Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
"The Vampire Diaries" continues its sixth season with more delicious drama to sink your teeth into. In season five, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back — with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side. Plus, the season will make you misty-eyed as the departure of a major character will turn lives upside down and leave us asking what happened to Mystic Falls.
Show (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The first five seasons of "The Vampire Diaries" centered around Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and the town of Mystic Falls.  She’s lost most of the people she loved, including her parents. Her two best friends are Caroline (Candace Accola) and Bonnie (Kat Graham).  Elena has been in love with Stefan Salvatore and then his brother Damon.  Fans have been picking sides Team Damon (Ian Somerhalder), or Team Stefan (Paul Wesley) for years but at the end of the fifth season, Elena is very much in love with Damon.  Elena is headed to Whitmore College with Caroline after mourning the loss of Bonnie. 

A group of travelers cast a magic cancelling spell. Mystic Falls is now free of witchcraft and vampires cannot enter. The previous season finale showed Damon making a dramatic sacrifice to save his loved ones as the Other Side crumbled. Death was never the end for many characters who died over the years.  There were many loopholes and workarounds. If the Other Side truly disappears, anyone there is lost for good. Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis) has recently made a return from the Other Side.

With all the drama and loss that the characters have been through, this was by far the most emotional season.  The sixth season brings the departure of a major character.  If you’ve watched all the seasons you’ll feel as if the finale isn’t about the characters as much as it is about a really close cast saying goodbye to a friend. The tears are very real and all the primary actors have a teary scene saying goodbye to the departing cast mate.

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season contains the following episodes:

Disc One

1. “I’ll Remember” – Elena returns to Whitmore College and has found a unique way to deal with the loss of Damon. Caroline refuses to give up on Stefan and Alaric meets Jo.
2. “Yellow Ledbetter” – Stefan has left town and isn’t living the life his friends think. Damon and Bonnie are stuck together, trying to find a way back home. Elena asks for help moving on.
3. “Welcome to Paradise” – Damon is unprepared for Elena’s state as he returns home. Damon and Bonnie explore their world and think they may not be alone. Enzo has created a new vampire and she needs babysitting. 
4. “Black Hole Sun” – Damon and Bonnie are closer to making the journey home and Damon realizes that the ‘groundhog day’ has meaning.
5. “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” – Elena invites Liam to the corn maze and Liv makes a huge sacrifice to save Tyler’s future.
6. “The More You Ignore, the Closer I Get” - Alaric asks for Elena’s help. He wants to know why he can’t compel Jo when he wants her to forget about him.

Disc Two

7. “Do You Remember the First Time?” - The tragedies in Jo’s past are revealed including murder and a current threat to be concerned about.
8. “Fade Into You” – It’s Friendsgiving and Caroline insists on having all her friends present, except Stefan. Even Damon is invited to the party, and he’s usually everyone’s least favorite guest.
9.“I Alone” – Liv tries to help bring Bonnie back to the real world. Things don’t go as planned leaving Liv with a very difficult decision.
10. “Christmas Through Your Eyes” – Bonnie celebrates the holidays while remembering better times with her closest friends.
11. “Woke Up With a Monster” – Elena is Kai’s prisoner while he learns to wield his new magic. Enzo surprises Stefan who has traveled to North Carolina with Caroline.
12. “Prayer for the Dying” – Caroline’s idea to cure her mother’s illness doesn’t go according to plan. Caroline’s friends gather at the hospital to support Caroline and Sheriff Forbes.

Disc Three

13. “The Day I Tried to Live” - It’s Bonnie’s birthday and her friends try to send her a message. Jeremy wants out of Mystic Falls all together.
14. “Stay” – Sheriff Forbes journey is coming to an end and Elena deals with Jeremy’s last day in Mystic Falls.
15. “Let Her Go” – Damon looks back on his relationship with his mother and his regrets. Caroline is exhibiting disturbing behavior as she deals with her loss.
16. “The Downward Spiral” - Caroline shuts off her humanity to avoid her feelings about her mother. She tells her friends her plan and the consequences of trying to interfere. 
17. “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” – Damon travels back in time to the prison world from 1903. Damon also receives a powerful gift from Bonnie.
18. “I Never Could Love Like That” – Jo’s pregnancy is revealed. Stefan and Caroline’s are leaving a big mess in their wake which Elena tries to clean up.
19. “Because” – Damon considers a human life with Elena. Enzo learns about the day he became immortal.
20. “I’d Leave My Happy Home For You” – Matt and Tyler’s relationship continues to unravel. Elena seeks advice from Bonnie and Jo. Lily is in a bad place, dealing with her past and her actions.
21. “I’ll Wed You in the Golden Summertime” – Alaric and Jo hope for the best on their wedding day but from the beginning Jo’s problems are mounting.
22. “I’m Thinking of You All the While” – Tragedy strikes and the sorrow is widespread and heartbreaking in the season finale.

Season six of "The Vampire Diaries" has some very interesting elements.  Elena spends the first half of the season living in a fantasy world to avoid dealing with the loss of Damon and then has the memories compelled away.  Throughout the series the vampires have used compulsion for a lot of things but no one has ever asked for it.  The vamps also have a history of using their blood to heal a variety of ailments but we learn that cancer is beyond its limits.

The second half of the season is incredibly dramatic and sad.  The loss of Sheriff Forbes is profound, but sadly not the only tragedy that will strike. Critics no doubt poke fun at the teenage vamps and their problems but this season the actors really stepped up their game with very touching performances, including an incredible amount of goodbyes. Watching the special features, you learn that the cast is very close and had a lot to draw from as cast members move on after six years together.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Although they have daylight rings, much of the action take place at night. The 1080p high definition Blu-ray looks very good in both daylight and night. The show is seen in a 16x9 1.78:1 widescreen ratio.  Skin tones (for the humans) are accurate and consistent. The fine detail allows you to see the vampires’ eye veins bulge as they feed. All the effects are authentic looking and the colors of blood you’ll encounter runs the spectrum from red to black.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The Vampire Diaries:  The Complete Sixth Season features  DTS-HD Master Audio sound is just as good as the video presentation.  Screams are piercing, but dialogue intelligible. This season features an amazing song sung by one of the cast members that echoes through the church, and in turn your living room.
Extras (4 out of 5 stars)
  • The Vampire Diaries: Best. Reactions. Ever. (6:09) - The cast reads fan Tweets and comment on the reactions they get from the Twitterverse.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Good Bite and Good Luck (13:30) – Watch the cast say goodbye to Nina Dobrev with a peek at a very messy series wrap. Steven R. McQueen and Michael Trevino also say goodbye to Mystic Falls and their fellow castmates.
  • Second Bite: Gag Reel (4:17) – Fun times on set with the cast.
  • Come Visit Georgia PSA (2:33) Another inventive PSA, different from the one done by The Originals.
  • Comic Con Panel 2014 – Julie Plec and cast discuss the show and answer fan questions.
  • Deleted Scenes – Scenes from “Black Hole Sun”, “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here”, “Do You Remember the First Time”, “Fade Into You”, “Woke Up With a Monster”, “Prayer for the Dying”, “Stay”, “Let Her Go”, “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” and “I’m Thinking of You All the While”.
  • Audio Commentary - Writer/Director Julie Plec discusses “Let Her Go”.
Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
Fans of the show certainly will not make it through season six with a dry eye.  It’s full of drama and features exits of main characters.  The special features are a nice compliment to the series. The show itself touches on a lot of interesting ideas about dealing with loss and what it’s like to be immortal and have the chance to go back. You certainly don’t want to start with season six, but I recommend starting at the beginning and continuing through this season.

 Order your copy today!

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