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Rookie Blue - The Complete 2nd Season Review




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Buy from DVDEmpire.com (US)

Rating
Video:   8/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   2/10

Good show that lost its way
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
5/27/2012

    After seven months on the beat, these five rookies have kicked in doors, taken down criminals, kept people safe and saved each other in the process. Now they'll do it all again, but only better.
If you read my review of Rookie Blue season 1, you already know I really enjoyed the show. It was a fresh approach to the police drama, and it also marked a quality Canadian TV show (which is becoming more common lately). It's also a rare series I watch as it airs on TV - I don't wait for the show to hit DVD.

This 4-disc set includes all 13 episodes from the second season. This review is based on the Canadian release, though I think it's the same as the US release (season 1 had some differences).

Disc 1 (2:47:57)
Butterflies (41:55)
Might Have Been (41:52)
Bad Moon Rising (43:04)
Heart & Sparkles (41:06)

Disc 2 (2:49:11)
Stung (42:24)
In Plain View (42:25)
One That Got Away (41:18)
Monster (43:04)

Disc 3 (2:47:57)
Brotherhood (40:25)
Best Laid Plans (43:02)
A Little Faith (42:59)
On the Double (41:31)

Disc 4 (43:02)
God's Good Grace (43:02)

Video

I remember the first season looking a bit better on Blu-ray than this release does. It's still a 1080p picture, but I found many scenes contained noise, which I didn't notice in the season 1 set. It could have been an issue with poor exposure during the original shoot, which then has to be fixed in post production, but the picture also looks a tad compressed to me as well. The poor black level problem found in season 1 was minimal in season 2, though still an issue with a few scenes. There isn't a "play all" feature either, which is a consistent issue with the eOne releases, and one I wish they would address soon.

Audio

The Canadian release includes an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, along with a French 2.0 Dolby Digital track. I found the DTS track to be quite good, with some decent activity in the rear speakers, but not quite as engaging as the audio on a Sci-Fi show, for example. There are English subtitles on the set.

Extras - How we rate extras

Season 2: Every Day is a First (3:50)
The cast talks about the second season of the show.

Shots Fired: Inside the Season Premiere (3:48)
The cast talks about the season premiere, then we go behind-the-scenes of a pivotal scene, and then we see the finished shot.

Horsing Around (3:22)
A look at the "horse shoot." The cast talks about riding horses.

Cops on Coffee (3:13)
It's a featurette on the consumption of coffee.

Travis Talk (3:13)
Travis Milne (Chris Diaz) talks about a bunch of subjects. It's the funniest of the featurettes.

Disorderly Conduct (1:40)
The cast goofs off.

Split Screen Behind-the-Scenes Footage (12:30)
This split-screen piece shows the finished scene on the left, and the view from a behind-the-scenes camera on the right. It's long, but not that interesting (in my opinion).

Summary

I took exception with the first season of Rookie Blue because the quality control appeared to be a bit off, resulting in some poorly encoded material, and other material that wasn't displaying properly on TVs. The material for season 2 all displays properly, and the quality is notably better, there just isn't much of it. The first 4 featurettes on the set are essentially the same thing, just with a different topic; it's the cast talking about something. They're also pretty short, and the longest featurette (12:30) is about the same length as the other 6 added together. Sometimes less is more, as I discovered while watching the first season of Hell on Wheels, another eOne release; that set had the WORST material I've ever seen, and I had wished they never included it. The featurettes on Rookie Blue aren't horrible, but they aren't excellent either.

While I enjoyed the second season of the show, it was a bit too 902-Five-O for my liking; they seemed to focus more on the personal relationships of the characters than the police work, which is why I enjoyed watching it. That got better near the end of the season, but relationships seemed to drive most of the episodes this season, and it was something that I found a tad annoying. I'm still excited for the third season, but I hope they return to the show being about the police work, and not about the bedroom.

Speaking of season 3, this is one of the rare occurrences of a set coming out after the next season has premiered. ABC was late in choosing a start date for the third season, and eOne was already locked into May 29 as their date, so the third season has already started.


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