Supernatural: Season Four | DVD Review

Grim Brothers
Jenny Sobczak
Staff Writer

Supernatural is one of the highest-rated shows on the CW, however much that means in the world of television as a whole. The season premiere for the fifth season pulled in excellent ratings for the network, while the fourth season DVDs were released at the very beginning of September. The stars never cease to surprise in the DVD’s features, either. For a show with only two regulars, Supernatural has been full of twists, turns, and demons from day one, and the features of season five give real insight to the mythology behind the series.

Any Supernatural fan knows the first place to go when the DVD is in the player is the gag reel. Each reel has had a different theme or included more goofs from one episode than the rest. In a previous gag reel, the theme was Jensen Ackles’snon-stop on-screen eating. This season’s centered on the episode titled “Monster Movie.” Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki always cram so much into a segment of bloopers that lasts no longer than a few minutes, and this season’s reel is no exception. The actors’ flubs, both purposeful and accidental, make this feature a must-see for hardcore and casual fans alike.

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The DVD also has the usual episode commentaries, which I rarely look at but finally did for this box set. I never wanted to watch anything with a person talking over it the entire time, but it’s easy to see why these features are as ubiquitous as they are. The commentary removes the concentration on the plot and allows the viewer to appreciate the artistry behind the editing and cinematography, which is more important than many viewers might realize. The motivations, particularly for the last two episodes of this season, come through very well in these commentaries.

The main feature on this season’s DVD set is called “The Mythologies of Supernatural: From Heaven to Hell,” and rather than taking time and explaining what goes on behind the scenes of the filming itself, this feature tells fans about key elements from season four. Three sections explain the necessary factors about Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. For those fans too lazy to Google the backstory to the angels and demons in this season, this feature is very helpful. However, for the few of us who were so driven to look up the mythologies behind characters such as Lilith, this is merely the same information presented to us in a different manner. I would say it was a waste of disc space if it didn’t tie into the show at all, but these parts made it worthwhile.

Previous seasons’ box sets included more features in general. Each had five or six bullet points under the “special features” heading. Season four? A measly four parts, not including each Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell subfeature. Even the third season, which was affected by the writer’s strike, managed to pull out interesting bits from certain episodes and build featurettes around that. As a consumer, I expected more from one of my favorite shows than three commentaries, a three-part mythology lesson, a few deleted scenes, and the ever-popular gag reel.

While lacking in quantity, the fourth season’s DVD features for Supernatural were high in quality. Even the mythology lesson, while repeating some information I already knew, was concentrated enough on the episodes as to keep it from feeling unnecessary. The gag reel will never stop being my favorite feature of these DVDs, though, and it’s very easy for me to say that they are most likely the funniest gag reels I’ve ever seen on a DVD. This one segment is enough to keep me buying and to keep disappointment at bay.

Final Verdict (out of 5):