Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holliston: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
The most original, groundbreaking sitcom to ever hit television is back with a whole new level of hilarity and outrageousness! Join Adam (Adam Green, Frozen…not the Disney film), Joe (Joe Lynch, Knights of Badassdom), Laura (Laura Ortiz, The Hills Have Eyes), Corri (Corri English, Devil May Call), Oderus Urungus (GWAR’s Dave Brockie), and Lance Rockett (Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider) as they deal with zombies, werewolves, a suicidal horror icon, a cursed videotape, a psychotic 11-year-old and so much more!

Show (3 out of 5 stars)
Horror movie filmmakers Adam and Joe work at a local cable access television station in Holliston, Massachusetts, and spend time hanging out in their apartment with Laura, Joe’s girlfriend, and Corri, Adam’s ex-girlfriend and childhood sweetheart. In Adam’s closet, lives his imaginary alien monster, Oderus Urungus, who gives him life advice. Each episode is filled with randomness as they try to move the production of their short horror film Shin Pads along.
When I first started watching Holliston, I was not impressed. I thought it was stupid, badly acted and the writing was terrible. It seemed like a cross between It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and a terrible Disney Channel television show. I’m still not quite sure what the point of Dee Snider was, or of the imaginary closet alien monster, but the show grew on me and I eventually found myself laughing at it.
Here is a brief recap of each of the 11 episodes:
The Christmas Special – It’s Christmas Eve and Adam, Joe, Laura and Corri are gathered in the guys’ apartment when the power goes out during a blizzard. They hear that the “Christine Tingler Jingler,” a serial killer, has escaped from the Framingham Women’s Detention Center and is on the loose.
Suicidal Tendencies – Adam and Joe find out that Kane Hodder (Jason, Friday the 13th franchise) has been admitted to the hospital Corri works at, and is under suicide watch. They sneak into his hospital room and convince him to join the cast of Shin Pads. After signing him out of the hospital, Joe and Adam do their best to keep him alive.
Halloween Girl – After using Kane Hodder’s cell phone to call scream queen Danielle Harris (Halloween franchise) and talk her into starring in Shin Pads. She agrees, but only if Adam gives her money and his pain killers.
Hobgoblin – Adam and Joe decide to film a found-footage movie, similar to The Blair Witch Project and take the girls out into the woods in search of the “Holliston Hobgoblin.”
Honesty – Corri tells Adam and Joe their high school bully has to talk to them as part of his rehab. At the same time, Laura’s parents visit from Colombia and want to meet Joe. When Laura brings them to the guys’ apartment, they mistake Adam for Joe and Adam plays the part of the servant, Pablo.
Rock the Cradle – Adam begins dating a new girl, Bailey, and everyone loves her, but Corri believes this girl is under age. Corri tries everything to convince the group that Bailey is under age and even calls the police.
Joe’s Soda – Everyone is having a bad day – Joe’s gas station soda is flat, Adam locks himself out of his bedroom, Laura is having trouble filling out an application and Corri gets bitten by what the guys think is a werewolf. They chain her to a chair and go to the hospital to find the man who bit Corri. When morning comes and Corri does not change into a werewolf, Adam, Joe and Laura let her go.
Blobby – Laura orders some special paints and when they arrive, she mixes them into a blob. The blob turns the group into animated versions of themselves and escapes to wreak havoc on Holliston. When space ships arrive to fight Blobby, Adam and Joe rush to the television station to grab a camera in order to film the destruction.
Cursed – Laura receives a mysterious videotape in the mail and after the group watches it, they find out they will die within seven days if they don’t pass it to another person. Adam, meanwhile has started dating a racist girl, he met online.
Kevin’s Wedding – When Corri’s ex-boyfriend, Kevin, invites her to his wedding, she takes Adam along as her fake date. Laura also receives and invite and the four of them show up to the wedding, which is held in a dive bar. Corri gets completely wasted and makes a fool out of herself and Laura drops some big news on Joe.
Farm Festival – In the season finale, Joe and Adam have finally finished Shin Pads and submit it to every film festival they can find. After being rejected from all the festivals, the guys decide to create one on their own. A typo renames it at the “Farm Festival,” and sells out to farmers and horror movie people alike. At the festival, Joe gives Laura a surprise and Corri has an even bigger surprise for Adam.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
The 1080p widescreen, high-definition presentation of Holliston is pretty good. Everything was clear and the colors were really bright. Blood was super red and over-exaggerated, but that’s how it was supposed to be and it worked well. The animated episode was also really well-done and I like the throwback to the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Audio (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio for Holliston was okay. I had to adjust the volume numerous times because the music and screeching from Dee Schneider was just too loud. Then, I had to turn it back up just to hear the dialogue. The sound on the menu screen was so loud, I turned the volume down to barely on before it was at an acceptable level. I understand that it was all supposed to be over-exaggerated, but it was too much. For those who need them, subtitles are available in English SDH.
Extras (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The special features for Holliston are spread throughout the disc. Every episode, except “Blobby,” has an option for commentary with the cast and crew and The Christmas Special, episodes two, four, five, nine and 10, each have a deleted scene. The deleted scene for these episodes would not have brought anything additional to the episode and was a good choice to leave out.
Under the “Extras” tab, there are your typical features, all of which I found enjoyable.
  • Behind the Scenes – A behind the scenes look at the show with interviews with the cast and guest stars. It’s a pretty funny look at the show. The last few minutes are scenes from the premiere and the after party.
  • Bloopers – My favorite kind of special feature. The blooper reel. This was pretty hilarious.
  • Table Read – This was a live table read at the Rock and Shock Convention held in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was pretty funny. The cast brought up a couple audience members to sit in and help with the reading. It was pretty funny.
  • Music Videos – Three music videos: Can You Hear, Love and Road.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
When I sat down, I had no expectations for Holliston. I’d never heard of it, never saw season one, and the first couple of episodes I wondered why I was watching this, and why in the heck this was taking place in some small town in Massachusetts that most people have probably never heard of. As I watched, I found myself laughing at the jokes, the acting and the stories. It’s a pretty random show, with what sounds like canned laughter and over-the-top silliness, but I actually liked it. I liked how they made fun of themselves, often breaking the fourth wall and improvising, walking out of the scene through the camera bank and even showing the crew at one point. It is not a show to add to my DVR… mostly because FEARnet is not available on Dish Network. It’s a show that if I caught it, I’d probably stop and watch it. I might even go back and watch the first season. Eventually.

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