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Little House on the Prairie: Season Two (Deluxe Remastered Edition) Blu-ray Review

little-house-on-the-prairie-S2-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie series of books about the post-Civil War era pioneer family struggling to make it on the prairie, the Little House on the Prairie TV series came along at time when NBC was in desperate need of a hit. Not only was the series an instant success, but it helped carry the network’s lineup for quite sometime and went on to have a nine-year run, starting in 1974.

The second season is just as charming as the first, maybe even more so, with the characters now being firmly established. Nellie (Alison Arngrim) seems more prominently featured as the Ingalls’ children’s school adversary, ever the tease alongside her sniveling brother Willie (Jonathan Gilbert). But the season, like most of Little House’s years on the air, was much more than simple schoolyard antics, it tackled lots of social issues as well, like the tough episode, “Soldier’s Return” that finds a Civil War veteran returning home to Walnut Grove and struggling with a morphine addiction. In “Four Eyes”, we see Mary (Melissa Sue Anderson) begin to have eye problems. As fans of the series know, this may be a foreshadowing of worse things to come for the Ingalls clan. Other highlights from the season include episodes about battling cancer (“Remember Me, Parts 1 & 2”) and, on the lighter side of things, Walnut Grove taking on their nemesis in a game of baseball (“In the Big Inning”).

Episode Listing:

  1. The Richest Man in Walnut Grove
  2. Four Eyes
  3. Haunted House
  4. In the Big Inning
  5. The Campout
  6. The Spring Dance
  7. Remember Me, Part 1
  8. Remember Me, Part 2
  9. Ebenezer Sprague
  10. At the End of the Rainbow
  11. The Gift
  12. His Father’s Son
  13. The Talking Machine
  14. The Pride of Walnut Grove
  15. A Matter of Faith
  16. The Runaway Caboose
  17. Troublemaker
  18. The Long Road Home
  19. For My Lady
  20. Centennial
  21. Soldier’s Return
  22. Going Home

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

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Season two of Little House on Blu-ray remains consistent with the quality we saw on Season One. The Blu-ray comes in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement in the series’ original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and minus the Pilot Movie that was present in the first season’s collection, this set is more consistent. It remains quite clear and pristine with rich colors, good contrast and just the slightest hint of crush in the blacks.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Again we are given the original monaural soundtrack in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) with some occasional audible pops and clicks and a hint of background hiss. Despite this, the dialogue is clear, less muddled than in season one, but has just a hint of sibilant distortion.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

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  • Digital HD UltraViolet
  • The “Little House” Phenomenon Part Two “In the Beginning…” (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:59) – This brief featurette discusses Michael Landon’s commitment to bringing a strong, family-oriented show to television and the devotion of the cast and crew to the actor/director.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Little capsules of firm family life wrapped up in little hour-long episodes, the idyllic “good old days” of a slower time, when friends, family, and strong values meant something, that’s what Little House on the Prairie stood for. Sure it may seem quaint by today’s standards, but it is nice to be able to escape fro the hustle and bustle of the world today into these little episodes of rural life. Lionsgate continues is fine reissue series with a another strong effort here.

Additional Screen Captures

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