Blu-ray
Recommended
4 stars
List Price
$29.98
Amazon
$24.99 (17%)
3rd Party
$20.49
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»
Overall Grade
4 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
3.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3 Stars
Supplements
3 Stars
High-Def Extras
2.5 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

Supernatural: The Complete Second Season

Street Date:
June 14th, 2011
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
July 24th, 2011
Movie Release Year:
2006
Studio:
Warner Brothers
Length:
903 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

You've got to hand it to Warner Brothers. When other studios are being finicky about putting out past seasons of their TV shows on Blu-ray, Warner has circled back around and is releasing the earlier seasons of 'Supernatural.' This is music to a Blu-ray lover's ears. We've been burned far too often by one or two seasons of our favorite shows being released on the format only to never see another release. So then we're stuck with a few of the later seasons, and no hope of getting the earlier seasons. It's frustrating as a consumer to be stonewalled when it comes to your favorite TV show. I have the later seasons of '24' on Blu-ray, but we haven't heard a peep about the first few seasons being released. We've been screwed over by studios not releasing the rest of 'Burn Notice' or 'White Collar'. Those are only a few of the culprits. So, again, I'd like to thank Warner for treating fans right and actually releasing past seasons of one of their best TV shows.

'Supernatural' borrows bits here and there from other TV shows like 'The X-Files' and 'Buffy,' but in its borrowing it's able to create a completely natural fun show about… well, the supernatural.

Dean and Sam Winchester are brothers who were taught how to hunt down all manner of demons, vampires, werewolves, and just about anything else that goes bump in the night. Their father, played by Jeffery Dean Morgan, taught them well. The second season begins where the first season ended off. The Winchester boys and their father have just been broadsided by a giant semi truck being driven by a destructive Yellow-Eyed demon. Now Dean (Jensen Ackles) has been put into a coma and it's a race against time to see if he'll live.

The big news here is that the boy's father dies in a pact that he made with the demon they've been hunting all this time. His boy lives, but he dies. This shouldn't be that much of a spoiler since the show is on season six now. Fans of the show should be well ahead of these events.

'Supernatural' excels as a monster/horror TV show because it's able to blend long-ranging story arcs in with one-off episodes. They'll hunt a killer clown at carnivals, but there's a bigger story at play. Each episode they come closer to finding out about the Yellow-Eyed demon, but it isn't the main focus. We're still hoping that they come face to face with him, but we know it won't happen until a season climax is needed. Still, the cases that are used and the other-worldly beings that these two guys tangle with are inventive, fun, and clever. I haven't been this excited for seeing new supernatural baddies since 'Buffy.' Creator Eric Kripke and his crew do a great job at revisiting old urban legends and even making up some stuff of their own.

Fans of the show know who they are. This more of a thank you to the fans that have been following along with the seasons. Circling back around and releasing older seasons shouldn't have to be pointed out as unusual, but frankly it is. TV seasons have been getting the shaft with Blu-ray. You never know if your beloved show will be released or if its previous seasons will be available ever.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Supernatural: The Complete Second Season' comes housed in a slightly oversized Blu-ray case. It's a four 50GB Dual Layer disc set. The discs are held in their own hubs, back to back, on swivel arms. The first three discs contain six episodes while the fourth disc contains the last four episodes along with the set's special features. A cardboard sleeve is provided to easily slip the case into.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Warner's 1080p visuals here are a solid entry into the high definition community. Yes, it has the sleek, smooth TV look, but the high definition is able to capture the feel and mood of the series perfectly.

Most of the show is dark or dimly lit. It's imperative that blacks are deep, which they are. They add depth to the presentation. Shadows are wonderfully delineated giving the show a formidable doom-like presence. The overall color palette for the show is cold, skintones usually follow suit. This is okay though as the show is supposed to look that way. You don't expect warm inviting colors when you're hunting demons and ghosts in the middle of the night. Daytime scenes look just as good with fine detail really shining through. Close ups reveal heavy amounts of textual and facial detail. Even mid-range photography is full of minute details like facial hair, individual blades of grass, and easily distinguishable trees within forests.

