J.J. Abrams’ sleek espionage series returns to DVD with
“Alias: Season Two.” Following the thrilling conclusion
to season one, super secret agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner)
must continue to work as a double agent for SD-6 on behalf of the
CIA. In addition, she now has to come to grips with the realization
that her mother (Lena Olin) is actually alive, while attempting to
uncover the coveted “Rimbaldi Device.” If all of this
seems confusing, this DVD set will help initiate you into the
complicated “Alias” mythology.
Even with a strong ensemble cast, “Alias” is
Garner’s show. She is near perfect in her role and the series
hinges on her every footstep. With recent Emmy and Golden Globe
nominations in the lead and supporting acting categories, people
looking for drama should be satisfied with the show’s
ever-unfolding cliffhangers and deceptions. The series took on a
bold change in direction with the episode “Phase One”
that aired after this year’s Super Bowl, and Abrams’
commentary on it helps to divulge the reasons behind the radical
shift away from the status quo. In spite of the changes, the show
still filled each hour in the second half of this season with
action and intrigue.
As one of the best and most exciting hours of television, the
DVD set now makes each episode readily available and commercial
free. The video is shown in a widescreen aspect ratio that ABC uses
for its Hi-Definition broadcasts, making the picture on the set far
superior to what is normally on the air. A Dolby digital audio
track accompanies the episodes and highlights the drama. The
six-disc set has the standard set of features found in most film
DVDs with episode commentaries, production featurettes and even
deleted scenes. By including as many extras as most standard
movies, “Alias: Season Two” rates as one of the most
complete DVD releases to hit the market.
ABC is standing behind “Alias” and hopes that
pushing DVDs onto the market, a la FOX’s “24,”
will help boost the show’s ratings. This strategy should not
scare viewers into thinking that the show is in any danger, though,
because it has been renewed until 2007. If anyone is still
complaining that there is nothing good on TV, then this set should
alleviate any concerns about the gems that are still out there.
Show: 5 stars.
Picture/Sound: 5 stars.
Features: 4 stars.