HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The 100 - Season 2
HTS Overall Score:79
If you’ve read my review of “The 100: Season 1” that I wrote last year, you’re well aware of the fact that I HATED season 1. Not because it wasn’t an interesting concept, or that there wasn’t good writing, but because of the fact that you literally DESPISED every single human being in the entire show except maybe one or two. Now I understand that it’s a dystopian future. Lots of stuff went down and humans had to do some nasty stuff to stay alive and that’s stuck with them the whole time. That little quirk becomes a problem when you see very little, if any, growth of those characters once they are reintroduced into the general population back on Earth (since this whole series is about the last survivors of modern humanity who have been living in a giant spaceship for hundreds of years till Earth’s radiation levels went down from the last nuclear war). Season 2 turns that around as it takes a drastic leap forward in both storytelling as well as character development.
Last time we left the humans on Earth, they had just had a TON of deaths in the original 100 children/teenagers/young adults, and it had become known that there were a LOT more human survivors than originally known. Not to mention that the remaining people on the Ark, those same humans who sent these kids down to Earth as human “canaries in the coal mine”, came down to take over the operation. If you think that things can’t get much worse, then you’re wrong. Dead wrong. The remaining 48 people wake up in an unknown bunker, or unknown origins, and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is once again called upon to act as the stabilizing point.
Things get twisted real fast this season. Clarke has gone from the basic support character with a conscience in season one, to the full blown leader of the remaining 48 and her arc has been impressive for sure. Originally she was one of the few people that you could actually like in the show. She had a soul, she understood kindness and compassion and truly cared for the people under her. While she cares once more this season, the weight of living in a “Lord of the Flies” environment has caused some drastic personality changes. She hardens over the course of this season and becomes drastically less likeable. Strangely enough, so does Finn (Thomas McDonnel) who acted as a stabilizing point for her. I guess that’s one of the good things about this series, no one is ever truly safe. Alliances change at will and there is no character big or small who is safe from being axed on the show.
Romantic and interpersonal relationships thrive, as different people start to feel the stresses of life. Raven deals with losing Finn over the course of the season, and the earther, Lincoln and Octavia become much closer than they were in season 1. However, certain relationships (that I won’t spoil) get REALLY strained with the inclusion of the rest of humanity making it’s way down from the Ark. Which brings up one of the BIGGEST character changes in the entire series, ex president Jaha (Isiah Washington). He was a major piece of work in the first season, being one of the few sane people on board the ship it seemed, but this season we watch his character loose his mind a bit, going from down to earth leader to homicidal religious nutjob. While I don’t always like a character changing allegiances and shifting their personalities drastically in a show, they did a wonderful job at keeping this one fresh and inventive. So much so that his actions set up what is going to happen next in Season 3.
The Episode Rundown is as Follows
Many Happy Returns
Fog of War
Long Into the Abyss
Survival of the Fittest
Coup de Grace
Bodyguard of Lies
Blood Must Have Blood: Part 1
Blood Must Have Blood: Part 2
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=56354[/img]There was a bit of a weird happening with "The 100: Season 2" in regards to the home video release. For a couple months ONLY the DVD was listed as coming to home video and no Blu-ray, and then at the last moment a Blu-ray edition was announced, but at this time the review product was all DVD to my knowledge. Thus we weren't able to review the Blu-ray this time around. Much like the previous season, the encode for "The 100: Season 2" is near immaculate. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the encode looks phenomenal with rich colors, deep blacks and some great looking detail to boot. The color palette is very balanced and natural with excellent saturation levels. The Ark looks appropriately grey and teal toned, with lots of silver and gunmetal tones, while the Earth forest is alive with different shades of blue, green and reds, and every color in between. Those self-same forest shots are filled with tons and tons of minute visual detail, from the coloring and texture of different leaves, to the dirt and grime embedded in the 100 survivor’s clothes and faces as they try to survive out in the wild. Black levels are very deep and only show a few instances of banding, with great shadow detail. Besides the color banding in some dark shots, I couldn’t see any issues with digital artifacts and for a DVD it looks REALLY good.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=56362[/img]The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is also really great for a DVD, but does suffer from the limited bitrate and compression of the format. Vocals are crisp and clear, with strong balance between the effects and the dialog. The forest is abounding with ambient noises, form the crunching of leaves and twigs underneath grounder feet, to the click and schnicking of weapons from the Ark dwellers. The score has a nice deep and throaty feel, ominous and pulsing with power. LFE is tight and punchy, showing great depth and impressive power when called upon (which is actually quite often. the show has a lot of action for a CW tv series, and thus is a really active track, complete with gunshots, screams, pounding score and the other fun stuff you get from the science fiction genre. it isn't AS good or as dynamic as the Blu-ray release of season 1, but the DVD is more than capable of pulling its weight.
• All-New Featuettes:"" The 100"": Unlocking the Mountain
• ""The 100"" Pre-Viz Stunts
• 2014 Comic-Con Panel
• Gag Reel
• Unaired Scenes
While I still don’t find “The 100” to be one of the greatest shows on television, the creators learned for their mistakes and really amped up the ante this season. I am a firm believer in never writing off a series after the first season (usually there’s plenty of growing pains in the initial offering) and I’m certainly glad I stuck around for this one. Characters get more mature, more likeable characters are introduced and the scope just opened up immensely. There are still plenty of flaws in the series, but after this year, definitely a lot less than there were before. Audio and video are more than impressive for a DVD release, and the extras are about on par with the previous season. Worth a watch.
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Eli Goree, Thomas McDonell, Isaiah Washington
Created by: Jason Rothenberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 572 Minutes
Own it on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD October 13th 2015
Buy The 100 - Season 2 DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Tentative Rental
More about Mike