The Originals: The Fifth and Final Season - DVD Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    The Originals: The Fifth and Final Season

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    Movie: :3.5stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :2stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    Guilty pleasures are a part of life, especially in the TV universe. I don’t know why, but while I enjoy guilty pleasures in the movie world, there’s something lazy and accessible about a cheesy TV show. The ability to watch 22 to 44 minutes at a time and not be mired down make them easier to digest, but in the midst of “TV Season” (what I like to call from August – October, when 90% of the home video releases of TV shows come to market) I have a this inexplicable urge to binge watch a few of my guilty pleasures. One of the guiltiest of these binges is me sitting down with a few beers (or glasses of wine) and hitting up The Originals seasons in a matter of 3-4 days. I have no idea WHY I like The Originals as much as I do, as the show is rife with “The CW angst”, as we ll as a few melodramatic leftovers from it’s predecessor series, The Vampire Diaries. I HATED The Vampire Diaries with a living passion and firmly expected to hate The Originals when I learned they were spinning off of it, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by the show. It’s a bit darker, a bit more violent, and the melodrama is much much lower than said previous show, leaving me with the surprising feeling of enjoyment. Maybe it’s the super powered action with witches, werewolves and other beasts that keeps the angsty nature of vampires from absorbing the show, or maybe it’s because the Mikaelsons actually have really great chemistry. I’m not exactly sure, but it’s been a fun 5 year ride for sure.

    After the Miakaelson clan absorbed the power of the Hollow into their bodies last season, much time has passed. 7 years of them separated from Hope in order to ensure her safety has gone by, and while they have relegated themselves to never coming back to their homeland, Hope has other other plans. After their 7 year hiatus, Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), Rebekah (Claire Holt) and Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) are back in town, and this time they are coming with a great evil in their wake.

    It’s a bit of a lapse, but New Orleans is in relative peace thanks to Hayley, Freya, Josh and Vincent acting as go betweens to keep the supernatural beings in check. The witches, wolves, vampires and other mystical beings that haunt the city are at an uncomfortable truce, but you can bet that is coming to an end when Klaus (it’s always Klaus) decides to break the promise to stay away and returns to New Orleans, bringing with him the rest of his siblings (mostly to wipe up his messes) and with that returns, brings the 4 separated powers of the hollow together, and that’s not something New Orleans needs ever again.
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    As with the last few seasons, the angst is a bit high on this years 13 episode arc, AND we have the added “benefit” of having Hope be a teenager at this point in her life. Yes, teenagers are almost always annoying, and Hope is no different. There’s a chuckle worthy scene in the first episode where she turns her werewolf buddy Henry into a hybrid due to him being picked on, and when she is caught for breaking the rules, responds with a cheeky “my blood, my choice” (a bit of a different take on the “my body, my choice” mantra of today). However, as much as there is some angst and romance in the air (we finally get to see Rebekah and Marcel gain some happiness), this is ALL about the remaining Mikaelson’s and their “always and forever” promise of over 1,000 years.

    I won’t give anything away, but I really liked how they ended the series after 5 years. The Mikaelsons, no matter how much you love them, are monsters at hear and it’s always been a bit of a rough time rooting for them, especially Klaus. The man you just love to hate. Needless to say, they end the series on a bittersweet note, with some of our most beloved characters having to cross that rainbow bridge, while allowing for some personal redemption as well. I have to tiptoe around it, for as much as some of us saw this coming, it’s a major plot point for the second half of the season and anymore description of it will give too much away.

    However, don’t let this get you down. The series is as bloody and fun as ever, giving us more powerful witches, vampires and even a glimpse at some of the older, deader characters that we’ve met in the past (in a supernatural series, the past is not always buried THAT well). I’ve stuck to it that the real benefit and pull of The Originals is the Mikaelson family and their chemistry. Klaus is the monster that we LOVE to see unleashed on his enemies, but hate at the same time due to his insatiable love for violence sabotaging everyone around him. Elijah is the majestic leader of their family clan, but his barely contained posh accent lends him an air of authority and devilish rakishness that really has him as the favorite. The rest, while neat, still always play second fiddle to the two major brothers, are only matched by the ever appealing Marcel (their progeny) as one of the highest rated characters of the series. As is the case for all series, it must come to an end, and the series does so on a good level, not allowing itself to devolve into silly “happy endings”, but giving us a balance of pain, self sacrifice, and just enough happiness to keep it from being too morose.




