Following the critically denounced blockbuster debut season of Hilton Head Island, which is the world’s first ever Hope Opera, the second season appeared on PureFlix On Demand in a similar fashion as the first with no warning or marketing to proceed its release. Nevertheless, the second season picks up at the cliffhanger where the first left off–only this time, the cast is smaller and the green screens are more obvious. Daniel Trisk has woken up from his partially fake coma, and he’s taking the Isle News Network back over (as if anybody was watching it in the first place). As he shakes up the staff and whips people into shape, we actually get some looks at what they actually play on their fake channel. However, as usual, there’s a lot of trumped-up intrigue and fake drama that will have you rolling your eyes along with us.
Production Quality (1 point)
The second season of this ridiculous excuse for entertainment is just as cheap – probably cheaper – than they first season. Although video quality is fine, the camera is constantly shifting around even though every shot is already as tight as possible to hide the fact that this nonsense was entirely filmed in a set. This set was complete with a very poorly constructed green screen that gives the characters special outlines and sometimes bleeds through objects on camera. The only parts that aren’t filmed in front of a green screen (there might have been one real set in there somewhere) utilize the exact same stock footage sequences we saw from the first season – including the ones of the false exterior of the network building that’s used about 4843928 times. The rest of the stock footage has nobody in it, as if this island is completely abandoned save for our favorite main characters (some of which have already left the show). Since the stock footage takes up nearly half of each very short episode, there’s little that can be accomplished. Elsewhere, the soundtrack is cheesy and generic, and every scene feels like it begins just as characters start doing things rather than having it flow into things that are already naturally happening. Finally, the introduction sequence was seriously made on Windows Movie Maker. That’s about it for this section.
Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)
Where to start? How about with the weird Christian worldview that earns this section a negative point? As if Wink Martindale weren’t a bad enough TV preacher impersonator, we get strange lectures from the very white, awkward, and geriatric patriarch of the Trisk family about how Christianity is all about legalism and behavior modification (the token black woman gets to say a few things about this topic too). All of the dialogue is overly dramatic, and Bible verses are used in bizarre ways. In typical soap opera form, the ‘story’ is chock-full of forced and fake drama as the subplots fragment all over the place and as conversations are used to dump information onto the audience, especially when explaining where the missing cast members went. There’s still so much going on here that there is no chance for any character or plot depth, as if the writers even knew how to do that in the first place. The ‘plot’ jumps from one thing to the next as the characters are just stand-ins and representations of issues and circumstances. Nearly 60% of the plot takes place in the context of phone conversations, and Christian tropes and trite lessons inserted awkwardly into so-called stories. In typical PureFlix fashion, young people are portrayed in insulting ways as the series basically has no grasp on reality. A lot of ‘good’ characters are questionable at being ‘good’, and the ‘bad’ characters are total strawmen to the point that it’s not even funny. Basically, I think you can get the picture that there’s nothing good here and that there’s not even an ounce of potential in this garbage.
Acting Quality (0 points)
To say the least, this ever-shrinking cast exhibits some of the worst acting possible. Line delivery is forced down your throat like cast members are saying lines through a strainer. Attempts at emotions are like fingernails in a chalkboard. A majority of the scenes appear to be one-take as cast members awkwardly stand around making annoyingly stereotypic movements and just mindlessly recite lines. This doesn’t even cover the fact that this cast is extremely fake-looking, and the makeup work is atrocious. It’s really no surprise that this cast is smaller than the first season (even Donna Mills had something better to do), but we can’t even do without Carey Scott’s stiff and wooden performances. As a side note, most the time, it seems like Anna Zielinki is trolling – it’s either that, or she’s a terrible villain. Further, there are basically no extras in this cast, which lends further to the portrayal of Hilton Head Island as a ghost town.
Continuity Quality (1 point)
Although there is some continuity between episodes, there is still little to no organization in this series. It’s nearly impossible to accomplish anything substantial in incredibly short episodes that are replete with stock footage. It’s also too easy to make mindless 20-minute episodes, especially when this second season is half the length of the first. However, for all the die-hard Hilton Head Island fans, Season 2 provides us with yet another forced cliffhanger ending that’s designed to make you want another season (if they have any cast members left by then).
PureFlix makes garbage and just keeps trucking along. You can’t fault them for having drive. They try new things and attempt to pander to their audience for quick cash grabs. Even still, I greatly fail to see the market for this ‘Hope Opera’. There’s definitely an untapped market for good Christian series, but this ain’t the way. This is the last thing you want in a Christian series unless you have nothing better to do with your free month of PureFlix On Demand.
Final Rating: 1 out of 10 points