Preacher Season 2 Blu-ray Review
Searching for God
Season 2 Review
This blisteringly faithful graphic novel adaptation of Preacher goes off the rails in its bloated sophomore season, but still boasts a uniquely grotesque dark humour and some great characters.Showrunners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg crafted a masterful adaptation of the famously unfilmable graphic novel series by author Garth Ennis. The rampant extreme violence, sex, profanity and disregard for basically anything politically correct (a sympathetic Hitler; a pathetic God) left it a seemingly impossible property to tackle, but tackle it they did, delivering a bevvy of characters expertly brought from page to screen, headlined by Dominic Cooper's perfectly-cast Preacher, Ruth Negga's kick-ass Tulip and Joseph Gilgun's Irish vampire Cassidy. The first season ended around the start of the graphic novel, with the trio going in search of a missing God, and the second season kick-starts immediately after, as they're on the road, being hunted by the mysterious and invincible Saint of Killers, with a rising nemesis seemingly coming in the form of the obsessive Herr Starr.The 10 episode first season introduced Jesse Custer's anti-Preacher with his mysterious ability to control people with the Word of God. Now we get into the meat of things, addressing the Saint of Killers, Starr and Arseface, and bringing each and every colourful character to wonderful life. The trouble is that, somewhere during its 13 episode run, it gets a little waylaid in New Orleans dead ends, unnecessary side-stories, and pointless characters. Tulip's whole arc is wasted, and Cassidy doesn't fare better dealing with his wayward son, whilst the Preacher himself has little left likable about him, making this - at times - a tough watch. Which is a shocking revelation for a strikingly faithful adaptation that, at the start and finish, appears so promising. There are some highs - Herr Starr alone is enough - to get you through, but this is far from the first season and it needs some focus for the third.
Picture QualityThe second season of Preacher comes to UK Region Free Blu-ray complete with an excellent 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation. As with the first season, it's a striking, stylish piece, with a richly vibrant comic book feel, excellent contrast and popping colours.
An excellent, demo-worthy presentation matching up to that afforded the first season
The change in setting brings forward a dilapidated flat as a mainstay, which is a bit disappointing, and New Orleans isn't quite as distinctive as Texas - and Hell never looks good - but there are plenty of colourful detours along the way, often involving Starr. Despite the setting and varying scenery, the colour scheme still finds a way to frequently pop with comic book intensity, and the woody, earthy tones that dominate are still rich and textured. Detail is unflinchingly good - it was always an immaculate digital property, but it excels on the format - and skin textures, clothing weaves and background nuances impress, whilst black levels remain largely deep and strong, only occasionally, fleetingly struggling to keep back any sign of noise. Overall it's an excellent, demo-worthy presentation matching up to that afforded the first season.
Sound QualityAn excellent soundtrack that again follows on nicely from Season 1
The punchy, song-laden DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is also easy demo material right from the explosive opening to the very first episode, delivering thunderous, deafening gunshots (the Saint of Killers' revolvers boom like the veritable hand cannons that they are) across your sound system, tearing your living room apart with LFE-weighted effects. Whilst the gunfire may be less sporadic as the season evolves, the show is no less inventive when it comes to its comic-book style exaggerated effects, punctuating the episodes with cleverly popping sounds that finish scenes or sentences. Dialogue, of course, remains key, and is delivered with clarity throughout, largely remaining front-driven, whilst the score - as aforementioned, peppered with song tracks, and certainly with a sound design commensurate to them even if there are no lyrics - drives the key setpieces and gives the show some momentum. It's an excellent soundtrack, again following suit from Season 1.
ExtrasUnfortunately Season 1 wasn't exactly packed with extras on its Blu-ray bow, and Season 2 is even worse, afforded just a single Featurette that offers little background into a show that's crying out for a Commentary or two from Rogen and co, as well as a Gag Reel.
Blu-ray VerdictThere are enough highs to get you through, but this is far from the first season and it needs some focus for the third
Preacher Season 2 loses its way somewhat, particularly with the diverging paths of the core characters, however it retains some brilliantly realised characters nevertheless, and superb vignette backstories too, and remains a faithful interpretation of the source material that should still prove surprisingly compelling for fans, even with a distinctly bloated feel to the middle section of this longer second season.
It's UK Blu-ray release affords the show some room to breathe over 4 discs, and lets each episode shine with outstanding video and audio, even if we're left wanting in the extras department. However fans should definitely check it out.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £21.99
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