“The Vampire Diaries”: The Complete Fifth Season quality-wise isn’t great but still has some entertaining moments even (or especially) when the dialogue is either corny or laughable. Still, this season never really lost my attention as the actors, for the most, are at least fun to watch, though the absence of Klaus and Rebekah is noticeable.
“The Vampire Diaries”: The Complete Fifth Season
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Warner Bros. | NR – 926 min. – $69.97 | September 16, 2014
THE SEASON – 3.0/5
Season Outline (from back cover): After a sizzling summer with Damon (IAN SOMERHALDER), Elena (NINA DOBREV) leaves Mystic Falls for Whitmore College and moves into a dorm with Caroline (CANDICE ACCOLA) as her roomie, ready for new adventures and new friends. But dark thoughts gnaw at Elena, and soon familiar faces are back in the girls’ lives. There’s Stefan (PAUL WESLEY) with his shadow self, Silas, plus Katherine (DOBREV), who has a diabolical agenda and a jaw-dropping transformation. As the doppelgangers test destiny, pitting the Salvatore brothers against each other, the student body count rises – evidence of powerful forces on campus. The struggle continues between the mysterious Travelers, new witches and our favorite vampires, who must fight for their own survival and, ultimately, the fate of Mystic Falls.
Quick Hit Review: Over the years, I’ve enjoyed some of “The Vampire Diaries” even if it is a teen-centric soap opera which happens to have vampires, hunters and other supernatural beings inhabiting the oft goofy storylines and character changes; just look at how Elena turned from hating Damon, loving Stefan to now head-over-heels for the bad boy/serial killer, though we all know we need to ramp up the drama and that relationship can’t last long… But even with all that, it’s entertaining. Trashy entertainment but entertainment nevertheless.
What helps with the lousy storylines and laughable dialogue (“You can’t touch me and I can’t touch you because I’m dead,” was supposed to come off sad and dramatic but the delivery, along with the line made me chuckle) is the fact the chemistry between most of the cast is great and overcome the many shortcomings this series has and which has only seemingly increased over the past few seasons now as writers attempt to bleed (pun intended) more drama out of something that had limited (not dissimilar to “True Blood”). Nina Dobrev does well playing two sides, one the nice girl in Elena and the other as Katherine, bad girl and bad ass quasi-antihero in an apparent replacement for Klaus and Rebekah (although both do make a couple of minor appearances this season) who moved on to spin-off series, “The Originals.”
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
- True Lies
- Original Sin
- For Whom the Bell Tolls
- Monster’s Ball
- Handle with Care
- Death and the Maiden
- Dead Man on Campus
- The Cell
- Fifty Shades of Grayson
- 500 Years of Solitude
- The Devil Inside
- Total Eclipse of the Heart
- No Exit
- Gone Girl
- While You Were Sleeping
- Rescue Me
- Resident Evil
- Man on Fire
- What Lies Beneath
- Promised Land
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This 9-disc set (4 BDs, 5 DVDs) are contained in an extra-wide Blu-ray case which slides into a matted slip cover. Also inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy and a fold-out episode guide.
2013 Comic Con Panel (30:36; HD) has members of the cast (Kat Graham, Ian Somerholder, Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Candice Accola) and crew answering questions about the fifth season.
I Know What You Did… In the Last 100 Episodes (10:15; HD) – The cast and producers reflect on some of the most memorable moments from the first 100 episodes as well as answer trivia questions.
“The Vampire Diaries”: To the Other Side and Back (10:35; HD) explores the mythology of “the other side.”
A Day in the Afterlife with Kat Graham (7:02; HD) – The actress takes us along for a ride, showing us the other side of her day and what it takes to become Bonnie Bennett.
Unaired Scenes (14:26; HD) on ‘True Lies,’ ‘Monster’s Ball,’ ‘Dead Man on Campus,’ ‘500 Years of Solitude,’ ‘The Devil Inside,’ ‘No Exit,’ and ‘Resident Evil’
Lastly we get a Gag Reel (5:03; HD).
VIDEO – 4.5/5
“The Vampire Diaries”: The Complete Fifth Season sinks its teeth onto Blu-ray presented in its original televised 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). Much like the other seasons, this one looks great in HD with often times bright colors during daylight scenes to the starkness for the dark ones showing no signs of artifacting, pixilation or banding. Detail levels are also quite impressive especially for the close-ups and even some of the background objects. It’s a fine transfer that is modestly better than its 780p airing.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is what I consider adequate, just not very expansive. Dialogue levels at least are relatively crisp and clear and some of the sound effects aren’t bad, but at the same time, it’s not especially dynamic where some of it just comes off as flat at times. Still, when the soundtrack kicks in, be it the score or choice pop/teen music, it’s bad.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, “The Vampire Diaries”: The Complete Fifth Season quality-wise isn’t great but still has some entertaining moments even (or especially) when the dialogue is either corny or laughable. Still, this season never really lost my attention as the actors, for the most, are at least fun to watch, though the absence of Klaus and Rebekah is noticeable. The Blu-ray released by Warner Brothers does offer good/great audio and video transfers and a reasonable amount of bonus material for fans to peruse.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.