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Cherry Pop

'Saving Grace: Season Two'
(Holly Hunter, Leon Rippy, Kenny Johnson, Bailey Chase, Bokeem Woodbine , et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / Twentieth Century Fox)

Overview: Hard-edged police detective Grace Hanadarko is certainly no angel, but she has one on her shoulder. Academy-Award winner Holly Hunter returns as Grace, a no-nonsense cop whose fierce dedication to her job belies her self-destructive lifestyle. Taking on kidnappings, homicides, and the dark specter of the Oklahoma City bombing, Grace receives celestial guidance from a gruff guardian angel who may be her last chance for salvation.

DVD Verdict: I looked forward to this series before it began because Holly Hunter is one of my favorite actresses. Once it started, I was a bit put off by the heavy drinking and smoking, and the sex scenes - they fit the story, were not gratuitous, but still it was not easy to watch.

Which is the whole point.

Grace is sliding into darkness and when she asks for God's help, Earl is His "boy", and extends His grace to her with a sense of humor, down-to-earth assessments of people and situations, and an ability to see everyday miracles. It's up to Grace to make that choice of faith. This story is not resolved each week within its one-hour slot. All the main characters are complex with lives and histories and futures, faults and strengths. The viewer may be new on the scene, but these characters are in the middle of what's been going on for years (decades).

Grace's continual questions to Earl are those many of us have asked - the intellectual attempt to understand faith, mixed with anger that bad stuff is "allowed" to happen in the world. Indigenous Americans are portrayed as regular people (without continuous Carlos Nakai in the background) who get Alzheimer's, play practical jokes on friends, worry about keeping their jobs, and care for their extended families.

Saving Grace is gritty real, and even though the characters solve crimes each week, for me the show is about living on this planet with everyone else, and learning about faith and courage, forgiveness of self and others, responsibility that travels into the next world, and the myriad of ways to love.

This DVD set includes all 14 episodes from Season 2 along with two featurettes that document the many successes of 'Saving Grace' - both on television and in the person lives of the actors; not to mention a very Hollywoodesque wrap party where the cast reflects on the series' second season. [BH] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:

Have a Little Faith: The Successes of "Saving Grace"
The Wrap Party Red Carpet, Hosted by Dylan Minnette