Plot: What’s it about?
A few years ago a former co-worker of mine and I were talking. I’d just seen the movie Priest and had commented to her that I’d enjoyed it, particularly the more religious aspects of it that the film never really seemed to touch upon. She (knowing me to be the “DVD Authority”) asked me if I’d ever seen Supernatural and I had to be honest with her and say that I hadn’t. In truth, I really had not in spite of having the seasons sent to me by Warner (that are now gathering dust in the garage). After that, I’d noticed some episodes on television but just didn’t have it in me to start a new show. My perpetual “to be reviewed” pile always beckons. So when the eighth season of Supernatural showed up I told myself no more excuses. I was going to sit down and watch a season of this show if it killed me! Now, granted, coming into a well-established show in its eighth season isn’t exactly ideal but I wasn’t going to watch seven previous seasons simply for the sake of this review (there’s a fine line between dedication and certifiable insanity) and with that all being said, here’s my take.
After Dean Winchester lost his battle with power-mad angel scribe Metatron last season, he was resurrected by the power of the First Blade and transformed into a demon, cursed with the Mark of Cain. The road to recovering wayward Dean takes brother Sam down sinister paths himself, with consequences that will shake the boys to their core. The Winchesters’ angelic comrade-in-arms Castiel must pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Metatron’s campaign to overtake Heaven. With his divine “grace” failing and rogue angels still loose, Cass faces the ticking clock of his own mortality while all-new and ages-old threats again push our heroes to their human and otherworldly limits. At the same time, the King of Hell, Crowley, must deal with dissension within his own twisted family.
Supernatural has some very interesting roots and I’ll probably hit up Netflix or see if I can find any of my older seasons as the show is intriguing. Written and developed by Erik Kripke, who has found new success with Revolution, he tried to pitch the show to networks for over a decade. Originally the characters were set to be “Sal” and “Dean” with an obvious nod to the novel On the Road by Jack Kerocac. I don’t know if I’ve found a new series to follow, especially after feeling somewhat lost during this season. Bear in mind this isn’t a soap opera where you can take a few years off and be caught up in an episode or two. No, this show has layers and that’s good. It makes you think and I have always been fascinated with the occult, though not in that way. Clearly the show has a following as it’s entering its ninth season, so hopefully by the time that rolls around to Blu-ray, I’ll be a bit more prepared.
Video: How’s it look?
Some of the promos I’ve seen for the show have made it look a bit low budget. Let me assure you that the 1.78:1 AVC HD transfer on this Blu-ray set is second to none. The entire series is more on the darker side as we might expect for two anti-heroes that fight demons. Contrast and blacks are rock solid and though a few of the special effects aren’t up to some of those that I’ve seen, it’s not bad for a weekly television series. Detail is amazing, showcasing some of the scenery and we see the pores on the actors’ faces. Truthfully, this is about as good as I’ve seen from a television series and Warner has done a fine job with this release.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Complimenting the video is a rather amazing DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack. I think we’re past the days when a television series has to sound dated and this is certainly not the case as this mix simply resonates in some of the episodes. Vocals are strong and concise, surrounds are used often and the LFE are very active (though in some episodes more than others). Some general ambiance is always present for a very active, all around mix. Again, a fine job.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentaries – Three total and these are in line with the other audio commentaries in other seasons. I keep telling myself I’m going to get into this show, but just cannot. Still, fans will enjoy these included tracks.
- A Very Special Supernatural Special – The cast and crew of the show look back on the previous 9 seasons and look ahead to what’s in store for the tenth.
- Supernatural Theatre: Staging The 200th Episode – We get some behind the scenes footage of the show’s 200th episode that fans are sure to devour. It’s more like a tour of the set, but still interesting nonetheless.
- The Winchester Mythology: Battling the Mark and The Blade – These two major characters are profiled as standouts in this season as well as some of the impact and lasting effects they had during the course of the tenth season.
- Supernatural Fans – The most robust feature, clocking in at nearly an hour, spotlights the fans of the show. Fans tell some unique stories of the show and what it means to them.
- Supernatural at Comic-Con 2014 – This feature seems like a “must have” for everything that happened at Comic Con. It’s pretty much the same as last year’s version with the cast and crew introduced and taking some questions.
- Deleted Scenes – Not many are included, but these are a good inclusion to this set.
- Gag Reel
- UltraViolet Copy
The Bottom Line
Odds are that if you’re a fan of the show, then this will be a no-brainer for you. The Winchester boys show no signs of slowing down and with legions of fans, this nice little season makes for some good viewing (if you’re into it). Solid A/V specs make for a purchase if this is your bag.