'Veronica Mars - The Complete Second Season'
(Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / (2004) 2006 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as the town sheriff, Veronica Mars, dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.
DVD Verdict: With most television shows, the sophomore season is kind of key. That's when you can tell if the series has long-term potential to be one of the great classic shows, or if the first season will always be remembered as the only "true" season of what once was a good show. With this second season, "Veronica Mars" proves to be the former. While most of the sophomore efforts of the big hit shows that I've seen have been disappointing this season (the worst offenders being the ones on ABC, imo), "Veronica Mars" and NBC's "The Office" remain as two of the only exceptions. For those new to the show (and I hope there will be plenty of those, b/c the show still doesn't get the viewers it deserves), here's a quick, as-spoiler-free-as-possible, season 2 synopsis: With her best friend's true murderer finally behind bars thanks to her, 18-year-old detective Veronica tries to start her senior year by getting her life back to normal after the cataclysmic events of last year. As we learn in the phenomenal season premiere, "Normal is the Watchword," she'll find that very difficult since the noir-ish town in which she lives, Neptune, CA, is practically crumbling around her. Tensions between the haves and the have-nots have escalated exponentially ever since a mysterious tragedy that occured over the summer. In season 2, the class warfare becomes literal with someone very close to Veronica at the center. Oh, and at the end of the first episode, 8 people will be killed in a not-so-accidental accident that may have been meant for our heroine. This season introduces many more of the shady faces of Neptune, including femme fatale Kendall Casablancas (gleefully protrayed by Buffy/Angel-alum Charisma Carpenter), the new friendy, yet kind of creepy mayoral candidate Woody Goodman (Steve Guttenberg), and Neptune's "first family of crime," the Fighting Fitzpatricks. As she gets reluctantly sucked into the season's two big murder mysteries, Veronica will also encounter everything from psychotic babysitting clients to a serial rapist at the college she will probably attend in season 3 to a dead guy who washes up on shore with her name written across his hand, and she will learn throughout the season that "normal" just isn't her. The great thing about "Veronica Mars" that sets it apart from other high-concept mystery shows (yes, I'm referring to "Lost") is that you have complete confidence in the writers (which was justified in season 1) to actually answer it all and tie all of these threads up into a neat little bow at the end of the season and still leave you dying for more. Next season, this and "The Office" will probably be the only non-HBO shows I'll be watching (unless the miracle that is "Arrested Development" somehow returns). This amazing 2nd season is not only more briskly-paced than season 1, but it's also more, as Logan would say, "epic" in scale and complexity, so this season, even more than season 1, will benefit from the DVD format so viewers can watch the episodes back-to-back to keep up with everything. As a major bonus, this set actually has *gasp* EXTRAS! It will have a behind-the-scenes featurette, a gag reel (Rob Thomas has mentioned that it will be from both seasons. Huzzah!), deleted scenes, and maybe more. That said, if you haven't seen Season 1, what are you waiting for?! That's available now! The brilliant writing and acting alone (Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring both turn in Emmy-worthy performances) make this well worth the price of a DVD set, not to mention the gorgeous and quirky cinematography/art direction and great music. Pick up both seasons. You won't regret it. This is a Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:
22 episodes on six discs
22 minutes of deleted scenes
"A Day on the Set with Veronica Mars" behind-the-scenes featurette
"Veronica Mars: Not Your Average Teen Detective" featurette