THE SERIES: so you go to a network with the idea for a television series, a horror themed television series let’s say (they are so popular with the kids these days after all.) you figure if you are lucky it will last five seasons at the outside. to be safe, you map out a three to five season story arc, carefully plotting the key points for each season, building to a fantastic climax and a definitive ending that will blow the socks off whoever is still watching horror themed television series in three to five years (the kids are also so fickle in what they stick with.) Eric Kripke did this back in 2005 and the WB said, “Ok, let’s do it.” Well, five years later (and a network name change to the CW) SUPERNATURAL did something they didn’t quite expect it to. it became a MAJOR cult hit. Its popularity just grew and grew and by the time Season Five started filming, the CW already knew that they weren’t just going to end the adventures of the Winchester Brothers just because the main storyline was going to wrap up. SUPERNATURAL was going to live on as long as the ratings say so.
But Season Five did wrap up the main storyline. Kripke’s job completed he stepped down as the series showrunner (to become a hands-on executive producer) and was replaced by Sera Gamble, one of the shows main writers who has been with the series since Day one. now the question was: where do we go from here? the series’ impending Apocalypse has been averted. Brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) is dead and brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) gets to have a happily ever after life with Lisa (Cindy Sampson). Or does he? Knowing the series would continue past its planned conclusion, seeds were planted back near the end of Season Four and all through Season Five to make sure there were more Big Bads to fight. And if BUFFY THE VAMPIRE THE SLAYER taught us anything, we know there is always another apocalypse just around the corner. Heck, the Slayer died twice in her series and that didn’t stop the Scoobies.
One of the strengths the SUPERNATURAL team had to work with is that they change all the rules every season. Even though there was a solid story through line for those first five seasons, major points that became regular fixtures in a season were usually discarded to keep the next season fresh. for Season six it was decided to give the show a very Film Noir/1940’s mystery style feel. Dead characters are back in the game (and not just Sam); Balthazar (Sebastian Roche) is collecting religious objects; Did Castiel (Misha Collins) make it back to Heaven and why is Crowley (Mark Sheppard) wearing Hell’s crown? Questions need to be answered and how better to seek those answers than as a season long mystery.
While Season six is a rollicking good time, it isn’t as consistently smooth as the previous seasons. there are far more stand alone episodes in this batch that don’t keep the main thread moving. not that a stand alone episode is a bad thing. several of this seasons best episodes didn’t really contribute to the main story, but it give the season as a whole a slower, less confident feeling. It’s as if our new main villain’s story could be told in half a season and they needed to fill the rest rather than building layer upon layer and threat upon threat toward a major climax. But this is Sera Gambles’ first time a showrunner and as such it is expected to have a few hiccups. Overall SUPERNATURAL Season six is a lot of fun filled with the scary, creepy and nightmarish creatures we’ve come to expect and the strong character relationships (well, after the first half of the season at least) that has become the series’ greatest strength. the best aspect of this season is also the best thing any television series can want at seasons’ end: it leaves you completely psyched up for Season Seven.
THE DISC: The quality of the SUPERNATURAL Blu-ray sets has been very consistent and Season six continues that trend. Presented in anamorphic 1.78, the show is very slick looking with extremely impressive detail. Colors are properly dull (as the show intends) but well saturated.
Season six is the first Blu-ray that SUPERNATURAL sports a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. the very immersive soundscape compliments the excellent picture quality with crystal clarity, soul shaking bass and great directional effects. there is nothing at all to complain about in the technical presentation of this season.
THE EXTRAS: Like previous season sets of SUPERNATURAL, the list of supplements may look mild on paper, but they are very rich with information and completely satisfying in content.
This set’s Supplement Supreme is, as with the previous sets, “the Hunter’s Guide to Season six.” over forty-five featurettes are to be found here, at least two per episode, which cover behind the scenes interviews, photo galleries, examinations of real mythology, etc. the Hunter’s Guide is loads of fun and well worth spending a few hours exploring.
“Jensen Ackles: a Director’s Journey” is a nearly full half hour spent looking at the actor’s first time behind the camera.
“SUPERNATURAL and the Quest for the Soul” has the series’ showrunners and various theologians and experts discussing the human soul, since it is a huge part of this season.
A season “Gag Reel” and a separate section of “Alternate Takes” and “Outtakes” from the episode “the French Mistake” are here.
A pair of audio commentaries for the episodes “Clap Your Hands if you Believe” and “the French Mistake” is well worth a listen.
Finally a pair of episodes from SUPERNATURAL: the Anime Series round out the supplements.
MY SAY: It may have been a bit rocky, but SUPERNATURAL Season six is ultimately a satisfying and fun ride. Fans will need it and newcomers will enjoy it.