DVD Review: Victorious (The Complete Second Season)

Art school is a fine place for youngsters to explore their creativity. Instructors refine a student’s raw talent. The kids learn how push themselves so they’ll look like professionals when entering the real work of auditions and productions. There’s a lot of sweat to make their dreams float. Victorious chronicles the students at Hollywood Arts High School. They all imagine being stars even the ventriloquist. Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) seems destined for greatness since the show is about her. After barely a year at the conservatory, she’s already leapfrogged over her sister Trina (Daniella Monet). Victorious: The Complete Second Season charts her progress toward the big showbiz dream.

“Beggin’ on Your Knees” introduces the hunky new classmate Ryder Daniels (Ryan Rottman) to the student body. Tori falls for him especially after their duet. But is there a reason she should maintain her distance. “Beck Falls for Tori” reminds kids to never severely lie on your resume. Tori misses an acting part, but gets hired to be a stunt woman. This is a great way to break into showbiz, but she can’t really take a fall. If she tells the truth, her career is over. This was once a plot on Here’s Lucy. “Tori Gets Stuck” ponders if she’d skip a major performance for the sake of giving blood to a sick classmate. “Prom Wrecker” is a scheduling nightmare. Tori books the school prom on the same night that Jade (Elizabeth Gillies) has her art project. The fight is on.

“Ice Cream for Ke$ha” brings out the star power. There is no finer role model for young artists than a woman who made her name by talking about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Luckily that part of her career is skimmed over. What matters is that she’s a star in the eyes of these kids. They so badly want her to perform a private show that’s the prize to a person with a winning ice cream container. How much can they eat before they have to enroll at the Hollywood Hefty Artist School? Victoria needs to be a winner since her sister has turned her into a personal slave over a childhood promise. It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory except with pints of ice cream. Do they win? Of course they do. Think Ke$ha is popular enough to no show on her own special episode? She’s in full skanky glory with an American flag outfit that won’t go over well with grandma’s 4th of July picnic. “Locked Up!” is a double episode special. Tori gets an offer to tour the foreign country of Yerba with some classmates. A slip up during a performance gets her tossed behind bars. Will the United Nations be needed to rescue her?

“Helen Back Again” brings in a new principal that wants all the kids to audition to keep their positions at the school. Tori gets rejected. The kids do their best to keep her at the school. “Who Did It to Trinia” features a spectacular crash on stage. “Tori Tortures Teacher” turns her into a creative consultant on a production. “Jade Gets Crushed” lets an unfortunate boy fall hard for the girl when he over thinks their duet. “Terror on Cupcake Street” is a parade float nightmare for the kids. “Blooptorious” is a entire show dedicated to all the bloopers from the first two seasons. It’s a great way to create an episode with blown takes.

Victorious is a light version of the art school experience. While the audience might think it’s cruel to have all the kids audition stay at the art school, this is a regular experience at a real art school. My old art school could kick you out without any real excuse if they thought you’d slipped. It’s a harsh world. The highlight of Victorious’ sophomore year is her getting to meet Ke$ha. Although it’s interesting that a bunch of future performers aren’t analyzing her performance and image for future references. Would Tori be willing to trash it up for the attention of millions? Can she handle brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack? Or would the tween fans freak out at such an image change?

The video is 1.78:1 letterboxed so the image is in a 1.33:1 frame. Not sure why they didn’t go anamorphic. The image is fine since the show is shot on hi-def cameras. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. The sound mix isn’t too complicated for a sitcom. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

This season includes the following supplemental extras:

Seven Secrets with Victoria Justice
(22:24) is the actress showing her life outside of the show. She drums and is a total goofball.

Behind-The-Scenes (0:53) is Victoria giving a briefing of the “Locked Up” episode.

Victorious: The Complete Second Season is a sophomore season at the art school. The kids are still struggling with balancing studies and striving for overnight success. The DVD set is currently available as a Target exclusive until May 15.

Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Entertainment present Victorious: The Complete Second Season. Starring: Victoria Justice, Leon Thomas III, Elizabeth Gilles and Daniella Monet. Boxset Contents: 12 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released on DVD: May 15, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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