Courtesy: Entertainment One
AMC’s hit Western drama, Hell on Wheels is one of the best dramas on television today. Yes, that’s rather cliché to say, since so many networks try to claim their dramas to be the best this and that. But the fact of the matter is that few if any of those other shows live up to their hype. Hell on Wheels on the other hand more than lives up to the hype. If its first season was its A-game, then its second season was (and is now that it has been released to DVD and Blu-ray) its A Plus-game. The show’s writers have taken the story started in Season One and stepped it up all the way around the second time out. Whether one is new to the show or not, all ten of Season Two’s episodes are sure to keep audiences gripped from start to finish. And yes, there is a slight soap opera aspect mixed in to the primary story line. But that soap opera element was there in the show’s first season as with all of the other story lines that are present here. What’s most impressive is that the show’s writers were able to keep all of the story lines separate from one another throughout the season, thus making it all the more enjoyable. Add in top notch acting on the part of the cast and more equally expert cinematography, and audiences get more proof that drama on cable is just as good as anything on the “Big Four.”
The writers behind Hell on Wheels surprised a lot of people when the show debuted two seasons ago on AMC. But two seasons in (and a third season preparing to premiere this Saturday night), it has more than proven itself, as have its writers. The show’s second season is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. And with Season Two’s home release, Hell on Wheels’ writers have proven yet again why it does in fact live up to the hype of being one of the best dramas on television today. The show’s writers have taken what they started with in its debut season and stepped it up in big fashion in Season Two. Audiences find out what became of Cullen Bohannon after he left Hell on Wheels at the end of Season One. They also see everything that has transpired in the town, too. The brothers Mcginnes have gone from being two young naïve Irish immigrants to being relatively successful businessmen with their own personal drama. The relationship between Joseph Black Moon and his “father”, Reverend Nathaniel Cole has become very strained, to say the least. And the on again/off again romance between Elam Ferguson and his love interest Eva has reached quite the interesting point, even though Eva is married to another man. Let us also not forget Thor Gundersen (A.K.A. The Swede). He reaches perhaps the lowest point possible in the show’s climactic final episodes that are sure to have major implications in Season Three.
One would assume just by seeing everything here, that there was an awful lot going on in Season Two. That would be right. It would be just as easy to assume that with so many storylines going on, they would end up stepping all over one another. That assumption is wrong. Somehow, the show’s writers were able to take each one of the storylines in Season Two, and keep them entirely separate of one another. At the same time, they also managed to keep each story line tied into the other smoothly. The connections were so smooth that audiences that have yet to see Season Two will have no trouble following them or how they tie into one another. This solid writing is the crux of the continued success of Hell on Wheels. There is much more that continued to make it successful in its second season, though. Audiences will also find that the acting on the part of the main cast does its own part in making the show believable.
The writers behind Hell on Wheels Season Two took the success of the show’s first season and amped things up this time out, developing each storyline clearly and at a pace that doesn’t leave viewers scratching their heads. This is a major positive to Season Two. It’s not the only positive. Just as the writing was executed so well, so was the ability of the cast to interpret the scripts. The cast’s acting was just as believable this season as it was in its debut season. This is something rare in television’s current era. Far too often, viewers know that they are watching a show on the screen. But in the case of Hell on Wheels, the cast’s chemistry and its ability to interpret each episode’s script is at such a level that it makes suspension of disbelief so easy for audiences. It’s so easy to be pulled in that audiences won’t want to stop watching from one episode to the next, even with this drama being so much less like other serials on TV today. It’s one more sign of just how impressive Hell on Wheels remains in its second season.
The writing and acting in Hell on Wheels’ are integral parts of the show’s success. This is just as evident in the show’s second season as it was in its first season. They can only do so much by themselves, though. The people charged with capturing the cast on camera and setting the tone in each scene are just as much to thank for the show’s success in its second season. The cinematography is just important in the success of Hell on Wheels as the writing and acting. And suffice it to say that the cinematography was just as expert in Season Two as it was in Season One. The wide shots of the railroad being built set against the backdrop of the plains under clear blue skies were stunning. The lack of civilization served to make the colors of the plains and sky even lusher. And the exterior shots, setting the scene within the town created their own emotions. The contrast of the muddy ground against the buildings and tents does something just as special. Not only does it illustrate the colors, but it serves as a stark contrast to the scenes showing the railroad being built. The camera crews did a wonderful job capturing the set shots throughout each episode. The camera work during each episode’s shootouts and the deeper, more emotional moments were just as powerful as the rest of the camerawork throughout Season Two. It’s one more factor that along with the drama’s writing and the acting, will fully immerse viewers in the story. Together, all of these factors make Hell on Wheels Season Two more proof that cable based dramas are as good as the programming that spans the “Big Four” if not better than those shows. And whether one is new to Hell on Wheels or not, all of these factors make this another must see season. Season Two is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0075FF5QM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=filmsiteorg-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0075FF5QM. And fans can get up to speed up Hell on Wheels on the show’s official website, http://www.amctv.com/shows/hell-on-wheels. Audiences can also keep up with the latest Hell on Wheels developments on the show’s official Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HellonWheelsAMC.
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