The only place where the show falters ever so slightly is that noise is somewhat apparent during darker scenes. Banding and aliasing are also noticeable off and on, but they never become so bad to draw your focus away. Overall, this is a very strong visceral presentation.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

All those kudos I was pouring out on Warner, end here. 'Supernatural's second season has been encumbered by a lossy soundtrack. Sure it's a serviceable option that actually does it's job well, but a DTS-HD Master Audio track would have been much more suited for this release. To be fair season six is the only 'Supernatural' Blu-ray release with a lossless audio presentation, but it's simply just annoying that the rest of the seasons have to deal with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

The creepy ambiance of the show is strong, with some ambient noise creeping into the rear channels like rustling leaves, snapping twigs, and other noises that make you think a ghoul is closing in on the heroes. Dialogue is intelligible through the center and front speakers. The soundtrack seems like it takes up too much room at times booming forth without thinking about the other effects that need to fill in the soundfield.

Fans of the show will be able to deal with this track since it's the only way they're going to get season two on Blu-ray, but it would have been nice (like it would have been nice on all the other seasons except six) if we were getting a lossless track here.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Audio Commentaries — Out of the 22 episodes in the season only three of them get audio commentaries: "In My Time of Dying," " "What Is and What Should Never Be," and "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1." Participants include executive producer Kim Manners, producer Cyrus Yavneh, and actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles discussing the season opener "In My Time of Dying;" creator Eric Kripke is the lone commentator on "What Is and What Should Never Be;" Kripke, director Robert Singer, and writer Sera Gamble talk about the first part of the season finale. The commentaries cover the basics in shooting, locations, actors, and asides. Kripke is fun to listen to because it's easy to tell his love for the series. His lone commentary is probably the best one of the bunch and I usually don't enjoy lone commentaries as much as I enjoy a group of people. Fans will want to give these a listen to.
  • Deleted Scenes (SD, 8 min.) — Nothing really spectacular or earth-shattering here. Four episodes are given brief deleted scenes, none of which shed much more light on the series, all of which seem like they were cut mainly because of time constraints. The episodes containing deleted scenes are: "In My Time Dying", "Bloodlust", "The Usual Suspects" and "Hunted".
  • Webisodes Gallery (SD, 13 min.) — Three brief 'Supernatural' shorts used to promo this season.
  • Jared's Original Screen Test (SD, 8 min.) — Actor Jared Padalecki is shown here reading for his part on the show.
  • Gag Reel (SD, 9 min.) — The same types of things – line flubs and chuckling actors – that you've seen in other gag reels is present here.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

  • The Devil's Road Map (HD) — This is an interactive way to discover new things you may have never known about the show. See behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast and crew interviews, urban legend myths used on the show, and stories from real supernatural sightings. This and much more is located in this Blu-ray exclusive. Dig into it if you have time, it'll take you a solid two hours to watch everything.

Easter Eggs

Make sure to click on all three Yellow-Eyed Demon icons during your trip through the Devil's Road Map. There's a surprise waiting for you if you do.

Final Thoughts

'Supernatural' is a solid sci-fi horror show. I know I don't have to convince any of its fans to watch it, and if you're thinking about purchasing the second season then you've most likely been following the show for some time now. Just know that the video presentation is strong, but it does suffer from the inclusion of a lossy audio presentation that has been present on every season except season six. The second season of 'Supernatural' is still recommended, because at this point it's not too late to get into the series and you know that Warner isn't going to stiff you with putting out the other seasons.

Technical Specs

  • 4-Disc Set
  • 50GB Blu-ray Discs

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/VC-1

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • French: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • German: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German SDH, Dutch

Supplements

  • Three episode commentaries
  • Unaired scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Jared Padalecki Original Screen Test
  • Webisode Gallery

Exclusive HD Content

  • The Devil's Road Map

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List Price
$29.98
Amazon
$24.99 (17%)
3rd Party
$20.49
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»

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