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The Anson Mount revenge series continues to be a bloody, grisly thrill in high-def….
E1 / 430 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: July 16, 2013
Yeah, it's just Deadwood with a bit of Kill Bill revenge quest thrown in, but that doesn't mean Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season isn’t every bit as binge-watching fun as its first incarnation. We seem to be knee-deep in a programming pocket where neo-westerns like Justified and Hell on Wheels are the rule, not exceptions to it - I'm sure it will fall out of favor soon enough, but for now, the western is large and in charge.
There are nuances and character arcs that are formally and indelibly defined in The Complete First Season that pay off handsomely here, but pretty much all you really need to know is that former Confederate fighter Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is out for revenge, and he's gonna get it one way or another. There are side-plots and supporting characters aplenty, but the show lives and breathes with Bohannon's thirst for blood, and it's certainly enough to keep the show moving along briskly.
Hell on Wheels isn't a show to build a religion around or anything, but as a viewer who wishes there were more westerns on TV as a general rule, this Complete Second Season on Blu-ray is a gritty, dusty treat. I doubt showrunners will be able to keep up the percolating pace of the show for much more than another season or two, but even if Hell on Wheels is by-the-book revenge TV programming that we've all seen a hundred times before, that doesn't mean it doesn't provide exceptional escapist fun.