James Patrick Stuart) served as leader of the gooey, human-hungry creatures.

metatron
12. Metatron. He’s a bit of a weasel for an angel turned against people and Heaven. Introduced in season 7, his subtle villainy became apparent in seasons 8 and 9 when he locked the angels from Heaven. His presence is felt throughout season 10. (Portrayed by Curtis Armstrong)

Alastair
11. Alastair. Hell’s grand torturer served as secondary antagonist during the show’s second season. (Mark Ralston and Christopher Heyerdahl portrayed Alastair.)

eve supernatural
10. Eve. This ancient “mother of all monsters” made her displeasure known in 2011. With a kiss, she created the Alphas, or first monsters, including Dragons, shapeshifters, wendigo, kitsunes, werewolves, and vampires. (played by Julia Maxwell)

Rowena
9. Rowena. This Mother of evil shows her clever heart is black in season 10. (played by Ruth Connell)

hellhounds
8. Hellhounds. Mostly invisible demonic dogs, or pit bulls from Hell, often work for Crossroad demons or collect the souls of humans whose contract expired. These nasties appear throughout the series, including a successful attack on Dean.

Naomi
7. Naomi. Sometimes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions carried out with questionable tactics in season 8. This powerful angel served as head of Heaven’s intelligence department since before Moses floated down the Nile. (Acted by Amanda Tapping.)

First Born
6. Cain. Father of murder and direct ancestor of the Winchesters, Cain trained and headed the Knights of Hell until he fell in love and retired from mayhem. He gave Dean his Mark, which with the First Blade, provides power – at a cost. (Timothy Michael Omundson portrayed Cain.)

Yellow eyed demon
5. Yellow Eyed Demon. Azazel brokered deals that set the Winchester men on a quest for revenge that lasted two and a half decades. Although they kill him at the conclusion of season two, visions of the demon haunt both Sam and Dean. (The main portrayal of the character was by Fredric Lehne.)

Abbadon

4. Abaddon. In season 8, this Knight of Hell made her presence known to the Men of Letters. Trained by and endowed with powers by Lucifer, she acted as the main antagonist in season 9. (Acted by Alaina Huffman)
Lilith
3. Lilith. This big-bad came in a little package in 2008 and 2009. She was creepiest as a kid. (Adult version portrayed by Katherine Boecher. The toe-headed kid portrayed by Sierra McCormick)

Lucifer

2. Lucifer. This fallen angel uses subtle manipulation to achieve his ends. He’s mentioned throughout the early story lines, but he makes actual appearances in seasons 4, 5, and 7. (Mainly portrayed by Mark Pellegrino.)

Crowley
1. Crowley. Charming little devil has designs to take over Hell – and more. His presence is felt from Season 5 on. (Mark A. Sheppard portrays)

TV Review: Penny Dreadful

Penny DreadfulHonestly, I had low expectations for the first season of Penny Dreadful. But I am happy to report that I walked away with another serious TV addiction. I am hooked and in love with this show.

The story, which takes place in Victorian England, introduces us to Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), a young woman troubled by demons and haunted by conscience over the betrayal of her childhood friend, Mina Harker. Mina’s father, Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) enlists the aid of a small band of warriors to combat the evil vampire who has seduced Mina and seems to be hungering, ultimately, for Vanessa. An unheard of ancient Egyptian prophecy also comes to light and it suggests that Vanessa could inevitably become the mother of a darkness that could drown humankind.

Fostering a love/hate relationship with Ives, Sir Malcolm nonetheless uses her to find his daughter Mina, hovering between life and undeath, before her soul is permanently damned.  Sir Malcolm also enlists a young Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and a Wild West performer and ace gunslinger harboring his own demon, Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett).

 

creatureWhat is outstanding about this show is how effortlessly it combines so many legendary fictional characters and monsters. It makes sense that so many creatures of shadow would be assembled in this place and time.

Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) is a brilliant standout character and Carney plays up the mundane trappings of immortality quite well. The Creature (Rory Kinnear) shows up to thwart Frankenstein’s second attempt at creating life from death and his back-story at the Grand Guignol makes perfect sense and it is heart wrenching to see the monster not know what to do with kindness when he finally receives it. Of note also is an all too brief role of Van Helsing as portrayed by the great David Warner.

