ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT has released the 2nd season of "XENA: WARRIOR PRINCES" in its entirety. All 22 episodes are included, and for those fans of the first season, there's more to like about this season. To begin with, one of the best things about the show is Xena's sidekick, Gabrielle, and in "SEASON 2" she practically takes center stage in a few episodes. While the flavor of the show, mixing comic-book-like action, with humor, and corniness, was laid out during the first season, "SEASON 2" does the same, but with more energy and in more creative directions.
One of the best episodes, "THE PRICE", in which Xena comes upon an army outpost whose inhabitants have almost entirely been defeated by a group of cannibals, crucifying some, devouring the others. It's up to the heroine to instill heroics in the remaining fighters so as to defeat this enemy, known as "The Horde".
The special effects are on par with the previous season, varying in quality from one episode to the next. Sometimes, as in the episode, "THE LOST MARINER", they're dazzling, and in other episodes, they're just ok. But, overall, the caliber of the writing, acting, and production design to these shows make it entertaining for viewers of all ages. In "A COMEDY OF EROS" there are plenty of beautiful lasses to appeal to an older male audience as well.
Another episode, "THE XENA SCROLLS" is arguably one of the funniest episodes out of any of the "HERCULES/XENA" tv series.
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT deserves credit for this release. To begin with, the SRP$ has been knocked down in cost, making it list for $20.00 less than did the first season. The original 1.33:1 aspect ratio is intact, and the image is generally sharp. Colors are solid, but vary in their intensity in a few episodes. But, even when not vibrant, the image is generally clean. There's terrific detail throughout the season, and contrast is impressive, with deep blacks and grays, allowing for considerable detail in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT has again provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It's an aggressive mix, featuring an abundance of surround effects in many episodes. The separation effects are generally concentrated on the front, but all speakers kick in with fervor for the score. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
Lucy Lawless and the actress playing her side-kick, Renee' O Connor offer terrific commentary for several episodes. They offer some insight relating to the production of the episodes they discuss, but mostly, it's just a fun recollection of events taking place on screen.