DVD Review: SAVING GRACE – Season Two

Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: June 16th, 2009
MSRP: $49.98

Stars: Holly Hunter, Leon Rippy, Bokeem Woodbine, Laura San Giacomo, Bailey Chase, Kenny Johnson, Tom Irwin

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Holly Hunter plays Grace Hanadarko, a chain-smoking, hard drinking, foul-mouthed, sexed up, but very good,Oklahoma City police officer.

One night, a very drunk Grace hit a man. After praying for assistance, she is visited by an angel named Earl (Leon Rippy). It takes time, but Earl convinced Grace that he is an angel. The man she hit (which was a sort of dream), was Leon Cooley (Bokeem Woodbine). Cooley is on death row for killing a guard. Not only do Grace and Leon both have Earl as their last chance Angel, but also share some sort of bond. In the final episode of season two, we find out that Leon knew Grace’s late sister (who was killed in the Oklahoma bombing), having helped her with a flat tire.

For Leon, Earl’s job was to help prepare him for heaven and bring him calmness and peace in his time of need. During the first two seasons, Earl worked to help Leon find his way to God, to help him develop his own relationship with him. It was especially interesting to see Leon convert to Islam. He thought he would lose Earl, only to open his eyes and see Earl still there, smiling. Earl explained that God does not care what name you use or your manner of worship, only that you do.

Overall Saving Grace is a damn impressive show, with season two being especially strong. Hunter is utterly amazing, but the entire cast does an exception job. In particular Laura San Giacomo and Tom Irwin have really stood out. Laura is Rhetta, Grace’s best friend, a forensic scientist for the police department. Tom is Grace’s brother, Father John Hanadarko. Those two spend a lot of time attempting to get Leon’s sentence turned into life instead of death. They did an excellent job of displaying power amounts of emotion, without overacting. While each episode had it’s own story, the season built up to the battle over Leon’s death sentence. I won’t spoil it for you, both the final episode is fantastic and left me exhausted and emotionally drained.

Extas: We get two featurettes: one looking at the actors and the roles they play as well as one that features Dylan Minnette (Grace’s nephew Clay) interviewing cast and crew members at the season two wrap party.

Both are fine, but I would have loved to have gotten a commentary track for the final episode of the season.

The future, I think, is quite bright for Saving Grace. Season two saw the show find a nice groove, Holly did not seem to try so hard to make Grace edgy. Of course some credit must go to the writing staff. By mid-season, you had no problem believing these folks were close to one another. Overall, season two saw Saving Grace stand tall as one of the best dramas on television.

Order season two of SAVING GRACE.
Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.
P.S. Thanks to a reader for pointing out killing instead of killed…sloppy, sloppy.