What makes this series is the dialogue, which all at once feels authentic, barbed, purposeful and duplicitous. Eva Green is marvelous to behold in the role of Vanessa Ives. She looks as if she has walked from the set of a Universal Horror movie and she is often put through serious emotional, spiritual and physical upheavals. I thought her serviceable as an actress, but her turn in Penny Dreadful  shows her as a powerhouse performer.

 

Episode 104There are plot twists that you will see coming from a mile away, but that does not take away from the pleasure of watching this show. I am also very anxious to see what new characters, appropriate for the time period, may come.

Season Two began last night on Showtime, and it is off to a great start!

Television Review: iZombie Pilot

izombieWith the entertainment industry absolutely saturated with all things zombie, I had zero expectations going into this new TV series.  To me yet another book, movie, or TV show about zombies was like adding salt to an anchovy.  We don’t need it.  And eventually we’re going to spit this undead mess out of our mouth and make room for the next fantastic trend.  But for now we’ll continue to pretend that there are still more rotting human tales to tell (I guess I can’t complain too much.  I’m responsible for some of that salt).

iZombie is a new TV show based on the Vertigo/DC Comic developed  by the CW Television Network.  To give a thorough review I’m going to include spoilers, so if you’re looking for the verdict just read the last line or two for a summarization.  That’s usually how these things go.

The spoils:  Girl is a doctor and engaged to be married.  Life is good.  Girl ends up at a boat party where there’s an isolated zombie outbreak.  Girl is contaminated by the zombie virus and ends up drowning in the water.  Girl wakes up in a body bag on the beach completely intact (including her rationale, motor skills, and sense of humor) but a bit paler and with a new appetite for “brain food.”

Fast forward five months and she’s no longer engaged (loves her fiancé too much to fill him in or subject him) and she now has a job in forensics doing autopsies—talk about convenience food.  Out of nowhere, the woman’s co-worker puts two and two together and labels her a zombie.  But not to worry cuz he’ll never tell.  She explains to the secret holder that if she doesn’t eat brains she gets stupid and angry.  He’s down with letting her munch at work…ON work, and after eating the brain of a recent homicide victim in her salad like some pink crouton tofu, she develops visions of what the victim went through and so establishes a relationship with a detective who thinks she’s a psychic.  In a nutshell, that’s iZombie.

The one thing that helped me look past some of the poorly written jokes was the concept that pale girl also picks up a few attributes from the person she’s currently digesting.  So not only is she seeing through their eyes, but she’s got some of their brains…figuratively; be it bad habits or a foreign language, etc.  The pilot didn’t elaborate for how long she holds onto these new talents and faults, but my guess is just long enough to get the case solved, while each episode she’ll pick up fresh traits.

iZombie is 80% whodunit cop show and 20% undead.  My cons for the show would have to include the people close to zombie girl and their ignorance toward her new look.  It was a bit unbelievable.  And at least half of the “jokes” fell stale.  Normally character problems for me fade after time, so those characters I may have issues with will probably feel like good acquaintances by mid season, and at this rate I anticipate sticking around that long.

As bad as I tore up the zombie bandwagon at the beginning of the review, I have to admit I’m looking forward to the next episode.  And maybe even the one after that.  Pass the salt please.

Check out this iZombie trailer:

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 4 (BluRay)

The Walking Dead Season Four
The Walking Dead Season Four

[Editor’s note: The countdown to The Walking Dead Season Five concludes! The fifth season will shamble back to AMC on October 12th. To celebrate, we will feature a  review of each season leading up to the 5th season premiere. We wish to thank Mark Rivera for allowing us to reprint his TWD reviews from his Genreonline site! Today we look at Season Four!]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season: 5 Disc Set

The Walking Dead from the outset tells two different location based stories a season, conveniently split at the mid-season finale with the exception of the short introductory season which basically split the locations into Atlanta, Georgia and a quarry within sight of the Atlanta skyline and culminated in a trip to the CDC where Rick Grimes is told a secret regarding the zombie plague that makes their situation all the more harrowing. The second season masquerades itself as a largely one location season, but in actuality I would argue that the highway is a major force behind the actions of the entire season. How can this be? Well it is on the highway outside Atlanta where the group first encounters a zombie heard, which is the catalyst for the search for young Sophia, whose disappearance is what drives much of the action and heartache culminating in one of the most gut wrenching emotional moments in the entire season at the mid-season finale. This in turn drives the rest of the second half of the season as the false sense of safety on the farm quickly erodes from both the inside of the group and outside as the walkers come hot on the heels of a major confrontation between characters and forces the survivors back on the road. For the road or highway is not just the source for the herds of walkers that drive the action at the beginning and then set the final curtain for the end of the series, but metaphorically the road is the place where they wanted to get back to, but are driven from and only get to return to narrowly at the end while a bit later, besides the fading fire, the survivors learn the horrible nature of the infection and the reality that everything they knew before as personified in the man made paved highways in and out of Atlanta are no longer safe. Survival will now depend on leadership and unorthodox methods.

