Thursday, September 3, 2009

Season 4 DVD Analysis

I have a confession to make. I haven't watched all the extras on seasons 1-3.


I know. What kind of fan am I?! I watched everything on season 1, but when I pull out the DVDs, I just watch the show. I think I have some commentaries and featurettes to watch. Eventually.

I ran out on Tuesday because I couldn't stand not to have season 4 in my hands. Even though I didn't do anything but watch episodes until last night (I was being responsible!), and I had those DVR'd, anyway. I really wanted the Target edition, which contained a bonus disc with the Comic-Con panel on it.

So, let's dig in. And when I say "dig in," I mean "exhaustively discuss everything including the packaging."

The Packaging
Srsly, y'all, this is nice packaging. It's a full plastic case, with a pull-out listing of all the episodes, which gives room for extra pictures (yum!) and has a description of each episode and what extras are exactly where. The DVDs themselves are on flip-holders which are much easier to handle than the giant flip-out style on previous basic sets.

Extended/Unaired Scenes (no spoilers)
Most of these served to show how expert the editing and directing of each episode really is. Some, I didn't understand why they bothered to put them on the DVD, they offered so little. Some, I didn't understand why they didn't put them on the air--heLLO, Dean in his underwear?!

My favorite was "Lazarus Rising," an extended scene with a few new lines, but OMG, maybe the funniest line of the entire season. Probably cut because it exceeded their TV-14 rating.

One unaired scene from "Heaven and Hell" featured an interesting exchange between Uriel and Castiel, but probably was cut because it too clearly foreshadowed where things were going with the angels.

Other episodes with extra scenology:

In the Beginning
Heaven and Hell
On the Head of a Pin
The Monster at the End of This Book
The Rapture
Lucifer Rising

I haven't had time to watch/listen to these, but we have a wealth of them on this go-around:

In the Beginning: Eric Kripke and Writer Jeremy Carver
When the Levee Breaks: Writer Sera Gamble and Director Robert Singer
Lucifer Rising: Eric Kripke

Again, I didn't have time to explore this yet. It's broken into three parts: Paradiso, Purgatorio, Inferno, the first and last each with three parts, the middle with one. They're documentary style and feature "experts" from outside the show who have apparently explored the mythologies of angels and demons. It looks like it could be either fascinating or horribly dull.

Easter Eggs
I'm pretty terrible at finding these, so I Googled 'em. :) Thanks to here for a list! These are all Ghostfacer vids that have been seen before--nothing new, but very funny if you haven't seen them.

Bonus Disc
Comic-Con 2008, probably the best panel video you'll find anywhere (for clarity, closeness, audio, etc.) with some behind-the-scenes stuff, too. Worth going to Target for, if you don't have your set yet!

Gag Reel
Everyone's favorite part, right? I haven't seen a gag reel for TV or movie that beat the ones for Supernatural. Season 3 didn't quite live up to the previous two, but it was still funny and satisfying.

Season 4's gag reel has been available online, but I wanted to wait for the real, high-quality thing and watch it on my big TV. It suffers from high expectations, but if I could objectively compare all four, this one would win in a landslide.

It's the longest, for one thing. There are some familiar themes--mugging, flatulence (though this time Jensen gives as good [or bad!] as Jared). There's also more from the recurring actors/actresses and the guest stars. Todd Stashwick lands a good one on Jensen and turns all fatherly. The part that most gratified me, I think, was toward the end, they featured crew members, with both video and stills. SPN fans (probably all obsessive fans) tend to recognize and be grateful for the huge contribution from those hard-working people, but it's nice that they're being pulled out for public recognition, too.

So that's it, the kit and kaboodle. I apologize for not having commentary review, but that might be a future post, so stay tuned. In the meantime...

T-minus less than a week and counting!!!!!!!!!!

To tide you over, you can find clips from 5.01 at Fangirl Says. I'mnotlooking I'mnotlooking I'mnotlooking I'mnotlooking


Anonymous said...

I got mine in the mail from Amazon and have watched the gag reel twice. Love it! So bummed about the ComicCon bonus disc. I'll have to find that somehow.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I'm sure it will be up on YouTube or something. I'd loan it to you if you weren't so far away! :)

I discovered when I watched the whole thing, it's not the ComicCon panel straight through. They seem to have picked and chosen questions and interspersed them with short clips from season 4. It's good, but left me feeling like I missed stuff!

fallshort__ said...

Not fair! I bought the DVD and it doesn't have the gag reel on it ! The only special feature is commentary on the ep "in the beginning". This sucks :/ should I take it back ?

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

fallshort, the gag reel is on the last disk of the DVD set, as are most of the other extras.

fallshort__ said...

Not on my one. The last disc only has the last 3 eps on it. And there's nothing on the other discs and bonus disc either.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Huh. I didn't realize there was a legal version out there that didn't have the extras! :( I mean, I knew different stores had different "specials," but they were all separate items, not what was actually on the disks.

I'll have to be really careful buying my season 5 DVDs! Thanks for the heads up! ;)

fallshort__ said...

It says on the cover it has it though. I hate false advertising :(

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Okay, then yeah, something's wrong, and you should do something about it! Good luck!