Together with Smallville (which I previously reviewed here), Supernatural is the show that makes The CW what it is. It’s probably the network’s best known series, and has inspired a whole legion of fans. This season is the culmination of all the ones before it, as brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) literally tackle the Apocalypse. Last season, Sam unknowingly let Lucifer out of Hell, and now the world is going to…well, you get the picture.
Supernatural filled that void of paranormal action-adventure left behind by Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. While perhaps not as philosophically deep as those two shows, it fits the bill of having mostly ridiculously good-looking, smart-aleck younger people going out to save the world from stuff that the rest of us don’t want to think about. This is an appropriately big year for the show, as it’s creator Eric Kripke’s last as showrunner, a decision that will no doubt impact the series in the future (how so remains to be seen, but a show is never the same when the person who created it isn’t the one at the helm anymore). Considering this, it’s no surprise that the show brings out the biggest of big bads in this season: the devil himself (take that, M. Night Shyamalan).
The Blu-Ray Discs
This is the second season to be released on Blu-Ray at the same time as the DVD version (the first being season four). Warner released Blu-Ray for season three two months after the DVD version, and it took years for season one to get the Blu treatment, though surprisingly, there hasn’t been a Blu-Ray release of season two yet. I can only imagine that’s coming at some point (why not, when you’ve done all the rest?).
Supernatural may be one of the best-looking releases I’ve ever seen. The box art for all the previous releases was appropriately creepy yet beautiful to look at, and this is no exception. The accompanying booklet is standard fare for Warner releases, making it informational yet not cluttered.
The audio and video here is pretty good, even better if you consider that a lot of this show takes place in dark and otherwise spooky places to begin with. I was able to see everything clearly even in darker shots, and the audio is understandable. I’ve enjoyed a great deal of Supernatural from a technical standpoint, as one of the frequent directors was the late Kim Manners, who did such great work for so many years on The X-Files. Though he passed away after season four, he obviously left his mark; this season doesn’t disappoint in the technical respect; it’s appropriately creepy where it needs to be, but the show is still great to look at and you’ll never find yourself confused as to what the heck you’re looking at.
As this is a Blu-Ray release, there are no packaging issues to discuss. It’s the usual Blu-Ray snapcase inside the cardboard cover.
There are about as many special features here as you’ve seen on the previous season sets. There’s a gag reel which contains quite a few inappropriate moments, one deleted scene (yes, that’s right, singular) from Episode 9, “The Real Ghostbusters,” one commentary track on episode 4, “The End,” with two of the producers, and two additional features – “Supernatural: Apocalypse Survival Guides” and the entirety of “Ghostfacers: The Web Series.” All the special features are worth a watch, especially if you’re a Bobby Singer fan, as the former puts a spotlight on Jim Beaver’s character. These aren’t short little features, either; all of them are quite long, even the gag reel.
I’m surprised at the decision to only include one deleted scene when there are certainly others out there. As highly devoted as Supernatural fans are, I feel safe in saying they’d watch all the deleted scenes they can get. The one commentary track might seem in an odd place – on the fourth episode of the season rather than at the beginning or end like most seasons – but given the content of the episode in question, it’s not that odd as there’s plenty to talk about there. I found it a worthwhile listen as far as commentaries go. From a TV nerd standpoint, I got a kick out of it because it involves Ben Edlund, who is known for writing on Angel (he penned the hilarious fifth-season puppet episode “Smile Time”), but to me will always be the guy who created one of my favorite childhood franchises, The Tick. Spoon!
The Bottom Line
Supernatural fans will pick this up anyway, but they’ll be just as satisfied as they were in seasons previous. I can recommend this series for anyone who likes a good, sometimes creepy bit of action-adventure in the vein of other paranormal shows like Angel, though coming in at the end of the fifth year might be mildly confusing for new viewers. I’m not as excited about this show as its fans, but I can say it’s not a bad way to spend your weekend.
The Blu-Ray and DVDs hit stores on September 7, or you can pre-order direct from Warner by clicking on the box art above. Further information is available at the website here.