DVDs in Review - #28 - Supernatural: The Complete Third Season

Category: , , , By Rev/Views

On general release in the UK on the 25th of August (yes, that's right I'm actually reviewing something before it comes out for once.)

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester
Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester
Jim Beaver as Bobby Singer
Katie Cassidy as Ruby
Lauren Cohan as Bela Talbot

The Show:

"We might even run into Fred and Daphne inside. Mmmm... Daphne. Love her." - Dean Winchester

I talked a little about Supernatural previously; mostly it was about how apprehensive and unsure I was about the series. I liked the concept of the show but I was concerned about the cast (very small with two exceptionally photogenic/pretty boys) and I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it. But I managed to pick up a copy of the first season cheaply and was very quickly hooked into it.

When Sam and Dean were young, their mother was killed in a fire. But it was no ordinary fire; this fire was of a supernatural origin and nearly killed them as well. But their father John Winchester (The awesome Jeffery Dean Morgan) managed to save them. Over the years John raised Sam and Dean to be hunters and fighters; champions against the unnatural, eventually Sam rebelled against this life while Dean continued to fight alongside his father.

But; one day that old life comes back to haunt Sam, it turns out there's no escaping it and alongside his brother the two of them seek to find their father and avenge their mother's death.

The first two seasons of the show were fantastic and the third season of the show has raised the stakes once again, I was worried that a show with such a small core cast couldn't threaten it's characters effectively. But I was wrong about that, while Sam and Dean have a somewhat jaded, brazen and 'been there, done it' attitude towards many of the creatures they encounter - which in itself is quite hilarious at times - there are things and events which effect them hard. The finale of the previous season was one such set of events and the third season is based around dealing with them; literally.

Something that always impresses me about the show is how well it manages to combine a sense of realism with a tongue in cheek understanding that the show is a bit silly. The characters themselves often make reference to things that viewers will have noticed as well, including the strange weaponry they use:

Here's an example of this from the second season, this is in the excellent episode "Hollywood Babylon" where Sam and Dean have been drawn to a Hollywood set where a crew member was found dead. The conversation directly references the actual methods used in the show; but it highlights the absurdity of the notion. If you think about it for too long it stops making sense, so you just accept shotguns loaded with rock salt because they look cool.

"Marty, what do you think? "
"Not married to salt, what do you want? still sticking with condiments? "
"Just sounds different, not better. What else would a ghost be scared of?"
"Aww, ya gotta be kidding me."
"What would a ghost be scared of?"
"Maybe shotguns."
"K, that makes even less sense than salt. "

It's touches like this that make the show something special.

The Other Stuff:

"This looks like a zombie pen, Sammy. " - Dean Winchester

Consistency is the name of the word when dealing with the packaging of Supernatural, each season looks very similar in design, the spines of each set are almost identical and the layout of the front and back is kept in a similar template with varied box art. I'm a stickler for how DVDs look on the shelf and I'm always pleased when they look good together as a set. Season three is a five disc set containing fifteen episodes (writers strike cut it short) with the discs placed in slimline (not slimeline!) dvd cases. There's a mildly amusing bit of quality control failure as the third set apparently contains discs 5 (plural?) and while that's a minor error at best it's still a little disappointing to see things going out with mistakes like that on them.

There is a nice selection of extras in this set:
From Legends to Reality - a look into the special effects in Supernatural
Supernatural Impala - which gives viewers a closer look at the Chevrolet Impala used in the show (nicknamed the Metallicar by many viewers)
A Closer Look - Segments that showcase favourite aspects of specific episodes
Ghostfacers! Confessionals - A Minifeaturette Gallery
and a Gag Reel

Edit: Just to confirm for those people coming from TWoP all of these extras are present and accounted for on my Disc 5 of the UK release. They all also work as I watched them today. I would post this myself on the forum, but my registration hasn't cleared yet.

It's available now from Play.com for only £17.99 and it runs for 624 minutes. That's 2.9p per minute, which is very respectable for a brand new release. But of course it won't stay like that for long. So grab it while it's hot.

Final Word:

Supernatural is one of those shows that on paper seems like a really silly idea, two handsome young brothers travel around in a car solving mysteries and fighting monsters. But, as I said; I'm thoroughly impressed with Supernatural and I'm glad I gave it the chance to prove my initial doubts completely wrong. It's brilliant fun and worth watching for anyone who previously enjoyed shows like Angel or Buffy, horror films/novels or for people who just enjoy good solid drama with a dark sense of humor that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Final Score:

4 TVs for the third season of Supernatural, great stuff!


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