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December 2, 2009
The Librarians Series 2 Blu-Ray Review
TV Air Date Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
20095/11/2009Village RoadshowWayne Hope
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby Digital 2.0MRobyn Butler

THE MOVIE
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Vince Colosomo and Robyn Butler.
The Librarians is an Australian comedy series shown on the ABC. Series One aired in 2007 and this second series in 2009. As with Series 1 this is a a six-part series centers on the trials and tribulations of Frances O'Brien, a devout Catholic and panic disorder sufferer, is back in charge of the library, and breathing harder into her paper bag than ever. Her daughters are out of control, her marriage is on its last legs and Nada, her Muslim colleague. is being touted as the N.B.L. (Next Big Librarian). Christine's return to the Children's Library isn't helping either. She's hot, single, and seven months pregnant. Great. Now there's no escape from Frances thinking about being a mother... and a lover... and a librarian.

This series consists of six episodes - "Just Returned", "This Little Piggy", "Cut to the Quick", "Romeos And Juliets", "Deliverance"", and "My Rock". As with the first season there is an overarching storyline - this time the storyline revolves around the opening of a new library after the original burnt down - but each episode is still quite watchable on its own as well.

If you haven't seen the first series (which we have reviewed here) then you needn't worry as the first episode in Series 2 actually has a recap which lasts for a couple of minutes and gives you a good idea of the characters, their mannerisms and key plotlines from the first season. You can expect plenty more controversy from this series, video footage of childbirth, a pigs head being paraded around on a stick, and plenty of racial slurs in line with the first series. It's this shock value though which also keeps you interested wondering what will be coming up next.

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The original cast returns for Librarians Series 2.
Following the success of the first season which averaged over 1 million viewers a week this second season upped the ante with plenty more big name stars making cameo appearances including Vince Colosomo, Noni Hazelhurst and Hamish Blake while Kim Gyngell makes appearances in a couple of episodes too.

If you like the first season, this second should also keep you more then entertained. The same cast, with a smattering of celebrities, some more great, and often controversial, humour makes this another solid series.

VIDEO
Technically this release is on par with the first series. The Librarians Series 2 is presented at 1.78:1 and has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. Given that the disc includes 2 hours 35 minutes of episodes it's not surprising to see the bitrate hovering around the 15-20Mbps range. Less impressive though is the fact that the video is only encoded in 1080i which means the shortfalls of the interlaced format are apparent. Having said that the colours are vibrant and details are fairly impressive across the board. Needless to say the Blu-Ray looks superior to the DVD format, and indeed it's ahead of the FTA broadcast too.

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Noni Hazelhurst's guest appearance in Librarians.
AUDIO
The Librarians Series 2 comes to Blu-Ray with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track at 256kbps. It's quite disappointing that there is no Surround Sound option on this disc as it could have added a little immersion to the sound field. Still, the audio presented here is clear and easy to understand. There is only one subtitle track on this disc, that being an English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired. The subtitles are placed on-screen next to the characters talking, and have also been colour coded according to those talking for easier recognition. It works well with accuracy to dialogue and good pacing.

EXTRAS
As with the first series there are a few extras on this set, and they are a little more extensive this time around.

Audio Commentary by Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope Eps 2 & 5: Joined by Heidi Arena on Episode 2 and Roz Hammond on Episode 5 these are quite interesting commentaries with some good insight into the production of these TV episodes.

The Making of The Librarians (33:03/HD): This is actually a pretty decent documentary which shows the process of making the show including the creation of a new library, and plenty of behind the scenes footage..

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Hamish Blake in The Librarians S2.
Frances' Speech (5:00/HD): This is the speech which Frances never actually got to make in the TV show for, well, reasons we won't explain as it spoils the episode a bit.

Neil's Online Assignments (4:51): Probably the funniest extra in the entire set three of Neil's articles are read out.

Christine's Ante Natal Classes (2:44/HD): This is a pretty damn amusing series of short classes in which Christine is still in denial about the birthing procedure and the needs to change her lifestyle.

Deleted Scene (0:32/HD): One very brief deleted scene. Not much here.

Out Takes (20:59): This is a very length series of outtakes from the filming of this second series. Some of it is pretty amusing.

OVERALL
The Librarians Season 2 is a second solid outing for this ABC comedy series. Seeing so many known actors making cameos only serves to demonstrate the franchises popularity. The transfer is solid (albeit in 1080i) and there are some decent extras. One to consider for fans of the series...

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
7.5/10
THE VIDEO
6/10
THE AUDIO
6/10
THE EXTRAS
6/10
OVERALL
6.5/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.