HD Heads-Up: September 2

Entertainment Weekly reckons season two of Narcos, which streams from today on Netflix, improves on the first. “Where season 1 spanned 10 years, season 2 captures Escobar’s last days on the loose. Each tightly packed episode moves quickly without sacrificing richness, chronicling the queasy alliances and gross tactics employed to snare Escobar. History is a spoiler, but some reasonable fictionalisations produce surprise, and the well-blended mix of grit and wit keeps things lively” …

“There are going to be just as many people rooting for his death as there are for him rooting to get away,” showrunner Narcos Eric Newman tells The Hollywood Reports of Escobar’s fate. Newman says while much has been documented about the hunt and death of Escobar, season two reveals never-before-told pieces to the puzzle. The drama uses the real DEA agents portrayed on the show, Steve Murphy (played by Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Pena (played by Pedro Pascal), as series consultants …

The New York Times argues the focus on Murphy and Pena “forces” an American lens on the story. “The calculus seems to be that the series won’t draw an audience in the United States unless it fosters the myth that no problem can be solved without American brainpower. Sure, the real-life Mr. Murphy and Mr. Peña played roles in the manhunt, but the Americans who really ought to receive more of this show’s attention are the ones who fostered the rise of Escobar and other drug lords by buying their products” …

The Blu-ray of season one of Narcos goes on sale here next week for those who don’t subscribe to Netflix. It streams in 4K but one US reviewer thought the difference negligible. “I watched the first half of the show on Netflix, and the second half on discs and there wasn’t a noticeable drop-off in quality from digital source to physical one” …

Said a UK critic of the Region B release: “Shot digitally (and in native 5K) the 1080p image is stellar. Detail is pristine with skin texture and clothing weaves being right to the fore, while mid to long range shots hold keen edges throughout … Between the two, the 4K stream just pips the Blu-ray in terms of detailing, close though it might be” …

The Syfy Channel has just renewed The Zone’s Killjoys and Dark Matter for third seasons. Killjoys’ second season starts here on October 10 and if you don’t subscribe to Sky, the good news is Lightbox has just started streaming the first; Dark Matter ends its season two run here on September 29 …

Amazon greenlit a fourth season of Transparent four months before season three starts streaming, It will go live on Lightbox from September 23/24. Also new this month on the service are season two of Scream Queens, from September 21/22, and the 2015 Show Me Shorts finalists (streaming now) …

TV One and TV3 will be hoping for better ratings this weekend after last Saturday’s delayed Bledisloe Cup coverage on Prime walloped their programming more than the All Blacks did the Wallabies. The game averaged 5.1% of the demographic all three channels chase, 25-54, compared to TV One’s 1.7% for Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America and 1.6% for Coronation Street, and TV3’s shocking 0.8% for The Perfect Catch. TV2’s movie, The Help, fared better, with 4.5% …

TV One’s line-up was in trouble long before kick-off, with Tonight at the London Palladium averaging only 2.9% of 25-54s, compared to 4.5% the previous week, because live coverage of the Bledisloe Cup on Sky Sport 1 was averaging 9.0%. But light ent is proving unbeatable for TV3 on Fridays, with The Graham Norton Show, 7 Days and Fail Army all winning their slots with 25-54 and 18-49 year olds …

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2 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: September 2”

  1. I wonder if Stranger Things will get a Blu-ray release? it certainly deserves it 🙂

  2. So far season 2 of Narcos has been fantastic, every bit as good as season 1. What amazes me is that this is a true story and actually happened, it beggers belief that Escobar got away with what he did.

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