Things get very dark for Rick Grimes
Things get very dark for Rick Grimes

The third season is the era of the “Ricktatorship” with the dichotomy set up by the brutality of this new world as played out between the doppelgangers of Rick and the Governor and the respective locations of the harsh zombie infested prison Rick’s group cleans out and attempts to call home and the illusion of a normal small American town where it appears as though the values of a common good are being fostered, but the ultimate reality of Woodbury being a trap based upon manipulation and intimidation sets up the clash of the titans and ultimately what seems on the outside as the place no one would ever want to live in and the other being ideal exchange places in a world where the balance between pragmatism and humanity are frequently at odds.

Lauren Cohan kicking zombie tail
Lauren Cohan kicking zombie tail

This leads us into the fourth season where we pretty much discover greater threats within the prison that cannot be readily seen and the final battle between the Governor and Rick sends our survivors running in different directions in search of hope whether it is faith that two lovers will be reunited, a mission to save the world, and a journey to a safe haven that of course is not what it seems. The final words of Rick Grimes at the end of the season four finale will leave viewers so pumped up for season five that they will be binge watching the first four seasons just to satiate themselves until The Walking Dead returns in October and the absolute best way to watch the fourth season of the highest rated drama in basic cable history is through watching it on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.

The five-disc Blu-ray set presents all of the fourth season episodes in beautiful full 1080p/24fps, (where available), in the (1.78:1) aspect ratio preserving the means by which the series was originally broadcast on AMC. A well mixed and aggressive lossless English Dolby TrueHD 7.1

Terminus turns out not to be the sanctuary the group had hoped for
Terminus turns out not to be the sanctuary the group had hoped for

Soundtrack brings a higher fidelity and discreetness than one has ever heard on either the television broadcasts or even digital streaming. A French Language Dolby Surround Soundtrack as well English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and Spanish Language Subtitles are also encoded as options.

In addition to the exclusive to Blu-ray Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Soundtrack, extended versions of the episodes “After” and “The Grove” are only available within this Blu-ray Disc set and are not on the DVD counterparts, which are sold separately. Retrospective audio commentaries for the episodes “30 Days Without An Accident”, “Internment”, “After”, “Still”, and “The Grove” feature the participation of Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Effects Make-Up Supervisor and Director Greg Nicotero, Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth, Director Julius Ramsay, Writer Angela Kang, and series Stars Scott Wilson, Danai Gurira, Emily Kinney, Norman Reedus, and for the first time viewing a completed episode of the series he is the lead in, Andrew Lincoln. There are actually two retrospective audio commentaries for “Still” with Emily Kinney participating in one and Norman Reedus participating separately on another. The average episode length is between 42 and 43 minutes while the average exclusive extended versions of the two select episodes run approximately 48 minutes each.

All of the bonus video features are on disc five and they include 16 Inside The Walking Dead featurettes and 16 Making of The Walking Dead featurettes as well, unfortunately these can only be viewed individually. There is no “Play All” feature for them. The rest of the extra value materials include a short regarding how the series draws inspiration from the comic (6:07), a short focusing on Actor Scott Wilson and his character of Hershel (7:59) and another focusing on Actor David Morrissey and his portrayal of The Governor (8:43), and a look at a college class with multiple lecturers including a mathematician, a physicist, public health specialist, psychologist and sociologist focusing on the science behind The Walking Dead (5:31). A look at the KNB EFX (18:20) as well as a featurette focusing on Rick’s journey in the season (8:18) and a reel of eight deleted scenes that can be viewed either individually or in succession (9:14) wrap up the bonus features on disc five.

Two 32 second spots for The Walking Dead and Comic Book Men respectively precede the main menu on disc one. Within the BD case is an insert containing a limited time only redeemable code for an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of The Walking Dead: Season Four and an insert filled with advertisements for Walking Dead related merchandise.

