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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Soap Opera > Horror > Supernatural – The Complete Fourth Season (2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD)

Supernatural – The Complete Fourth Season (2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B-/C     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Episodes: C-



The semi-hit CW Network series Supernatural continues to hang on, despite doing just about everything its narrow pallet of ideas can come up with.  For Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season, it is just throwing anything at the audience and plays more like a bad daytime soap opera than anything dealing seriously with demonology.  Some recent superhero genre films (Ghost Rider, for instance) did a much better and more convincing job.  Now, this is a star-vehicle for fans.


Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are back as the Winchester brothers, but the scripts are beyond shot, so like all McG productions, it just runs on loud and empty.  They managed to come up with 22 episodes to fill what is a more commercial-loaded-than-ever hour time slot and they can’t even fill that well enough.  Besides the silly banter that is almost campy, they tried to do a black and white show in the mode of black and white horror films of decades ago.


The problem with the episode Monster Movie is that it might as well be a Wayan Brothers production in its shallowness and bad humor.  It also is confused and to easily impressed with itself.  Opening with the Warner Bros. logo, you would expect a tribute to the studio’s own horror classics, even with some RKO and MGM films thrown in (they own the old horror classics of all three studios now), but we instead get a really, really silly revisit of Universal’s monsters!  Why?  Is it because they think the audience is dumb or they don’t think Warner could make a good horror film?  The Hardy Boys with Shawn Cassidy and Parker Stevenson (made by Universal) did this kind of thing much better and with better jokes too.  Yet, this is the best episode on the set and of the season.


Supernatural is a zombie of a show in the worst way and at this point, it is just filler on a small network.  The stars have a little chemistry and all seem to be having fun making the show.  Too bad that rarely translates into good episodes.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is shot on High Definition video and the quality drop is obvious, especially on the majority color shows looking as if they were manipulated to be purposely limited.  The one black and white show looks pasty and on the anamorphic enhanced DVD version, the quality is even worse.  Usually such a switch means the show is in decline.  That holds here.  Then there is the sound.


Where there should be a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track for all the shows on the Blu-ray, it and the DVD version only have Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes and that is shocking for a new show coming out on Blu-ray like this.  That was the case for the last Blu-ray season and shows corners are being cut all over the place on this show.  The mix is not state-of-the-art (compare to Burn Notice for instance) and has surround overkill to boot.  All around, playback disappoints as well.


Extras include creator commentary on three of the episodes, extended footage on select shows, a featurette split into three sections that is interactive dealing with heaven, hell & the in-between and a gag reel that is the best thing on this set.  Unless you love the show from the previous seasons, skip it.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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