Saturday, September 29, 2012

Evaluating "Supernatural's" Season 7 Extras: A Series Review (Blu-Ray)

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*full disclosure: a Blu-ray screener of this series was provided by Warner Bros.

Directors: Philip Sgriccia, Robert Singer, Mike Rohl, John F. Showalter, Guy Norman Bee, Jensen Ackles, Tim Andrew, Ben Edlund, Jeannot Szwarc, and Thomas J. Wright.

Writers: Eric Kripke, Sera Gamble, Ben Edlund, Andrew Dabb, Daniel Loflin, Jeremy Carver, Adam Glass, Brad Buckner, Eugenie Ross-Leming, Robbie Thompson, Robert Singer , and Jenny Klein.

Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, and Mark Pellegrino.

CW’s "Supernatural" Season Seven is now available for purchase, and it's jam packed with a great set of extras. As the story of Castiel's rise to "ultimate ascension" comes to head in the first episode, the Leviathans are beginning their rise to power. In the four-disc Blu-ray set, each disc sports a well-designed menu to allow viewers to access the extras at any time.

To see a full clip of Jensen Ackles sing along to "All Out of Love" by Air Supply is priceless, and the segment was very clearly produced for the video release. To call this an outtake is not appropriate, but some terminology had to be used.

Another musical exploration is with the featurette, "Washboards & Tommy Guns: Scoring Time after Time." Composers Chis Lennertz and Jay Gruska give some details of their job. To recreate the Jazz era in the '40s required more work than usual, and they only had five days to get the job done! In a weekly series, that is about the norm since these sound artists usually do not work together. They usually get tasked to individually work on an episode rather than working together.

But after seven years of producing this series, all the head directors do a classic interview-style featurette where they discuss the ins and outs of directing an episode of "Supernatural." Anyone considering a job in either the film or television industry may do well to watch this segment to understand how well oiled the team have to be. Any moment of thoughtlessness will mean a lost day, any hesitation as a director will have everyone in the production, cast-included, looking puzzled. But as Penny Marshell pointed out in an interview to Andrea Burzynski for Reuters recently, it's okay to ask for help and take chances.

Jensen Ackles made his directorial debut with season six's episode, "Weekend at Bobby's" and in this season, he continues his fine work with "The Girl Next Door." He recognizes the challenges as a director and he sounds genuinely candid in what he is capable of doing behind the scenes than in front of. More work will no doubt come, and when "Supernatural" is off the air waves, Ackles will no doubt have options to continue in his television career, or he can begin working at crafting movies.

In addition to the standard set of specific episode commentaries, an interactive featurette, "Supernatural Creature Fest Drive-In" and a Gag Reel, this box set offers more than just what a typical fan may want from a compilation. This release gives viewers a reasonably comprehensive look behind the scenes of a very busy television industry.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10.

*this title released on DVD and Blu-Ray Sept. 18th.

The show's homepage:

Supernatural at the CW

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