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season is available on Blu-ray Disc at retailers on and offline courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The fifth season of The Walking Dead will premiere on AMC in October of 2014.

Check out the trailer for season five:

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season Three (BluRay)

Walking Dead S3 Bluray[Editor’s note: The countdown to The Walking Dead Season Five continues! The fifth season will shamble back to AMC on October 12th. To celebrate, we will feature a  review of each season leading up to the 5th season premiere. We wish to thank Mark Rivera for allowing us to reprint his TWD reviews from his Genreonline site! Today we look at Season Three!]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season: 5 Disc Set

Genre: Drama/Horror

Media: Blu-ray Disc

Region: A

Stars: Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Danai Gurira, Laurie Holden, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Iron E. Singleton, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson and Michael Rooker

 Languages and Sound: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Surround Sound and French Dolby Surround Sound 2.0 Caption & Subtitles: English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and Spanish Language Subtitles

Bonus Features: Episode Specific Featurettes, Audio Commentaries on Episodes 4, 5, 8, 9 and 15 and Deleted Scenes

Running Time: 688 minutes

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Packaging: 5-Disc Elite Blue BD Case With A Cardboard Slip Cover

The Walking Dead Season 3 cast
The Walking Dead Season 3 cast

The third season of the hit AMC original series The Walking Dead, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, begins strongly with nearly a year having past and Rick and his survivors now operating with stealth like a professional special ops group while moving from place to place until they come upon a prison and decide to take it in the hope of creating a safe and self sufficient haven for themselves. Not too far away exists a fortified town where the survivors under the guidance of The Governor (David Morrissey) seem to have created an idealized mini “Our Town.” Andrea and her savior from the second season finale Michonne (Danai Guira) end up there after being discovered by none other than Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), who was last seen trapped on a department store roof in an overrun Atlanta. We know he escaped because when the survivors returned for him in the first season they discovered that he sawed off his own hand to escape the roof.

It is not long before we discover that Woodbury is not the perfect friendly society that it appears to be on the outside and Rick, who has been hardened since the events of the second season, and his group discover that they are not alone in the prison. The whole season basically slowly heads toward what is set up as an inevitable confrontation between Rick Grimes and his group and The Governor and his mercenaries over power and survival.

The acting is top notch and besides introducing Michonne to the TV series, the fan favorite character Tyrese (Chad Coleman) from the graphic novel is introduced as well. The third season has more action than the second season, but the character development is lacking.

Characters that were important in the graphic novel appear and are killed off so fast that there is no time to have any emotional investment in them. The other big problem with the third season is that it reduces the zombie threat to a point where we have barely armed characters traveling for miles in the woods and picking off the walkers like they were a joke.

Let's give this zombie a hand. Or two.
Let’s give this zombie a hand. Or two.

Kirkman has stated that the zombie threat would be intensified for the fourth season and a return to character development would be strictly adhered too. From the online trailers it seems as though the zombies will indeed become far more dangerous than before, but as for everything else, we’ll have to wait and see.

Anchor Bay Entertainment presents the complete third season of The Walking Dead across five discs in their broadcast high definition AVC encoded widescreen aspect ratio of (1.78:1) with an enveloping English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Surround Soundtrack. A French Language Dolby

Surround 2.0 Soundtrack and English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired as well as Spanish Language Subtitles are encoded across all five discs for all of the episodes.

Extra value features include episode length audio commentaries featuring Iron E. Singleton, Guy Ferland, Gregory Nicotero, Danai Guira, Robert Kirkman, Dave Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, Michael Rooker and Chad Coleman respectively for episodes that include “Killer Within”, “Say The Word”, “Made To Suffer”, the mid season premiere and “This Sorrowful Life.” The commentaries are both retrospective and scene specific.

The majority of the featurettes are on the final disc and they include a reel of deleted scenes (13:20), and behind the scenes shorts detailed as Rising Son (6:46), Guts & Glory (7:31), Moving The Dead (8:04), Safety Behind Bars (9:42), Michonne Vs. The Governor (5:10), Heart of a Warrior (8:24), Gone But Not Forgotten (8:13) and Evil Eye (7:50).

An advertisement for “Before The Farm: The Walking Dead Video Game” (1:08) and a TV spot for Breaking Bad (:33) wrap up the bonus content within this Blu-ray Disc set.

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season is available on Blu-ray Disc now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.  For more information visit AMCTV.com.

