One of the better shows revolving around High School life, "POPULAR" is having its 2nd and final season released on dvd from BUENA VISTA. No, it doesn't have the total hypnotic, addictive affect of "MY SO- CALLED LIFE",(still the best tv series about high school) but even at a far distant 2nd place, it's miles ahead of most other programs. Remember the absolutely dreadful short-lived "LIFE AS WE KNOW IT"?
Created by Ryan Murphy(NIP/TUCK), "POPULAR" offers the same type of addictive story arcs and character development. Some are certainly caricatures, but anyone reminiscing about high school days is certain to recall some former fellow-students as just that! The show works on many levels, and is even bold in some aspects. The entire cast, including Leslie Bibb, Carly Pope,and Tammy Lynn Michaels, is superb!
The 2nd season isn't as nearly flawless as the first, but the new arrival of a football hunk to the school, sets up some great opportunities and all of them are explored here! "LIFE AS WE KNOW IT" really missed out on something when researching this show. The fat girl here, Carmen Ferrara, isn't a 2-dimensional character like the one Kelly Osbourne played in the other series. Underneath all of the characters here, there seems to be more than we first notice. They're real! Sure, there are fine actors here, but the writing is exceptional, something the other series totally forgot!
The worst part of Season 2 is that it's the "final" season! Viewers will not want it to end!
BUENA VISTA has preserved the show's original full-frame(1.33:1)aspect ratio. Colors are solid, but there's an intrusive amount of grain during some episodes. Contrast is fine and there's generally a lot of detail in even darker moments. Fleshtones appear natural.
BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Unfortunately, the surrounds are completely lifeless, even in regards to a great theme song and some terrific music cues. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
BUENA VISTA has thrown in some extras for the show's fans!
Volume 2, disc 4 offers a "popularity contest" with icons for guys or girls to answer. Eg.
Q: You are dumped by your girlfriend in front of everyone. How do you react?
a) Drop to my knees and beg. Please, please
b) I had a girlfriend?
c) Talk to her and ask her what I did wrong?
d) Laugh in her face and say, "I was going to break up with you!"
The episode, "THE BRAIN GAME" includes a commentary with Leslie Bibb and Bryce Johnson. It's actually so entertaining and light-hearted that it's a major disappointment that there are no other episodes offering commentary.