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Supernatural: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0, German Dolby Digital 2.0, Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish (Castilian) Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American)
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 4
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 15, 2010
  • List Price: $49.99

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Supernatural: The Complete First Season [2 Discs] [Blu-ray] - Widescreen

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

This is the season that started it all for the Winchester Brothers on The CW network. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) hit the road for the beginning of their saga. It all begins some 22-years earlier when their mother is mysteriously engulfed in flames on their house’s ceiling then, 22-years later, the same thing happens to Sam’s girlfriend. With the bookish younger brother Sam in college and roguish older brother Dean newly in town to get him on the road, the two must head out to find their missing father who’s gone on a “hunting trip.”

That’s the Winchester code for hunting down all the scary things that go bump in the night, like wendigo or crossroad demons. Ever since their mother’s death, that’s been the family business and it’s been one endless road trip in a sleek, black Chevy Impala helping one hapless victim after the next out of their paranormal fix all in search of the entity that took the Winchester’s matriarch. It’s a season packed full of all the scary paranormal phenomena and urban legends that any serious sci-fi or fantasy buff can handle.

Season One is a far cry from the dark and convoluted trip down religious doctrine and biblical interpretation that the show has taken in the past two seasons. This is when it seemed like Supernatural would follow a line more similar to The X-Files, with a freak of the week and two “bros” taking the place of Mulder and Scully. Not that the series has suffered severely. It has certainly become more original and stands on its own a lot easier now.  Season One, however, is a must see for devotees to this paranormal series.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The look of Supernatural may be consistent over all of its seasons, but it’s easy to discern right from the opening sequences of Season One that the production values have certainly increased over the years as the show has maintained its popularity on television. The first season’s 1080p VC-1 encoding doesn’t look quite as sharp and detailed on Blu-ray as the later seasons do, instead looking a bit smoother and devoid of texture. Still, Supernatural is consistently eye-pleasing in high definition with dramatic shadings, deep blacks, nice shadow detail, great flesh tones and an absence of compression artifacts.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Warner is still providing only a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack for this release of Supernatural. The mix itself is sufficiently ambient for a television series with some occasional discrete use of the surround channels, but the Dolby Digital encoding just doesn’t have the clean, dynamic openness that a good lossless mix would have. Otherwise, dialogue is clean and intelligible, but louder sound effects tend to sound a bit harsh.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

Warner has provided a solid showing of supplements with Season One of Supernatural on Blu-ray. Top of the heap for geeks will be the interactive Devil’s Road Map, which lets viewers dive right into the Supernatural lore.

The supplements provided with this release are:

Disc 1:

  • Behind the Story:
    • Commentary on Pilot
    • Commentary on “Phantom Traveler”
  • Additional Footage:
    • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60)

Disc 2:

  • Additional Footage:
    • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60)

Disc 3:

  • Behind the Story:
    • Supernatural at the Museum of Television & Radio’s Paley Television Festival (1.33:1; 480i/60; 1:12.39) — A Q& A session with the cast & crew from 3/4/06
  • Additional Footage:
    • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60)

Disc 4:

  • Behind the Story:
    • Supernatural: Tales from the Edge of Darkness (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:22.53) — The cast and creators discuss the mythos of Supernatural.
    • Day in the Life of Jared and Jensen (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:10.37) — Follow Supernatural’s two stars around behind-the-scenes on the set.
  • Extras:
    • The Devil’s Road Map — An interactive guide to every episode in Season One, with interviews, journals, and references to all the urban legends.
  • Additional Footage:
    • Gag Reel (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:07.44)
  • BD-Live

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Supernatural: The Complete First Season finally arrives on Blu-ray with a strong looking video transfer to take its place alongside the previous seasons on Blu-ray. With a good dose of extras and the high quality of the show’s production, this should be a no-brainer for fans.

Additional Screen Captures:

BestBuy.com:
Supernatural: The Complete First Season [2 Discs] [Blu-ray] -  Widescreen

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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