I first thought that Supernatural was a pointless, stupid show that Jared Padalecki was starring in, because I kind of liked his character on the Gilmore Girls (I’m a married male, by the way), and doing this show that I didn’t know that much about smelled like an instant disaster.
However, when you open up the DVD package, anyone who has seen the shows sees that there are a lot of creative members of the team that come from other shows with supernatural-like themes. Some of…the directors include members from the X-Files, and many of the periodic guest stars come from said show. But what Padalecki and co-star Jensen Ackles (Smallville, Dark Angel) have managed to take elements of the hit Fox show and throw in some other components (including maybe a touch of the Hellblazer comics), and produce a show that seems to be consistently hitting the mark and finding its niche audience of twenty-somethings that will regularly tune in to their adventures.
Sam (Padalecki) is an aspiring law student who is pulled into an unwanted life of hunting ghosts, goblins and demons by his brother Dean (Ackles), who visits him to tell him that his father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Weeds) was kidnapped on what was a perceived routine hunting trip. How you can call performing exorcisms and rituals to slay demons routine may be a little bit ironic, but you get the point. Anyway, while they try to find their father (and the killer of Sam’s girlfriend), they encounter various bumps in the night along the way.
While at this point I haven’t seemed to dismiss the show’s exploits and adventures out of hand yet, what the show manages to do is to focus on the spiritual adventures, without trying to be a devil’s advocate for science (like the X-Files did) or put it over the top silly lines with tongue in cheek (like the Buffy/Angel shows of a few years back), but it does put things in equal parts that make it pretty entertaining to watch. And now that the second season of shows is starting up, Warner Brothers is putting Season One out on DVD for everyone to catch up on.
It’s a TV release, so the usual Dolby Digital 2.0 treatment is provided. However, the disappointing part is because the show is a little bit heavy in ‘70s and ‘80s rock, you’d expect that there’d be some sort of surround sound option. Oh well, the stereo track does what it’s supposed to do.
1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, presumably to replicate the feeling of Warner Brothers High Definition, for those that watch the show in it. But the show looks good, black levels are pretty consistent, even though there’s some edge enhancement in some of the driving scenes, aside from the green screen seam. The whites on the show are blown out a little bit, but that’s handled OK here.
Warner has included a respectable level of extras to go with the first season. First off, you can catch some deleted scenes for eight if the show’s 22 episodes. There are two episode commentaries, one on the pilot with Series Creator Eric Kripke, Director David Nutter, And Producer Peter Johnson. Each shares their recollections of how the show was pulled together, and what they each wanted to try to include during production. The second commentary with Padalecki and Ackles is more jovial and mixes some varied stories of the production schedule with some general goofiness. Following that is a look at the show, titled “Tales From the Edge of Darkness”, where Kripke discusses what he wanted to do from the get-go, and there are also quick hits on the location, stunts, props and music for the film, with a mix of cast and crew interviews. It’s your standard run of the mill making-of featurette on the show. Padalecki and Ackles do a production diary of sorts with a day in the life, from makeup to wrapping for the day. They even do their DVD commentary during this part, which has got to violate some sort of space time continuum of sorts. Following a pretty funny gag reel, some stills and DVD-ROM material rounds the set out.
After watching a handful of episodes, my wife said, “Yay, new show!”, which is pretty much how I can sum up Supernatural. The DVD set isn’t too bad, but the highlight is the show, and is worth checking out for any of you (gasp) Generation X’ers out there that were looking for something to take the place on their TiVo Season Pass list once Joss Whedon stopped making TV. A definite recommendation at least, and check out the new episodes when you can.
Special Features List
- Selected Episode Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Bloopers/Gag Reel
- Still Galleries
- DVD-ROM Material