Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Sanctuary under siegeMarch 12 2010
E. A Solinas
- Published on Amazon.com
"Sanctuary" has always been a murky, shadowy series, but the second season makes everything much, much darker -- death, insanity, and the biggest baddest Abnormal since... well, ever. The handling of the Cabal and Ashley are pretty clumsy, though the stories that follow are more solid and intense than those of the first season.
In the aftermath of the Cabal's worldwide attack, the gang encounters a young con artist named Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi), who has been hired by the Cabal. But when Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and Will (Robin Dunne) go hunting for the Cabal's headquarters, they encounter Ashley (Emilie Fullerup).. who is leading an all-out assault on the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary gang also have to take in hundreds of new Abnormal refugees, in addition to their usual problems -- a future scenario filled with cannibalistic zombies, a flying superhero, Henry's old flame is attacked by a peaceful Abnormal, a vampire squid, a rageaholic Abnormal mob boss, and a gang of trust-fund vampires. Even worse, Druitt (Christopher Heyerdahl) seems to have returned to his "Jack the Ripper" ways, and Magnus seems to be going insane after shooting Bigfoot (Heyerdahl again).
And a trip to Mumbai goes horribly wrong when Will becomes the host to a bizarre Abnormal, which connects him to Big Bertha, a vast, ancient Abnormal "who raises the seas and shakes the land." Problem is, someone else wants that power instead.
Maybe it's just my imagination, but "Sanctuary Season 2" seems considerably darker than the first season (although it has more sunlight). It starts off rather wobbly for the first few episodes, which are basically devoted to writing both Ashley and the Cabal out of the story -- and it's done in a painfully contrived manner, especially since the Cabal seemed to be the Big Arc Villain.
Fortunately the standalone episodes, and the ones involved with Big Bertha, are far better -- lots of buttkicking action, gruesome murder (knives, spores, zombies), some truly bizarre abnormals, and the usual gothic gloom and rainy skies. But there's still an undercurrent of quirky humor (Henry and Bigfoot go off to geek it up at Comic-Con... especially since nobody notices the Big Guy there). And the whole episode with the Adjustor was just hilarious.
Tapping has some of her most brilliant performances here -- grief, paranoia, struggles with her ex-lover's killer nature, and even the possible loss of the Sanctuary network. Heyerdahl is amazing as both the bloodthirsty Druitt and the gentle (if grumpy) Bigfoot; Dunne is awesome as the gentle, intelligent Will (as well as the hardened, cold "future Will"), and Ryan Robbins gets a great episode devoted to Henry's personal issues.
The one false note: Kate. Darshi is a good actress and the character has promise, but why replace the annoying blonde with an equally annoying brunette? Fortunately, there are some excellent guest stars -- Michael Shanks, Erica Cerra, and the villainously hot Calum Blue.
"Sanctuary Season Two" has some stumbling blocks (I want more Cabal!), but the actors are still brilliant and the storylines are picking up. Worth seeing despite the wobbly first few episodes.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I liked season 1 much more.March 3 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The first season of Sanctuary was one of the coolest, most "refreshing" TV shows that I'd come across in quite some time. However, in addition to having a few very disappointing events occur, it just doesn't seem to me that season two has the same intangible attractiveness and mystique.
The first three episodes resolve the loose ends from season one, and that's where my biggest issue is. If you have read the other reviews, you know that Ashley gets killed off, which is disappointing, she was part of the show's heart. I will admit that her death does make sense w/in the storyline, i.e. the writing was good. But still a shock - I wonder if she no longer wanted to be on the show? What no one else has mentioned is that Klara Griffin (the invisible girl) gets killed off, and it is done in such a quick, senseless, clumsy way, I just don't get it. It would have been better to just not have her come back at all. She was so cool, a great compliment to the other characters. Also, the Cabal story arc, which seemed like such a huge deal, also gets "done with" in two or three brief-seeming episodes. Like it wasn't nearly as pervasive a threat as season one suggested. But maybe that's just me. Regarding the Kate Freelander character, I don't necessarily think her a bad actress, but she can't replace Ashley/Klara, and seriously, this is a serious show, not a sitcom, why would you name a character "Kate Freelander"? Why?
