ABC’s The Wonder Years was one of the most successful and popular programs on television in its original run on ABC from 1988 – 1993. Even after more than two decades since it finally came to an end, it still remains one of the most beloved series in television’s modern history. As beloved as the series continued to prove to be since it ended its original run, it wouldn’t be until last year that devotees of The Wonder Years would finally be rewarded for their loyalty to the series. The complete first season of The Wonder Years finally got its first ever full, proper DVD release last fall courtesy of StarVista Entertainment. And this week, StarVista Entertainment has followed up that release with the series’ complete second season. Season Two picks up where the series’ first season left off in every sense of the phrase, presenting wonderful, timeless episodes that are just as relatable today as they were in their original airings. The acting on the part of the cast remains just as impressive as in Season One. And the mass of bonus material including the companion booklet and the on-disc bonuses impresses yet again in its own way. Each of the noted elements—the writing, acting, and bonus material—that went into the second season of The Wonder Years plays its own pivotal role in making this long-awaited box set so impressive. All three together make the second season of The Wonder Years another must have for any of the series’ original audiences.
When it was finally released last year, StarVista Entertainment’s release of The Wonder Years: Season One proved in so many ways to be well worth the two-decade plus wait. One of the main reasons that it proved so well worth the wait was the writing behind its episodes. Much the same can be said of the writing in Season Two’s episodes. The series’ writers continued in Season Two to present a series that was a serial without actually being a serial. It followed the Arnold family’s growth. But unlike today’s series, it didn’t require audiences to dedicate the amount of time that said series require of audiences. It’s a model that sadly hasn’t been seen since the days of Home Improvement, Wings, The Cosby Show, and 3rd Rock From The Sun just to name a handful of series. It’s just part of what continues to make the writing so impressive in the series’ second season. The ability of audiences to so easily relate to the series concepts in these episodes makes the writing just as strong. Every viewer will relate to the fallout from Kevin and Winnie’s breakup at the end of Season One because every viewer has navigated those same troubled waters in their own lives whether as children or teens. In the same vein, the growing complexities of Kevin and Paul’s friendship throughout Season Two are just as real. The strain put on the pair’s friendship when Paul starts dating in “Steady As She Goes” is a situation to which any viewer can relate. It’s a situation to which both men and women can relate as both boys and girls go (have gone) through at some point in life. And the emotional strain caused by a divorce as in “How I’m Spending My Summer Vacation” is just as much an issue to which so many audiences can relate. It’s just one more example of how the writing behind Season Two makes its episodes just as enjoyable as those that made up the series’ first season. There are plenty of other examples of why the series’ writing this season remains so solid. From the special message in “Christmas” to the tensions which every married couple has had at some point even today in “Pottery Will Get You Nowhere,” to the already noted episodes, audiences will see from episode to episode just why the writing behind Season Two’s episodes is central to the set’s success and enjoyment.
The writing behind the second season of The Wonder Years is the center point of its success and enjoyment. Even now in the twenty-first century, the situations presented throughout each episode are situations to which any family can relate. That is because every viewer has found himself or herself in at least one of the given situations if not most. That having been noted, the work of the show’s cast in terms of interpreting Season Two’s scripts adds to the episodes’ enjoyment. At no one point does it ever feel like the cast is going over the top. Maybe the reason for that is that the situations presented in Season Two were just as timeless then as they are today. They were (and are) so real that it made interpreting their scripts that easy. It is so easy to believe Kevin’s heartbreak when he learns that Winnie hasn’t fallen back in love with him and when he is struggling to keep his parents from fighting after Jack gives Norma no support as she takes a pottery course. The frustration of the Arnolds in trying to keep up with the times in “Christmas” is just as real and believable. Even today, it’s so easy for any family to see itself in the position of the Arnolds as they feel left behind by technology and those with the latest technology. That reality made the acting just as easy for the cast just as the reality of divorce made the acting in the season finale so easy. And because the acting in these (and all of Season Two’s episodes) is so believable, it makes the episodes in whole more believable and that much more enjoyable for audiences. The believability of the cast’s acting coupled with the work of the script writers makes collectively for a big reason that The Wonder Years: Season Two is a must see for any fan of this classic series.
The work of the cast and the writers in The Wonder Years’ second season make up a big part of the reason that any fan of the show should check out this new box set from StarVista Entertainment. While both elements are of equal importance to the set’s success, there is still one more element to note of the set that will impress audiences just as much. That final element is the set’s collective bonus material. The bonus material includes not just the bonus interviews and featurettes on the set’s fourth disc but the set’s companion booklet, too. The material included on the set’s fourth disc includes more interviews with Fred Savage’s TV parents Dan Lauria and Alley Mills as well as an interview with narrator Daniel Stern (Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Bushwacked). There is also a look back at the turbulent era in which The Wonder Years’ second season took place. The era in question was the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a time of great social change for America, and as audiences will see in “The Times They Are A-Changin’: The Era” those changes were reflected directly in the episodes. They were part of the previously noted writing that made Season Two so enjoyable. Along with all of that, there is also a roundtable discussion with Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, and Josh Saviano in which the trio looks back on the events of Season Two and what those events meant to each one of them. The companion booklet that is included with Season Two maintains the standard set by the booklet included in Season One’s box. Simply put, it is more than just an episode guide. It outlines the episodes and gives some background on the episodes as well as some history behind the show and other little important tidbits such as current events and music history in relation to the episodes’ settings. The fact that the people at StarVista entertainment would strive to maintain that high standard even with the set’s companion booklet shows that they wanted to continue honoring the series and those that made it so great, and the show’s fans. Such an in-depth booklet coupled with equally in-depth bonuses included on-disc show together why the bonus material included in The Wonder Years: Season Two is just as important to its presentation as the episodes and the work of the cast. By themselves, the bonuses included in this set make for plenty of reason for the show’s original fans to add this set to their home library. Together with the work of the cast and the writers, audiences are presented with a set that is in every way a definite must have.
The Wonder Years: Season Two is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Years-Season-2-4DVD/dp/B00OGD8PX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1423063498&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Wonder+years+Season+2. More information on this and other titles from StarVista Entertainment is available online at:
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