Here Come The Brides: Season 2
DVD | Box Set
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Set in the mid-nineteenth century, this classic TV series revolves around The Bolt brothers (Brown, Sherman and Soul) who own a mountain and logging camp in the rugged landscape of Seattle. As the area's only employer, the brothers borrow money and head east to bring back a shipload of lovely ladies to boost morale. But if any of the women leave Seattle within a year, the Bolts lose their mountain to the man that lent them the money.
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Most importantly, if you enjoyed Season 1 you are going to enjoy Season 2. The "feel" is a little bit different, of course, because the premise of the first season is no longer an issue...a year has passed and the Bolts managed to hang on to their mountain. Aaron Stempel is no longer an adversary, but actually more of a friend. Great relationship storyline there. There is a bigger focus on bringing new characters in to create (mostly) trouble that the Bolts and the townspeople have to overcome. Overall, lots of shady characters with ill intentions. Really little to no focus on weddings or brides, LOL. A few characters featured in Season 1 episodes return; for example, Holly Houston (GREAT episode-"Debt of Honor") and Ed Asner's Matthew Balter in "The Legend of Bigfoot". Funny enough, the actress who plays Miss Essie in Season 1 returns in two different episodes--but not playing Miss Essie! In one she is a Greek wife; the other, a nun. William Schallert, who played a preacher in Season 1, is also back playing a con man in the Season 2 opener. Too funny, the producers back in that day must have either thought their audience was clueless or just hoped people wouldn't notice.
The main characters, as entertaining and endearing as always, are all still around-although you could tell real life was starting to take over for Bobby Sherman-his character is conspicously absent in some episodes where it would have made sense for him to be a part of things. Clearly he was out on the road touring and they had to film around his schedule. Fans won't be disappointed though-he is prominently featured in many episodes and you get the feeling he was on his way to being the major star of the show-even over Robert Brown. As was the case in Season 1, there are many appearances from "before they were famous" stars-Cicely Tyson, Georg Sanford Brown, Meg Foster, Lynda Day George...the little girl who plays Candy's sister is recognizable in future "The Partridge Family" episodes as Gloria Hickey.
From a storytelling perspective, the stories are engaging; a great and compelling mix of humor and light drama, and almost always have a message to do what's right and take care of others. Great episodes in particular for this are "Hosanna's Way" and "Absolom", where the Bolts (especially Jeremy) take care of troubled young orphan boys--they almost treat them like a little Bolt brother. Makes you wish they had a little Bolt brother! There is a little more violence (i.e., guns, fighting, kidnappings) but also continued humor-particluarly on the part of Biddie (Susan Tolsky) who takes her character to a new level of comedy in this season-check out the episode "How Dry We Are"-a classic! Still a series you could watch with the family and not be worried about inappropriate language or behaviour. So unlike most of today's TV... and so refreshing!
If you are like me, when the last episode plays you will be very disappointed that the series is over....hard to believe that Screen Gems(oops I mean ABC) was so clueless back in those days to the series gold that they had. Perhaps Screen Gems could have shopped it around and someone else could have picked it up, but maybe they didn't do that back then. Anyway... It's also clear that the writers had no idea when they wrote the last episode that they were "writing the last episode"... there is really no closure to the original storyline or characters. If anyone ever chose to remake this series they would need to find a supertalented writing team who could build upon the original series, make it last longer (omg, there was so much potential there) and maybe give some closure to the original story. You will not be disappointed in this season though, I highly recommend it!
The second season said good-bye to one of my favorite couples, Big Swede and Miss Essie (and we never again see Emily Perkins after her baby is born), but we still got to say a big "HOWDY" once again to the intrepid Holly Houston. Such a joy to watch Jason squirm again! We also got introduced to Aaron Stemple's sister and watched the big fist fight between him and Jason as result (not to mention an almost shotgun wedding), Clancy's brother Father Ned, and the Bolt brother's Uncle Duncan.
PS What ever happened to Anne and Franny from the first season? Did they get married? Sigh.
I have seen around the Internet some people say they watched the first couple of episodes of the show and quit. I think that's a shame, because as fun as the first season was, I liked the second season better. I guess I found the second season more "thoughtful." Instead of centering around the Bolt-Stemple feud over Bridal Veil Mountain, the men bury the hatchet and although they don't always see eye to eye, become friends. Jason isn't quite as exuberant - he too has matured and become more thoughtful (Although I liked Jason's character both ways... Dear Mr. Brown, you are brilliant!) and we see him as head of the family more than ever as he interacts with Candy's younger sister and brother who are now a permanent part of the cast. I felt like this was a natural progression for the character after the first season's last episode, "The Deadly Trade" and the second season's first episode, "A Far Cry From Yesterday." People don't go through those kinds of events without changing, and that's why I like this show - character progression!
We see Jeremy and Candy begin to mature and their relationship grow. We learn that Lottie has a daughter and Joan Blondell gives a fabulous performance in protecting her from an ex. Bobby Sherman sings "Take A Giant Step" as the background music in the episode "Absalom" which is is a heartbreaking episode. So forth and so on. And let's not forget to mention David Soul's performance as Joshua in "Two Women." Wow. Just wow. When he says that agonizing line, "Oh Jason," my stomach flips.
This is the season where child abuse, prejudice, drug abuse (drug dealing - see "The She-Bear"), a healthy respect for guns, being responsible for the environment, and mental illness are addressed in various ways. Still, there are many funny, lighthearted moments. Including an episode centered around the legend of Bigfoot.
Loved every moment of these shows and I am like every other fan - why oh why did they stop there??? Okay, we all know WHY, but it doesn't keep me from wishing there was more. :)