Anyway, the mid-season episodes are a mixed bag. "Hero" is lighthearted, but a lot better than you expect it to be. Amanda Tapping's old Stargate pal Michael Shanks has a cameo, which is cool, and while I am not into vampires (haven't watched any of the Twilight movies), the episode "Sleepers" is probably one of my three favorite episodes of the entire series so far. Nikola Tesla is brilliant. The two-part ending saga "Callie" is fairly decent. I have to admit, I didn't mind Will's dancing sequence - it actually put a much needed smile on my face during a stressful day.
But the show's incredible mystique in season one, in which the Sanctuary itself was mysterious, most of the episodes had a very dark color palette, and the shadows could have held anything. Here, the color palette is lighter, Magnus herself is less mysterious, sporting more makeup and a better tan, Bigfoot is more chatty (sometimes it isn't even Chris Heyerdahl playing him, and it *does* make a difference to me)...it's like the show has been normalized. But being ab-normal was what made it great to begin with.
This is certainly not the worst show out there, but I honestly would not recommend buying season two. If you have seen season one, I don't think that this is the same level of quality.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Still My Favorite Show on TelevisionAug. 16 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
The Sanctuary is a haven for all kinds of paranormal creatures, from the monstrous to the shunned. Dr. Helen Magnus has made the protection and study of abnormals her first priority. Following the cliffhanger ending from season one, Magnus' daughter Ashley has been kidnapped by the deadly Cabal. And Magnus and her team discover the Cabal's plans and their plans for Ashley.
Joining Magnus' team this season is Kate Freelander, a con artist with a good heart. Adam Darshi plays the initial rogue-turned-hero throughout the season. Her character changes quite a bit, as early on, I found her annoying and out of place. And the rest of the team is back, of course: Amanda Tapping as Dr. Magnus, Robin Dunne as Dr. Zimmerman, Ryan Robbins as Henry Foss, and Christopher Heyerdahl as John Druitt. These characters are some of my favorites on television.
Season two is just as exciting and suspenseful as the first. Each episode is strong and continues to impress. The ensemble cast works well together, with excellent acting. And the special effects continue to inspire, and are easily the greatest of any other television show on the air today. I can't say enough about how much I love this show. Season three is coming to the Syfy Channel this fall. So don't miss the first two seasons of this excellent show, now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Special Features Include: - Episode Audio Commentaries - Five featurettes - Anatomy of an Episode - From Script-to-Screen look at "Next Tuesday" episode - Behind the scenes - Video diaries - Bloopers and outtakes - Production stills photo gallery
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Some good, some bad, worse than S1Aug. 11 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Season 2 was much worse than season one, which explains the lower price for season 2, as the studio apparently thinks so as well. Season 2 was worse for 2 major reasons. First, the first few eps had to tie up the bad ending of season one, and the story lines in those eps had just alot of idiocy. Their later story arcs were not much better.
The second major reason for season two being so bad was the loss of Ashley (Emilie Ullerup) and replacement with Kate. In season 1 Ashley's character and the actress were both original and growing. The actress had some nice interpretations of her character. The choice to replace her with Kate Freelander an incredibly poor one, and doing so was handled very poorly.
Agam Darshi is a mediocre actress giving a cliché performance of a cliché character. Damien Kindler's writing often falls into trite characters and actions. I was surprised that he came up with Sanctuary, which is pretty unusual. Alas, now he is back to trite. Any scene with Kate just needs to be ff'd past, and both the character and actress really lessen the quality and enjoyment of the show.
That said, there were some good scenes and strong guest actors worth watching. Stand alone eps were more enjoyable than the arcs. I did not have a problem with the show getting darker, but the story arc with the problems within the sanctuary network were tiresome (and trite). They should have stuck with finding the abnormals with the cabal in the wings watching. That was their strength, and they were unwise to stray from it.
I will likely not purchase this, and may not watch season 3 if it continues in this downward spiral.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
character replacements.....it gets annoyingApril 15 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Well I still like the show and the plot but I have one major problem. First they kill off Magnus's daughter, then they get rid of invisible girl. I liked both these characters. It appeared that everytime they started intigrating a young female actress into the show they would kill her off. It started to piss me off. Then Kate shows up. Now I like Kate. She is spunky and interesting but I keep thinking they are probably going to kill her off because the young female lead never seems to last long...