SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Jared Padalecki as SAM WINCHESTER
Jensen Ackles as DEAN WINCHESTER
Jim Beaver as BOBBY SINGER
Misha Collins as CASTIEL
Kurt Fuller as ZACHARIAH
Studio: Warner Bros.
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In the fifth season of the CW’s show “Supernatural,” we’ve moved far from the monster-of-the-week concept and entered the heaviest season of its own mythology yet. Now that Sam is alive again and Dean has come back from Hell, they’ve brought the fight between angels and demons home with them. In an attempt to vanquish Lilith, they have unintentionally released Lucifer from his prison. Now, Sam and Dean are trying to stop the impending apocalypse while Lucifer wants Sam as his vessel and the archangel Michael has set his eyes on Dean.
WHAT I LIKED
I really dig this show, and it’s great to see the series capture such a foothold on Friday nights. I always enjoyed it as an homage to “The X-Files,” and while it’s moved a bit from that on a weekly basis, the show still has a lot of spark to it.
Too often, people dismiss shows on the CW as teen soap operas filled with chick flick angst. However, especially with some shows that have been on for five or more seasons, the network has developed a very strong line-up. Partnered with “Smallville,” “Supernatural” offers a strong masculine bent with some excellent supernatural drama.
The fifth season of “Supernatural” expands the mythology to the bulk of the season, and there’s plenty of angst but there but it’s all between the family of heavenly hosts. This continuing story reminds me of some of the books I read as a child, like the stories of Christopher Pike and even some comic book stories.
There’s also a lot of inside jokes to the series, including some that give nods to other elements of geek culture and pop culture in general. There’s a hilarious episode which features a demon that looks like Paris Hilton. Another episode spins the series mythology in on itself by having the Winchesters had to a “Supernatural” convention. Finally, there’s a brilliant episode in which Sam and Dean are caught in various television genres, knocking off cheesy sit-coms and even “Grey’s Anatomy.”
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While it’s interesting to watch the full mythology of the show, I always preferred the one-off monster-of-the-week episodes. At one point in this season, Sam says to Dean, “Don’t you miss the days when we would just hunt Wendigos?” To a degree, I miss those days too. Some mythology is great, but with the pending apocalypse (which was also a main element to the concurrent season of “Smallville,” incidentally), it’s hard to do a one-off episode without that threat looming in the background.
One other aspect of the apocalypse that doesn’t quite click with me in this season is the leaning towards the freedom fighter aspect of the show. The apocalypse is so final (of course), and it drains some fun out of the show at times. Certain apocalyptic glances into the future reminded me a little too much of the later seasons of “Sliders” when the dark end of the world overshadowed a bit of the fun in the series.
The season five Blu-ray has a nice assortment of content, which doesn’t always happen in the fifth year of a season’s home video release. There’s a pretty hilarious gag reel, an unaired scene from episode 9 and a commentary for the fourth episode. Fans of the series-within-a-series are treated to the entire “Ghostfacers” web series, which is interesting to watch in the context of the show but not enough to start another series.
The motherload of additional featurettes and behind-the-scenes elements come from “Supernatural: Apocalypse Survival Guides,” which delves into Bobby’s video collection. There’s some neat history of the demons and development of the series featurettes. The only problem with this part of the bonus materials is that it’s all buried within a user-navigated interface that is a bit too cumbersome for Blu-ray. A “Play All” feature could have been helpful.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Those who like an overall battle between angels and demons in CW mode.