As much as I’ve been enjoying blogging, I still have a lot to learn. I recently returned from a week’s vacation where I sadly failed to spot Wilson giving House an alibi in an Atlantic City casino, and saw, but did not lick, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Before leaving I set one blog entry to post while I was away with a note mentioning my absence… or at least I thought I did. As you’ve no doubt noticed, the entry didn’t post, but I’m now back from a wonderful holiday, and I’m just in time for fall premiere season!
The last stretch of summer is when the most recent seasons of your favourite shows hit DVD, giving you a chance to play catch up by packing the episodes into a short span of time. I’ve been meaning to write entries on TV on DVD for awhile now, and the entry that didn’t post was actually about the releases of Dexter season three and Eli Stone. However, this won’t turn into a weekly column because television shows seem to be released much like theatrical feature films. To clarify, there are either a number of things you would like to watch arriving within a short span of time, or nothing at all and you’re better off saving your money and watching reruns at home.
Fortunately, this is one of those better weeks for the TV enthusiast seeking one last show to get them through the last week or so of the summer season. Your choices range from top procedurals to science-fiction dramas, here’s a look at what’s out on DVD tomorrow.
My Pick: Supernatural Season Four
Supernatural is one of those shows I’ve been meaning to try for awhile but never quite found the time to watch. I’ve caught the odd episode here and there, and am now working my way through the first season, but I haven’t been a regular viewer. Then one night with little else on I caught a few episodes of season four and was hooked like I had never been before.
By the fourth season some shows have run out of ideas, or are at least inching past their prime. A special few have even jumped the shark, and since I haven’t watched much of Supernatural to date, perhaps it isn’t fair to comment, but I believe this show is different. What it has is something every show should possess, a writer/creator with a plan. Should does not always mean does though, and particularly in this age of television when it is hard enough to create a show that strikes a chord with audiences and networks, planning ahead can just mean seeing your vision go unfulfilled. I imagine Carnivale creator Daniel Knauf knows a little something about that.
Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has avoided falling into the trap frequented by one season wonder shows like Heroes, or perpetually confusing Lost, by having a five year plan for the show. Each year the action and the stakes have grown, with brothers Sam and Dean Winchester hunting monsters of the week while searching for their missing father over the course of the first season, to being a part of the battle between angels and demons in the fourth season, arriving on DVD tomorrow. Each season has given the brothers more to contend with, and this escalation of evil is part of what has made the show so engaging for fans.
Another part of season four’s success was the introduction of new character Castiel, an Angel of the Lord played by Misha Collins. Although Kripke originally intended the character to be present in just six episodes, critical and fan response was so positive that the role was expanded. Collins has been upgraded to a series regular who will appear in seventeen of the twenty-two episodes in the fifth, and possibly final, season of the show. Misha Collins is also at the top of TV Squad’s convincing list of ten reasons you should watch Supernatural.
It’s certainly late in the game to be picking up this show, and as the new season premieres September 10th, I don’t have much time to catch up, but I’m glad I’m finally giving it a chance rather than discovering it on DVD years later. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer before it, this is one genre show that deserves more attention than it gets.
Here’s the trailer for the upcoming season five:
Also on DVD this week:
If you’re more into crime scenes than demon hunting, pick up the ninth season of the original C.S.I. on DVD. This eventful season saw the departure of protagonist Gil Grissom (played by William Petersen), the arrival of Laurence Fishburne’s Dr. Raymond Langston, and the funeral for Gary Dourdan’s character Warrick Brown, who was shot in the eighth season finale. Although ratings began to drop after Fishburne took over, I enjoyed his character and thought that the writers made a smart decision to integrate him as a new C.S.I. while Catherine Willows took over as senior supervisor.
Also of note this week is the first season of HBO series The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency , which is based on the novels of the same name by Alexander McCall Smith. Filmed on location in Botswana, it focuses on a detective agency opened by Mma Ramotswe (Jill Scott) and assistant detective Mma Grace Makutsi (played by Tony award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose). For something completely different there’s the fifth season of Desperate Housewives , which took place five years after the fourth season and debuted a separated Susan and Mike, and spoiled Gabrielle Solis as a mother. Although I’ve never found it very humourous, ratings say that millions of people have enjoyed CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. Its sixth season, featuring Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer, is out tomorrow.
The word for the third season of Heroes is confused. Not only could the show not decide where it wanted to go, its creative staff also couldn’t decide what to do with its characters. Plots and characters were dropped altogether, retcon was employed, and Sylar, in particular, did more Heel Face Turns and Face Heel Turns than most characters do in an entire series. There were some bright spots though, particularly with the short-lived return of writer Bryan Fuller in “Cold Snap”, before the polarizing season finale split fans. If you’re willing to take a second look at the series or are interested in the special features though, the third season hits stores today.
I didn’t watch the made-for-TV movie Meteor, but my mom did and you can read her thoughts on the movie’s grammatical and plot content here. They’re enough to convince me to avoid this title like the plague. It’s out today on DVD, along with season one of The Game, season three of ABC drama Brothers and Sisters, and season two of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.