Check out The Walking Dead Season Five trailer:

TV Series: SLEEPY HOLLOW Overview & Season 2 Premiere

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow

The first season of Sleepy Hollow aired in September, 2013 and presented a decidedly polished Ichabod Crane (portrayed  with charm and deadpan humor by Tom Mison) about 250 years into a future where he falls under the protection of an insightful Officer Abby Mills (Nicole Beharie) who breaks police protocol to protect her town. The plot reveals a peculiar link between Ichabod and the Headless Horseman who reclaimed his  murderous post, searching for his head.

The creepy horseman is not the only menace to invade, however.

The sleepy town is populated with demons, witches, and secret societies stretching back to the American Revolution. Much of what they believed is couched within untruth, and the pair must scramble to solve the mysteries before more death visits the populous and ultimately the world.

People they trusted prove unworthy. Others find vindication within what is revealed. History itself is redefined. Time continuums are explored. Folk and religious beliefs are investigated. All while Ichabod navigates the perplexities of modern living.

Other than the names of some of the characters, there is little resemblance to the classic Washington Irving book found within his early 1800’s “The Sketch Book.” For example, Ichabod in the show served in the Revolution, a Brit who turned coat and became a spy for the Americans under General Washington.

His polish and demeanor in no way resemble the awkward, half-starved school teacher mooning after his plump and lovely student. In the television show, his wife is Katrina, whose secrets propel much of the convoluted plot. The captain is named “Irving.”

 However, using Mr. Washington Irving’s familiar creepy vibe and expanding it to cross genres and touch on adventure, the supernatural, and mystery with intriguing visuals and excellent camera work add to the marketability of the show.

 The second season of Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” premiers in the USA on Monday, 22 September, 2014 at 9PM/8c. The entire first season is available on such sources as VUDU or DVD.

TV Review: Z NATION

Z Nation is a Syfy series produced by The Asylum
Z Nation is a Syfy series produced by The Asylum

The saying “One cannot serve two masters” is as true for storytelling as it is for anything else.

The Asylum, the production company that brought viewers Sharknado, is back with an attempt to take on the zombie apocalypse horror sub genre with Z Nation. I saw a screener before it premiered, but wanted to hold off judgment on the show until I saw the final broadcast version just in case there were any last minute changes.

Having checked it twice now, I feel I can safely state objectively what I think of Z Nation. While it may seem unfair to compare it to The Walking Dead, I am going to. Both are primetime basic cable TV series. Both are inspired by other works that came before it and both are trying to get rabid zombie fan as viewers. The differences are obvious; The Walking Dead, from the start, was a superior drama with genuine characters that made us care. Of course the talent involved with The Walking Dead is truthfully better than what the Asylum is offering.

Harold Perrineaulooks LOST in Z NATION
Harold Perrineau looks LOST in Z NATION

Yet I do not fault The Asylum for not having the same caliber of talent in front of and behind the camera because they are up against KNB Effects, one of the best makeup effects providers in the business. Plus the zombies look okay for the most part. The dialogue and acting on the other hand is serviceable at best even with Harold Perrineau in a guest-starring role. Outside of that the only other cast members of note are Tom Everett Scott and DJ Qualls. The rest of the cast appears to be largely unknown, which is fine.

What doesn’t work in Z Nation: the show does not know whether it is to be taken seriously as drama or simply enjoyed as schlock. That is where the two major problems comes into play. You can have a comedy with moments of great drama like MASH and you can have a drama with moments of light comedy as with Ally McBeal. However, you have to define exactly what one is and as far as I can tell, The Asylum wants Z Nation to be both a drama and schlock at the same time. As a result it fails as both.

The actors of Z Nation have a hard time connecting to each other.
The actors of Z Nation have a hard time connecting to each other.

There is nothing new to see here. Cast members look out of place at times as though they don’t know how to play off the material. Right from the first episode, the series seems to ignore the basic rules it sets up for cheap nonsense. As a result I neither liked or disliked Z Nation because the show doesn’t even inspire enough interest to make me care. It is neither fun or gripping. It just feels limp and aimless. You can’t be Zombieland and World War Z at the same time. You have to choose an approach and stick with it or else you risk alienating audiences for both.

Z Nation is unfocused and if it doesn’t decide what it is fast then I think viewers should show “mercy” to quote a term used on the show and skip watching it.