    Rating:

    Rated TV-14 by the MPAA




    Video: :4stars:
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    As with the last 2 season's I've reviewed of The Originals on DVD, there is a fairly stable consensus on the visual look of the series. The show is heavily dark and gloomy, with most of the show's scenes being shot in night time (werewolves, witches and vampires, duh), which does have a tendency to lend itself towards some black crush and some digital noise. It's never too wild, but it is noticeable, especially in candle lit arenas where the color banding can be seen. In daylight shots and above ground New Orleans shots, we get a more natural look, with colors that are given a honey colored glow and some solid primary pops, such as blood dripping from a neck, or a splash of the infamous New Orleans night life. The shadow detail is very solid, showing us good up close facial shots, and the longer shots of the city are appropriately detailed. There's some mild softness that has followed the series from beginning to end, giving the show a lightly gauzy appearance, but this seems to be stylistic (or at least relegated to the shooting style) more than a technical glitch with the discs.






    Audio: :4stars:
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    Yup, broken record, yadda yadda yadda. The Originals: The Fifth and Final Season comes with a standard fare Dolby Digital 5.1 track that really is a joy to listen to. Powerful, aggressive, and rich, the 5.1 mix is fantastically nuanced and hits all of the check boxes to create a solid three dimensional sound. The LFE is punchy and tight, adding some weight to the CW theme song, as well as that rumble and boom during the supernatural vampire fights. Impacts and blows are weighty and meaty, while the sounds of New Orleans night life uses the surrounds with great aplomb. The dynamic range for the show has always been one of its strong suits, and season five continues that tradition by having quite moments of dialog suddenly interrupted by an explosion or "whoosh" of supernatural beings. I was sad that there appears to be no option for the Blu-ray if you want the fuller lossless track (Season 5 seems ONLY on DVD, and there is no hints at a Warner Archive release like the previous two years), but the DVD is more than capable of delivering the goods.






    Extras: :2stars:
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    The Originals: 2017 Comic Con Panel
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Gag Reel









    Final Score: :3.5stars:


    It's kind of sad whenever a fairly long running series comes to a close. Especially when you've enjoyed the ride, as you have to watch "friends" fade off into the background and the realization sinks in that you won't get to see more episodes the following season. The Originals may not have been an epic series that will be later hailed as a modern classic, but it was a fun vampire series that was head and shoulders over it's cousin, The Vampire Diaries (despite being pretty angst ridden itself in later seasons), and has been a rather enjoyable fantasy romp. The final season throws everything at the viewer this year and goes out with the proverbial bang, leaving me actually rather impressed with how they handled the ending of the show (too many series fall into the trap of wanting to hedge their bets and leave an OPTION for another season in case of cancellation), and the show has a sweet taste to it's final last few episodes. Once again, Warner does a solid job on the technical specs for the DVD series (sadly no Blu-ray option, even for Warner Archive), and is a definite pickup if you've been keeping up with the series up until this point.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin
    Created by: Julie Plec
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
    Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese DD 5.1
    Subtitles: English, French
    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Rated: TV-14
    Runtime: 548 Minutes
    DVD Release Date: October 2nd, 2018







    Recommendation: Fun Watch

     
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  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review. Now that the series is over, I will have to check it out from the start - season 1. lol. :)
     
  3. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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  4. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    lol. I don't watch a lot of the series "live" and often only catch up once the entire series is over. I do love to Binge and just go from season 1 to whatever the last season it is within a few days. Streaming is the way to go for these type of shows. :)
     

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