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SUPERNATURAL:
THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

Entering its seventh broadcast season, there appears to be no stopping SUPERNATURAL. Initially envisioned for a three season run by series creator Eric Kripke, who later re-tooled that vision to a five season run, SUPERNATURAL has exceeded all expectations in its popularity and just keeps getting picked up by The CW. Due to its longevity, SUPERNATURAL is definitely one of the must successful genre shows to air on television, matching BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, which ran for seven seasons, and is gaining ground on THE X-FILES, which ran for nine. If SUPERNATURAL continues at its current pace, it may even catch up to SMALLVILLE, which managed an outstanding ten season run. For those unfamiliar with SUPERNATURAL, the series combines elements of the X-FILES and BUFFY along with those found in the short-lived KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER. SUPERNATURAL rounds things out with bits and pieces of road trip/buddy movies.

The basic premise of SUPERNATURAL follows the formerly estranged Winchester brothers- Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) who were reunited after their father disappeared while hunting the supernatural creature that killed the boys’ mother. Since their mother’s death, "hunting" has become the Winchester family business, with the boys following in their father’s footsteps… killing every supernatural beastie that they encounter along the highways and back roads of America. While SUPERNATURAL seemed to start out as a monster of the week series, the last several seasons have played out a rather grandiose story arc, while still maintaining the show’s edgy and hip, dark and brooding spin on the world of things that go bump in the night.

Season six of SUPERNATURAL picks up a year after the Winchester brothers made sacrifices to avert the apocalypse, which trapped Lucifer, as well as his brother Michael, in a cage in hell. Trapping Lucifer also trapped Sam in hell, which left Dean alone for the first time. Moving in with his girlfriend Lisa and her son Ben, Dean gives up hunting, and makes an attempt at living a normal life for the first time since he was a small boy. Said normalcy is brought to a screeching halt, when some supernatural beasties come calling at Dean’s door, which forces Sam to reveal to his brother that he has somehow managed to escape hell, and whatever pulled Sam out of hell, also managed to pull their grandfather Samuel (Mitch Pileggi) down from heaven.

Also in the aftermath of the averted apocalypse, God remains AWOL, while a civil war has erupted in heaven, with various angels attempting a mad power grab in their father’s absence. Shortly after their reunion, Dean notices that something about Sam isn’t quite right… Making matters worse for our heroes is the fact that the powers of both heaven and hell aren’t quite finished playing games with the Winchester brothers. The season six cast of SUPERNATURAL also includes Jim Beaver as fellow "hunter" Bobby Singer and Misha Collins as the angel Castiel, who previously helped the Winchesters avert the apocalypse.

SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON ($70) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a four-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired during year six: Exile On Main St., Two And A Half Men, The Third Man, Weekend At Bobby's, Live Free Or Twihard, You Can't Handle The Truth, Family Matters, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Clap Your Hands If You Believe..., Caged Heat, Appointment In Samarra, Like A Virgin, Unforgiven, Mannequin 3: The Reckoning, The French Mistake, ...And Then There Were None, My Heart Will Go On, Frontierland, Mommy Dearest, The Man Who Would Be King, Let It Bleed and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes from SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Like the preceding collections, the 1080p episode presentations found in this set are truly excellent. SUPERNATURAL maintains its darkly stylized and slightly gritty look into season six, which the Blu-rays continue to render flawlessly. Light allowing, image sharpness and clarity, as well as fine detail, texturing and depth are all very impressive. Close-ups look best, with the lines, stubble and other imperfections on the actors’ skin being clearly visible. Yet again, one will notice that some of the process work has a weaker appearance than any bit of principal photography that doesn’t contain visual effects. The series color scheme isn’t particularly warm or fuzzy, but the colors are usually nicely saturated, with the intensity of hues being lighting dependent. Flesh tones appear true to life. Blacks are generally quite accurate, and the whites appear crisp. Contrast has been given a stylistic push in places that enhances the grittiness of the show’s visual design. Shadow detail is purposely restrained, sometimes falling off into a black abyss. Grain/video noise is in keeping with the show’s intended look and remains rather noticeable.

All the episodes that comprise SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. SUPERNATURAL is one of the better-mixed television series out there, and the episodes come into their own with the lossless encodes. Certainly the sound designs make accommodations to the broadcast realm, and as such remain front heavy in comparison to theatrical soundtracks. As expected, talky passages dominate the episodes, but when the action kicks in, the sound mixes deliver the goods with a strong complement of directional effects. The outlying channels do engage rather well, with the most noticeable separations appearing in the forward hemisphere. Surround reinforcement and active effects are there in the rear channels, but are not implemented as well, or as often, as one might hope. Thanks to the lossless encodes, fidelity is kicked up more than a few notches, with the sound being fuller and more robust. The bottom end is fairly potent, sound effects are more convincing and the music is warmer. Dialogue is fairly crisp and generally easy to understand. Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 channel stereo soundtracks are also provided for the episodes. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some extras that have been spread throughout the set. Running Audio Commentaries are featured on two episodes: Clap Your Hands If You Believe... and The French Mistake. Next up are the interactive The Hunter's Guide To Season Six, which offers multiple featurettes, interviews and other behind-the-scenes programs. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Jensen Ackles: A Director's Journey (twenty seven minutes) and Supernatural And The Quest For The Soul (twenty nine minutes). A pop-up Trivia Track and Alternate Takes And Outtakes are provided for The French Mistake. Two episodes from SUPERNATURAL: THE ANIME SERIES are also included, as is a Gag Reel, which closes out the supplements.

Season six of SUPERNATURAL delivers another terrific batch of episodes that are certain to please fans. The episodes look and sound pretty darn sweet on Blu-ray and the lossless soundtracks are a most welcome addition. Highly recommended.

 
SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON 


Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season [Blu-ray] (2010)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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