|Castle - The Complete Second Season (2010)|
|DVD TV Shows|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Wednesday, 15 September 2010|
The show is usually just a light murder/mystery drama. However, this season saw some grittier storytelling. The cliffhangers between episodes never amounted to much as they were too obvious, but nevertheless it was a nice change of pace. The heart of the show is Detective Beckett (Stana Katic) and writer Rick Castle's tension-based relationship. For two seasons the show has made a "will they" or "won't they" relationship interesting. However, this is beginning to the where thin.
That being said, the season ends with a nice romantic cliffhanger that could very well change things this season. If it doesn't, then the third season may be the final season of the show.
Aside from the romantic relationship, each week is another murder to solve. Castle is a tag along with a New York police department. He writes murder/mystery novels and shadows detective Kate Beckett for inspiration. In season two there is some terrific storytelling ranging from classic "whodunit" wedding murder mystery to some nail biting serial killer multi-part episodes.
"Castle" is the perfect show for those that are sick and tired of reality television.
It has been a while since I have really examined a DVD in terms of video and audio. "Castle" has a pleasant DVD video transfer, but it is always going to pale in comparison to a Blu-ray release. It is harder to tell whether I like the HD broadcast or the DVD release is better than it is knowing that the Blu-ray beats the HD broadcast almost 100 percent of the time. There are pluses and minuses to this DVD release against the broadcast. For one thing the HD broadcast is a lot sharper. It is full of more detail. The DVD release has its moment but the compression really limits the amount of detail. On the plus side, the DVD obscures a lot of the motion artifacting present on the HD broadcast. Still, compression artifacting takes its place. Fleshtones are a bit wild, but remain fairly steady within each scene. My biggest problem with the DVD is the lack of shadow delineation. Dark suits are massive blobs instead gradient and defined. Nevertheless, as far as the capabilities of DVD resolution, this set is quite good. However, I would have preferred less compression and more discs. Five episodes per disc is too much when it comes to DVD.
The audio is fairly standard. A Dolby Digital 5.1 track accompanies each episode. The tracks have some definite frequency coupling issues and a lack of soundfield coherency. However, this is to be expected from a lossy soundtrack. The LFE channel is lacking. Dialogue remains clear for the majority. Dynamics are lost, though they better than the multi-compressed HD broadcast audio track. Ultimately, these audio tracks fit with the show, doing what is needed but not much beyond that. Discreet effects in the surrounds are hard to localize due to precedence and frequency coupling.
The second season of "Castle" drops the ball when it comes to special features, especially in comparison with the first season DVD release. First, there are no audio commentaries. There were four audio commentaries on the first season set. There are three featurettes that deal with the show's development and touring the set. There are some deleted scenes that I found to be semi-interesting and some not so funny bloopers.
"Castle" is a great show that needs to stay on television. The second season is a vast improvement from the first as the writers were able to get past all the background information and focus on the murder of the week and the romantic relationship. While I would have really liked this set to been released on Blu-ray, the DVD offers some decent quality. I highly recommend this set for the show, but not much else.