Videophiled TVD: ‘Supernatural: Season Nine’ – Angels at war

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Supernatural: The Complete Ninth Season (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD) – I confess that I don’t see the series in its broadcast run but I get caught up in binge-watching the show when the seasons come out on disc. It’s a matter of timing (screening copies arrive in that period between the end of the summer shows and the launch of the fall TV season) and affection: I like the mythology they’ve created around the premise and the characters in this universe. So do a lot of other folks: it launches its tenth season this fall.

Season Nine is a solid, meaty series with an epic storyline: the demon-hunting Winchester Brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), try to stop a war between the angels. In case you’re not up on supernatural lore, God left Heaven and Metatron (Curtis Armstrong), the former scribe of God, ejects the angels from paradise. The season begins with the heavenly bodies falling to Earth like flaming meteors and finds the grounded celestials less benevolent than ruthlessly pragmatic: they burn through human hosts like sacrificial lambs as they split into faction and go to war for control of Heaven. Essentially, who will be playing God? These aren’t the benevolent cherubs of valentine’s cards but warriors of Heaven and humans are collateral damage. In the immortal words of Dean: “I’ve always said angels are dicks.”

Castiel (Misha Collins), who was tricked by Metatron into unleashing the spell and then robbed of his grace, deals with his mortality as he joins forces with the Winchesters and the demon Crowley (Mark Sheppard) becomes an unlikely ally as he defends himself from a power play in Hell and helps Dean find “the first blade,” which means tracking down Cain and taking on the cursed “mark of Cain,” an act that has devastating consequences. The brotherly trust between Sam and Dean is already fractured, thanks to a secret angelic possession of the dying Sam, but the mark pushes the already hot-headed Dean into violence that borders on demonic. Meanwhile, the Winchesters take up residence in their new “Batcave” headquarters, a bunker gifted to them by the “Men of Letters,” and fans of the show will appreciate return visits from recurring characters Sheriff Jodie Mills (Kim Rhodes), Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day), Garth Fitzgerald IV (DJ Qualls), and even Bobby (Jim Beaver) in a dream episode.

23 episodes on Blu-ray and DVD, with commentary on three episodes, a collection of “Men of Letters” featurettes on the bunker and its legacy, a tongue-in-cheek behind-the-scenes featurette created by Misha Collins and featuring the cast and crew, the Comic-Con panel, and deleted scenes, plus an UltraViolet digital copy of the entire season.

Netflix will add the ninth season to its library in October the day after the tenth season debuts, so if you want to catch up before the launch, disc is the only way to do it. Check your local neighborhood video store or call your library if you’re not ready to purchase.

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Revisiting the Road Show Ride of “Supernatural” on Season Two Blu-ray

Supernatural: The Complete Second Season” (Warner)

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures so I offer this as a guilt-free pleasure. The WB road show series about brothers Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) tracking down reports of supernatural phenomenon in a ’67 Chevy Impala began as a youth take on Kolchak: The Night Stalker by way of The X-Files and turned into a lively post-Buffy series about freelance holy warriors on a personal mission. The cult series picked up dedicated fans caught up in the show’s mythology of demons and angels and is going so strong that the earlier seasons are now getting the Blu-ray treatment.

This season follows the once estranged brothers on a journey to track the demon that killed their mother and, in the season debut, their father (guest star Jeffrey Dean Morgan). By the end of the season, where the legacy of the brothers is finally revealed, the costs are even higher: a deal with the devil and a whole new war when a small army of demons is freed from hell and unleashed upon the Earth.

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TV on DVD 09/07/10 – More from Chuck and The Office crew, plus Norm is Less Than Perfect

It’s two weddings, a birth and a funeral for Dunder Mifflin in The Office: Season Six (Universal). Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) have their wedding at Niagara Falls, complete with a back-up plan because any wedding involving their blindly insensitive, blithely sexist and attention-starved boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is vulnerable to disaster, but they return to a company on the verge of bankruptcy. Plus Pan gives birth, Andy (Ed Helms) woos Erin (Ellie Kemper) with his usual graceless, sweetly blundering innocence, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) continues his schemes to get Jim fired and Dunder Mifflin gets a new owner: Sabre industries and its straight-talking Texas owner Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates). It’s hard to believe that the docu-reality show gimmick has not worn thin after all these years, but the show has continued to evolve and remain strong for six seasons. The seventh season—and the last season with star Steve Carell—begins in late September.

Your Office Staff

26 episodes on five discs (four on Blu-ray) in a fold-out digipak, plus commentary on four episodes, an extended version of one episode, the complete “Welcome to Sabre” corporate video (which the office-mates probably should have watched before composing a welcome song extolling the virtues of “saw-bray”), a podcast mini-sode and two hours of deleted scenes among the supplements. The Blu-ray features the usual interactive BD-Live functions along with a new feature: it will also allow viewers BD-Live access to the first few Season Seven episodes of The Office after they’ve aired.

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