Plot: What’s it about?
If anything is en vogue now it’s got to be vampires. Yes, vampires. You know, those fictional (no matter how much some folks want to believe otherwise) blood-sucking beings that can live forever by drinking blood. Yeah, those. To be sure, vampires have always been a staple of both film and television but in the last few years, namely since Stephenie Myers’ “Twilight” has come out, it seems you can’t turn around without seeing a pair of fangs. To the best of my knowledge, and I could be mistaken, there are currently two major television series that focus on vampires. One’s good and one’s, well this one. I admit that I’m a fan of HBO’s “True Blood” as it’s another in the long line of brilliant HBO original programming. The characters are dynamic and interesting, the plot keeps you guessing and since it’s on HBO they get to curse and you occasionally see them sans clothes. Then you have The Vampire Diaries. This isn’t on HBO, it’s on the CW, so we lose the adult portion of things and to be honest, it’s much more complicated plot that makes it pretty hard to follow. But anything with vampires does manage to follow a certain set of rules and though those rules are bent here, they do still apply. If you were like me, you’d seen the ads for “The Vampire Diaries” but really never acted on the urge to sit down and watch it. Should you?
In season five, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back — with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side. Plus, the season will make you misty-eyed as the departure of a major character will turn lives upside down and leave us asking what happened to Mystic Falls.
Video: How does it look?
The Vampire Diaries is shown in a 1.77:1 VC-1 HD transfer that’s undoubtedly better that the HD broadcast. I say “undoubtedly” because I’ve never watched the show as it aired, I might watch one now just to compare it. The palette used is very dark, obviously complimenting the tone of vampires. Flesh tones are a bit washed out in some scenes, though the overall clarity of the image is very good. One good thing about television shows being shot in widescreen is that they do look exactly like a feature film, and in my book that’s good. Fans will certainly love this Blu-ray release as the image is near flawless.
Audio: How does it sound?
The soundtrack has benefited from a DTS HD Master Audio mix that will surely sound better than that of a broadcast episode. The rule used to be that anything on television would never sound nearly as good as a feature film and this is still somewhat true, but I have to say that a few scenes in The Vampire Diaries did impress me. Granted, the meat of the series is dialogue-driven and we do get some help from the surrounds here and there. I really can’t say this left a lasting impression on me in terms of audio, but like the video, it’s a higher scale version as opposed to watching it over the air.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- The Vampire Diaries: Good Bite and Good Luck – The executive producers and cast of The Vampire Diaries say a final farewell to Nina Dobrev, Steven R. McQueen, Marguerite MacIntyre, and Michael Trevino, after six memorable years.
- The Vampire Diaries: Best.Reaction.Ever. – Fan reactions to big moments throughout the season will be curated from Twitter, fan sites and other social media, and pieced together to tell the story of season six via fans’ reactions.
- Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Julie Plec provides commentary on her directorial debut on episode 15.
- The Vampire Diaries: 2014 Comic-Con Panel – The usual cast and crew do a Q & A session at the Comic Con.
- Come Visit Georgia PSA – This has been present on other titles as well, but if you need a reason to go…
- Deleted Scenes
- Second Bite: Gag Reel
The Bottom Line
Love it or hate it, The Vampire Diaries‘ sixth season takes a bite (sorry, couldn’t resist) out of television and flies towards your home video collection. Personally this really isn’t for me, but I know the show has a fairly large following. The discs offer excellent audio and video quality and a smattering of supplements help sweeten the deal.