TV Review: The Walking Dead Complete Second Season (BluRay)

The Walking Dead Complete Second Season
The Walking Dead Complete Second Season

[Editor’s note: The countdown to The Walking Dead Season Five continues! The fifth season will shamble back to AMC on October 12th. To celebrate, we will feature a weekly review of each season. We wish to thank Mark Rivera for allowing us to reprint his TWD reviews from his Genreonline site! Today we look at Season Two!]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season: 4-Disc Set

Region: A

Media: Blu-ray Disc

Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey DeMunn, Chandler Riggs, Iron E. Singleton, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Michael Rooker English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Surround Sound and French Dolby Surround Sound English Subtitles For The Deaf and Hearing Impaired and Spanish Language Subtitles Bonus Features, Featurettes, Webisodes, Audio Commentaries and Deleted Scenes Home Video Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment MPAA Rating: Not Rated Running Time: 578 minutes

 

Season two of The Walking Dead picks up minutes after the first season finale and with a few departures of the graphic novel series, follows our survivors through the Hershel Farm story-line and all of the actors get the chance to explore and define their characters. Past infidelities leads to a fateful collision between two lawmen who were once akin to brothers toward one another and literally become mortal enemies by the end. The horrors of the world encroach not only from the threat of the walking dead, but also from the inhumanity of the living as Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) struggles with the burdens of leadership in an uncertain word. In short, The Walking Dead is the best prime time soap opera on television and it neither exploits nor under uses it’s zombie apocalypse setting because it is that setting that makes the characters come to life in a way that they may never had known had the old world not ended. Does that mean they love their new world? Absolutely not, but it does mean they don’t take being alive for granted.

Shane became a walker without being bitten by a zombie which is the biggest revelation of the series!
Shane became a walker without being bitten by a zombie which is the biggest revelation of the series!

The Walking Dead is shot on super 16mm film to maintain a certain look that the high definition Blu-ray Discs capture spot on with an AVC encoded 1080p/24fps high definition resolution. (You must have an HDTV capable of playing back 1080p to get back the full resolution) The resolution of the (1.78:1) widescreen presentation looks better than the digital cable broadcasts and i’Tunes digital downloads and it also features a terrific English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Lossless Surround Soundtrack. A French Language Dolby Surround Soundtrack and English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired as well as Spanish Language Subtitles are encoded onto all four discs containing all thirteen episodes of the second season.

Audio commentaries for the episodes What Lies Ahead featuring Executive Producer/Showrunner Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer/Writer Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer David Alpert, Pretty Much Dead Already featuring Executive Producer/Showrunner Glen Mazzara, Producer Scott M. Gimple, Director Michelle MacLaren, Editor Julius Ramsay, Nebraska featuring Executive Producer/Showrunner Glen Mazzara, Co-Executive Producer Evan Reilly, Actor Scott Wilson, Actor Stephen Yeun, Judge, Jury, Executioner featuring Executive Producer/Showrunner Glenn Mazzara, Co-Executive Producer, Makeup Effects Master Greg Nicotero, Writer Angela Kang, Actress Laurie Holden, and Beside The Dying Fire featuring Executive Producer/Showrunner Glen Mazzara, Director Ernest Dickerson, Co-Executive Producer and Makeup Effects Master Greg Nicotero, Executive Producer/Writer Robert Kirkman, and Actor Norman Reedus are included. These are great retrospective commentaries that are very informative. I really like Glen Mazzara’s style of explaining things and interacting with the other participants and the ease at which he engages the conversation with questions that are interesting and educational. Robert Kirkman is very open about answering questions related to the second season and Gale Anne Hurd is a consummate professional.

Mr. Mazzara also provides optional audio commentary for deleted scenes presented in full HD from eight of the thirteen episodes (29:18) while Greg Nicotero provides commentary for the six part webisode series Torn Apart (19:41). Both feature a “Play All” option for viewing too. Featurettes entitled All The Guts (5:33), Live Or Let Die (6:48), The Meat Of The Music (7:53), Fire On Set (6:09), The Ink Is Alive (9:05), The Sound Of The Effects (4:30), In The Dead Water (5:05), You Could Make A Killing (6:19), She Will Fight (5:39), The Cast On Season 2 (4:49) and

Extras Wardrobe (2:47) wrap up the bonus features included within this excellent Blu-ray Disc set.

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season: 4-Disc Set is available on Blu-ray Disc now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.