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Case Number 11543: Small Claims Court

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Noah's Arc: The Complete Second Season

Logo // 2006 // 180 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // June 13th, 2007

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All Rise...

He's not sure, but Judge Brett Cullum thinks that the angular distance of Noah's arc is 40 cubits.

The Charge

When I dream, all I see
Is you and me back when we were free.
- "Remember the Love" by Adriana Evans

The Case

Noah's Arc has been one of Logo's most popular shows to date, and yet nobody's certain what's happening to it after this second season (just released on DVD). Logo is a basic cable channel, offered by the people who run MTV, which caters to GLBT programming. They picked up this show about four gay black friends living and loving in West Hollywood during 2005. The series was originally going to be shown on the Internet through a paid subscription service, and creator Patrick Ian-Polk was shocked when the network approached him about creating an episodic drama-comedy for cable. The first season was nine episodes, and the second is eight. These are smaller numbers than what you'd find on network television, but the writers do a nice job of making each season feel somewhat complete on its own terms despite the brief run each year. But here's the rub for fans—the second season ends on a cliffhanger, and there has been no official announcements as to when a third series or oft-rumored movie project will be released. Logo claims officially the story will be continued in an independent movie, and then they will consider picking the show back up after that project hits theatres. Production is rumored to start in August of 2007, and we'll have to see if that happens or not.

One thing is certain, Noah's Arc: The Complete Second Season is an excellent DVD package with lots of extras heaped on to keep the fans occupied while an uncertain future is sussed out. Not only do we get all eight episodes for season two, but there are also "digisodes," deleted scenes, commentaries for every episode, and a whole disc of featurettes on the making of the series. Everything from production design to input on the outrageous fashion is covered, and there's a lot to love. Transfers are the original fullscreen, and the colors and images look good. Sound is a basic stereo, and dialogue is clean and clear throughout. The music can be a touch loud in contrast to the other elements, but that is part of the show's energy. Noah's Arc: The Complete Second Season is a prime example of how television on DVD can be done right, and it's an excellent set from a technical standpoint. The extras are exhaustive, and any fan of the show will be thrilled with the amount of material presented.

Season two of Noah's Arc picks up six months after the first season ended with Eddie (Jonathan Julian) and Chance's (Douglas Spearman, Cradle 2 the Grave) botched nuptials. The gang seemed to only have each other by the conclusion of that first year, and the second year would have to see some changes. The production was moved from LA to Vancouver for budgetary reasons, so we have an earthquake which serves as a device to shake up the world of the characters. This way the production designers can change key interiors, and send a metaphorical message that things will be different for everyone on the series. The focus of season two is on Noah (Darryl Stephens, Boy Culture) who has lost his relationship with Wade (Jensen Atwood, Their Eyes Were Watching God), and is trying to find a way to carry on and deal with his changing world. Chance is still with Eddie, Ricky (Christian Vincent, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous) is still pining after Junito (Wilson Cruz, My So-Called Life), and Alex (Rodney Chester, Punks) and Trey (Gregory Keith) are reunited after Trey's medical mission to South Africa. Things move quickly as Noah drifts through at least three relationships, Alex and Trey take on an interloper, Eddie and Chance deal with some shocking closeted lesbians, Ricky flirts with monogamy, and a British rapper appears to shake up Hollywood.

Noah's Arc is pure dramedy, and we can blame Sex and the City for setting the mold from which this one's cast. The show runs in brisk half-hour bursts, and has the pacing of comedy mixed with the dramatic arc of soap opera. Even the darkest moments have an effervescent quality that keeps things from sinking into preachy angst. In contrast to Showtime's Queer as Folk, nothing is taken too seriously. But don't think that prevents the actors from pulling you in and caring about the relationships. The best moments are when the four core characters show their love for each other. As much as sex and relationships are the issues, it's the friends that make Noah's Arc as special as it is. Even though the melodrama can get thick and the acting can falter, you walk away believing these men care for each other deeply. The revolutionary thing is here are four gay black men, all attractive, and nobody's a bitch to anybody. It will make you want to run away to West Hollywood to live with the guys. At the very least it makes me want to picket outside of the Logo headquarters to get a third season out of them.

Noah's Arc: The Complete Second Season is the fully loaded set from Logo showcasing one of the most entertaining series to come along in quite a while. This one's definitely worth it, and it would be a shame to see this mark the end for Noah and the gang. It all ends on a painfully dramatic cliffhanger, and it's hard not to clamor for more. Noah's Arc isn't perfect by any means, but I've rarely seen a show with so much love behind it. I'm willing to forgive some ridiculous twists, soap acting, and a furious pace because it's too much fun to see the guys take care of each other. It's been called revolutionary and ground breaking, but the truth is it's just a whole lot of fun. It's a romantic comedy told from a unique point of view, but at the heart of the show are characters that feel real.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 96

Perp Profile

Studio: Logo
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• Spanish
Running Time: 180 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Gay
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette -- "Tales From the Arcside"
• Cast Interviews
• On Set Cast Interviews
• Bloopers
• Deleted Scenes
• Episode Commentaries from Cast and Crew
• Digisodes
• Featurettes on the Production








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