Rock: The Complete Second Season
(2019/Warner Blu-ray Set)/Deadwater
DVD)/Good Doctor: Season
Three (2019 - 2020/Sony
DVD Set)/Taz-Mania: The
Complete Third Season
(1993/Warner Archive DVD Set)
B+/C+/C+/C Sound: B+/C+/C+/C+ Extras: C/C-/C/D Episodes:
for the latest seasons of three new TV series and an animated past
King and J.J. Abrams bring us the second season of the show Castle
Rock, which originally appeared on Hulu and has finally landed on
Blu-ray disc to accompany its first season (reviewed elsewhere on
Rock: The Complete Second Season
(2019) features Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
in a starring role as the younger version of psychopath nurse Anne
Wilkes (from King's novel Misery
who was played previously by Kathy Bates, who won the Best Actress
Oscar for her work), who ends up stuck in the fictional small town of
Castle Rock - a town where several of King's stories crossover. This
intense season set in the King multiverse is sure to please fans and
keep you on the edge of your seat!
series also stars Tim Robbins (Mystic River), Paul Sparks
(House of Cards), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) as
Abdi Howlwadaag, Yusra Warsama as Dr. Nadia Howlwadaag, Elsie Fisher
(Eighth Grade) as Joy and Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why).
episodes make up Season 2 of Castle Rock and include
Let The River Run, New Jerusalem, Ties That Bind, Restore Hope,
The Laughing Place, The Mother, The Word, Dirty, Caveat Emptor,
Features: Anne Wilkes: Mother of Sorrow (new featurette)
Rock is enjoyable even if you aren't a diehard Stephen King fan,
but if you are there's tons of references to his work that are
(again) fun to catch.
is a series that is a mini-series. Deadwater Fell (2020)
deals with the fallout of children dying in a building fire, was it
an accident and how does it affect its Scottish town. Doctor Who
alumni David Tennant is a real-life medical doctor and Anna
Madeley, his teacher wife. The fire happens to their home and it is
a tragedy to begin with, then they start to ask questions.
four episodes, the mystery gets deeper and deeper, though the
child-in-jeopardy (even when they are dead) is not one I am always a
fan of, though the show does not wallow in it as much as others of
its kind have. The cast os not bad and the locales not ones you have
likely seen enough if you are a U.S. viewer, but there were also
lulls in the teleplays and some things we have seen before. Tennant
can act and he helps save this from becoming dull and generic. It is
worth a look if interested, but I would have liked a little more
energy and surprise.\
Jumbo and Matthew McNulty also star.
brief Behind-The Scenes featurette is the only extra.
Good Doctor: Season Three (2019 - 2020) has actor Freddie
Highmore in the lead as a young medical doctor who is great at what
he does, because of mental illness. That can either be played as a
disaster or really work, but my reaction since this show debuted is
that they are playing it in the middle and I was not always
convinced. There is still some stereotyping on the side that cannot
be avoided as mental illness and mental health are still
stigmatized and even under the most enlightened circumstances,
Highmore's Dr. Shaun Murphy (he is an autistic savant who functions
better than say, Rain Man) is capable enough to actually make
a living, et al.
we take his character as believable (ala Monk) than I can see
why the show is a hit, viewers are on his side and do not see any
stereotyping whatsoever and it is a case where you cannot say 'why
can't they get someone who really has autism to play the role' as
that illness is more complex than that. Thus, we get 20 episodes
that move along well and make the most sense if you start at the
series' very beginning. The supporting cast is not bad, but it is up
to Highmore to make this work and he has found the character and it
works in the world the show takes place in, even if some of us cannot
totally buy it.
a final aside, the show kept reminding me of the final scene in St.
Elsewhere, though there is no intended connection.
include Deleted Scenes and a Blooper Reel.
on a lighter note, we have Taz-Mania: The Complete Third Season
(1993) and an animated series that was a bigger hit than you might
remember. Though the Tazmanian Devil only appeared in 5 theatrical
short animated cartoons back in the 1950s and 1960s, people,
generation after generation, discovered him, loved him more and more
and by the time his shorts (usually with Bugs Bunny) were rerun on
TV, he was as popular as just about any of the Looney Tunes/Merrie
Melodies family. Thus, his appearance in new Looney Tunes TV shows,
specials and this series.
him with a new group of characters made for this series (he is a
bellboy for the Hotel Tasmania!) with cameos from some we might know,
the show also has fun with him, putting him into funny situations
that are absolutely exploiting how much viewers love him. It is
really for a younger audience (like Baby Looney Tunes, et al)
but has a few chuckles for older viewers and must be at least a curio
for them. Each half-hour has more than one adventure and this is a
are no extras.
for playback performance. Castle
Rock: Season 2 is
presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a MPEG-4 AVC
codec and an original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.00:1 and paired
with an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The show
has a highly cinematic look that comes across very nicely on disc
here and is comparable to other recent King big screen adaptations.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Fell and Doctor
are about even, though color is a little richer on Doctor, but
Fell leans towards more outdoor shots. I bet both would look
better in HD, but these editions are fine for what they are with
their lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sounding good, but proving that the
soundmasters are likely better than what we can hear in this older
1.33 X 1 image transfer on Taz-Mania has good color, but is
from older video transfers with some aliasing errors throughout.
Made on film, We wonder if the show was simply finished on old
standard definition analog video, thus the detail issues here and
there. Otherwise, this looks good and the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has some nice Pro Logic surrounds.
Still, this could look and sound better too.
Nicholas Sheffo and James