Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weeds: Season Five Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 Size: 43.9 GB
Disc 2 Size: 45.2 GB
Show Rating: Not Rated
Region: A
Weeds: Season Five comes to Blu-ray with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations for all 13 episodes. Season Five is definitely the most impressive looking season of Weeds yet. Detail is much stronger this season and there are many moments where the show exhibits quality that compares to the best high-def film releases.

Colors are rich and vibrant; there is never a dull moment this season. It’s great when you can see a scene in high-definition, and whether it’s a close-up or wide shot, it’s always impressive. I was thoroughly amazed at times at how clear everything in the shot can be.

Each episode also features so much depth to it and the image really pops off the screen. Weeds does not have the tropical island that comes with Lost, but Weeds still compares quality-wise. Weeds Season One may not have been the most impressive season visually, but season by season the show has become a much better looking show.

Weeds: Season Five is stunning in high-definition and ranks among the best looking television shows and even movies on Blu-ray. I was definitely expecting a strong video presentation like the previous season, but since then it’s only gotten better. 10/10.

A 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included for each episode and sounds just as good as the previous season on Blu-ray. Weeds is a show that does not necessarily call for a 7.1 surround track as the show is not an intense series like Lost, Prison Break, or 24. It’s a dark comedy, which does feature lots of drama, just not explosion-style drama.

The typical scene is quite quiet and there are not as many big outdoor scenes that really call for surround use, but the audio team definitely found some great surround sound placements without sounding random. There are occasions such as when Celia opens a chest to find a dead surprise in which flies begin to fly out of and we hear them throughout the expanded surround area.

It’s the little details that make the track extra pleasing and quite impressive. Dialogue is always crisp and clear in each episode and the show’s music comes through beautifully as well. This track is not something I would use to demo 7.1 surround sound whatsoever as the show is more quiet toned, but I am definitely impressed that a dark comedy television show could be this nice. 8/10.


Disc 1:

“Wonderful, Wonderful” Audio Commentary
With Jenji Kohan.

“Su-Su-Sucio” Audio Commentary
With Roberto Benabib & Matthew Salsberg.

“Van Nuys” Audio Commentary
With Hunter Parrish & Kevin Nealon.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” Audio Commentary
With Roberto Benabib, Kevin Nealon & Matthew Salsberg.

History of Weed (1:58) (SD)
An animated sequence that travels around the globe and features facts regarding the history of weed.

Yes We Cannabis (1:01) (SD)
A promotional trailer for this season, which spoofs the ‘Yes We Can’ presidential campaign.

Little Titles (3:17) (HD)
See the opening titles for all 13 episodes back-to-back with commentary from Jenji Kohan explaining each one.

Save your favorite scenes or where you left off, allowing you to return to them later.

Disc 2:

“Ducks and Tigers” Audio Commentary
With Justin Kirk & Alanis Morissette.

“Glue” Audio Commentary
With Elizabeth Perkins, Allie Grant & Andy Milder.

“All About My Mom” Audio Commentary
With Jenji Kohan.

Really Backstage with Kevin Nealon (11:08) (HD)
Footage shot on the set of “Weeds” by actor Kevin Nealon.

Crazy Love (12:15) (HD)
A guide to the dysfunctional relationships of “Weeds.”

Bloopers (11:05) (HD)
The bloopers on this release are absolutely hilarious and quite lengthy.

University of Andy (33:56) (SD)
Andy’s webisodes are included and are presented in standard-definition.

Blu-ray Disc Production Credits

Save your favorite scenes or where you left off, allowing you to return to them later.

For a 2-disc set I am very pleased by the extras included on this release. The audio commentaries are nice and the featurettes are very funny. Crazy Love is a great feature and the bloopers provided are absolutely hilarious. There are additional webisodes and history of weed features to keep you busy as well. I am pleased Lionsgate Home Entertainment managed to fill both discs with content and I am very happy by the features on this release. 8/10.

Blu-news Summary
I can’t believe it’s been five seasons of Weeds already, while the show has hit some bumps in the road and did turn off some viewers, I actually think the show is just as strong as the first couple of seasons. I can understand the dislike for changes that occurred between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth season, but changes have come and settled.

The show has finally settled into a new location with all new characters and situations. Nancy Botwin played by Mary-Louise Parker is back and much more enjoyable than the previous season. All the major characters from the previous seasons are back as well with the addition of a few new problematic characters.

Nancy Botwin has some drastic changes this season, baby drama, a dangerous relationship, and problems with her own children and friends. The cover art for the season reflects what a tangled up web Nancy has fallen into. The kids of the show are getting older and it’s definitely strange to see Shane Botwin as a developed drug dealer at such a young age, reminding us that this comedy is dark.

The show is still extremely funny and the writing is very smart and I am wondering just how the show will come to an end. I do think the upcoming sixth season will be the last for Weeds, or perhaps it should be. If the quality can stay as strong as this season I definitely wouldn’t mind it being even longer. I just hope the show does not take a turn for the worst like we have seen with many other shows of the past.

People always ask me if you have to have experience with weed to get the show’s humor, not at all! Personally, I have never had any involvement with weed nor do I have plans to, but the show is still as addicting for me as it probably is for someone who’s had serious involvement with weed. It’s not about the drugs it’s about the affect it has on Nancy Botwin, her family, her friends, and what a mess she’s gotten herself into since her husband’s death.

Weeds: Season Five is definitely one of my favorites, I feel the show has redeemed itself in many ways for viewers and reminds us why we all fell in love with Weeds to begin with. For those who have not seen the show before, I definitely recommend starting from the very beginning, they are very affordable on Blu-ray. The first season starts off a bit slow, but after the first few episodes the show really picks up and you will be hooked. Weeds: Season Five is a personal must own high-def release and I’m sure if you give it a chance you will enjoy it very much as well.

The Blu-ray release is fantastic, featuring demo quality video presentations and very satisfying audio tracks. Extras on this release are also very good. Weeds: Season Five on Blu-ray is ‘A Must Own’ for fans and ‘Highly Recommended’ to all others.

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