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TV on Blu-ray Review: Supernatural, Gotham, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals

Warner Home Video has given fans new seasons of several hit television series perfect for binge-watching with the release of Supernatural – The Complete Tenth Season, Gotham – The Complete First Season, The Vampire Diaries – The Complete Sixth Season, and The Originals – The Complete Second Season.

Loaded with an impressive episode count and looking great on the Blu-ray format, all the series give fans their money worth thanks to special features that go into the making of the series, deleted scenes, and commentary on select episodes.

Sam and Dean remain the heart of the show, but Crowley and Rowena steals the season.
Sam and Dean remain the heart of the show, but Crowley and Rowena steals the season.

Supernatural – The Complete Tenth Season: Sam and Dean continue their quest to rid the world of everything that goes bump in the night for another season of Supernatural. Although the series is starting to get a tad stale, the chemistry between Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as the Winchester brothers continues to make the series entertaining. Supernatural also continues to benefit from Misha Collins hilarious angel Castiel and Mark Sheppard’s scene-stealing performances as Crowley. Sheppard’s performance as the King of Hell this season made me wish they would give him his own spin-off show thanks to his great scenes with his witch-mother Rowena (Ruth Connell).

Season 10 sees the boys dealing with the fallout from their battle with the angel Metatron and going up against Cain (Timothy Omundson) to get his mark removed from Dean before it drives him mad with bloodlust. The season also takes time for the boys to dispatch just about every kind of monsters you can think of; find time for some brotherly love; and even introduce a teenage version of Dean. The plots do get a tad redundant when binge-watching, but the show is still going strong leaving you waiting for Season 11.

Like past Supernatural releases, fans can look forward to a ton of bonus materials – including behind the scenes looks at the 200th episode, commentaries, gag reels, deleted scenes, and the cast appearance at Comic-Con 2014. There is also a look at the fans of Supernatural and the mythology of the series.

Gotham adds too many villains for season one, but the series is rich in production and story.
Gotham adds too many villains for season one, but the series is rich in production and story.

Gotham – The Complete First Season: Rich in production and storytelling, the first season of Gotham does an excellent job of establishing the series’ main characters and its own mythology. The series does make some changes to what fans know of Batman’s history and rogue’s gallery, but most of the changes work for Gotham.

Featuring an incredible ensemble cast, the first season of Gotham lays the groundwork of the basic Batman origin story with young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) witnessing the death of his parents and Detective James Gordon (a perfectly cast Ben McKenzie) promising to find the killer. Gordon is new to Gotham and teamed with veteran cop Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). His straight-arrow ways quickly clash with the city’s mob heads, including Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Carmine Falcone (John Doman). Bruce decides that he will discover the killer’s identity and enlists the help of faithful butler Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and street kid Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova).

Other storylines of season include Fish’s attempted rise to power; Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) establishing himself as a force to deal with on the mob scene; and various run-ins with other early versions of Batman’s greatest villains – such as The Joker and Scarecrow. While I enjoyed the first season of Gotham, the series does get a little heavy-handed with trying to introduce too many of Batman’s foes too soon.

On Blu-ray the series’ beautiful production values look great and the set comes loaded with bonus material – including looks at the production detailing and bringing the city to life, a look at the Cobblepot character, gag reel and deleted scenes.

Vampire Diaries is perfect for binge-watching and promises big changes for season seven.
Vampire Diaries is perfect for binge-watching and promises big changes for season seven.

The Vampire Diaries – The Complete Sixth Season: Although most of season six of The Vampire Diaries could be titled the Witch Diaries, the series continues to entertain thanks to its formula of cheesy horror and soapy romance. Thankfully, the series does an excellent job of making the most of its ensemble cast and there are plenty of storylines to keep viewers hooked. The season also ends strong with the promise of changes to come in season seven.

Season Six finds Elena (Nina Dobrev), Caroline (Candice Accola) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) trying to carry on with their lives while Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) are trapped in a witch prison along with the season’s main bad guy. Naturally, the friends discover the truth about where their Bonnie and Damon are located and set out trying to free them. Unfortunately, their freedom involves a lot of witches and even more death for several characters.

Much of the season’s 22 episodes are spent with Bonnie on the other side while the friends try to figure out a way to save her and deal with what the cost of her return will mean to all of them. They also have to deal with the force-field around Mystic Falls which prevents any supernatural creature from entering the town. Along with their witch problem, Stefan and pals face a new vampire hunter (who likes adding a little torture to go along with his killing); find new love interests (Stefan and Caroline have a “will that, won’t they” love story all season); and say a tearful goodbye to one of the series’ original stars.

Although The Vampire Diaries gets a tad sappy from time to time, the series manages to keep the audience hooked through fun storylines and great performances from its cast. The show is perfect for binge-watching thanks to the cliffhangers the writers use almost every episode.

Like past seasons, The Vampire Diaries comes loaded with bonus material fans of the show will love. Special features include a gag reel, deleted scenes for various episodes, a look at the 2014 Comic-Con Panel, a look at fan reaction to some of the season’s biggest moments, and a look at the final farewell to one of the show’s main characters.

The Originals – Season Two distances the new series from Vampire Diaries thanks to its lush setting and storytelling.
The Originals – Season Two distances the new series from Vampire Diaries thanks to its lush setting and storytelling.

The Originals – The Complete Second Season: The second season of The Originals finds the spin-off series further distancing itself from The Vampire Diaries and doing an excellent job of creating its own mythology to hook viewers. While borrowing Vampire Diaries blend of horror and drama, The Originals has a completely different feel and a cast worth giving the new series a chance. The writers do an excellent job of making the story as lush and exotic as its New Orleans setting.

Season two sees original vampire bad boy Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his brother Elijah (Daniel Gillies) dealing with the werewolves who control the city of New Orleans and the arrival of several other family members. Klaus also struggles with his own limitations while Elijah tries to save hybrid Haley (Phoebe Tonkin) before her downward spiral destroys any chance of her survival.

The season two set comes with decent bonus material including a gag reel, deleted scenes from select episodes, a look at the 2014 Comic-Con panel, and a behind-the-scenes look at the show. The bonus features also include the great web series The Originals: The Awakening which is a companion series focusing on Kol Mikaelson (Nathaniel Buzolic) and his attempts to form an alliance with the witches of New Orleans in 1914.

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