Case Number 26346

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (BLU-RAY)

Warner Bros. // 2012 // 970 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 30th, 2013

The Charge

The only thing that sucks more than vampires is school!

Opening Statement

CW's flagship series charges forward with its fourth season, telling the blood-soaked, twist-heavy tales of Mystic Falls, a town stacked with vampires, witches, werewolves and the most underpaid high school faculty in the world.

Facts of the Case

As if angst and love triangles and American history exams weren't enough of a stress, Stefan (Paul Wesley), Damon (Ian Somerhalder, Lost), Elena (Nina Dobrev) have had to endure the onslaught of Original vampires and their malevolent plans to screw around the supernatural genetic pool. As it typically does, the series ended with a mega-twist, as an important character, namely (DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED ANY PRIOR SEASONS AND HAVE AT LEAST A MODEST INCLINATION TO CHECK OUT THE SERIES) Elena, who found herself sired by Damon and turned into a vampire. Bananas!

This season: more big character changes, a handful of big-time death scenes, the appearance of vampire hunters, more Original tomfoolery (in advance of their own spinoff series) and the biggest, baddest Big Bad yet.

The Evidence

Going to do something different with this part of the review. My wife has been a steady follower of the series since the get-go and, whatever jokes you want to crack about the viewership for the show, I can't say anything because I too had been roped in by its addictive all-or-nothing approach to storytelling. The showrunners ensure you get your money's worth, as each episode sports humongous cliffhangers after commercial breaks. It's got to be a pressure cooker in that writers' room as they strive to come up with game-changers on a weekly basis.

Anyway, for my money, Vampire Diaries is a fun show and it never rests on its laurels and in this day and age of endless procedurals and NCIS spin-offs, you have to tip your cap to a series bold enough to consistently reshuffled the deck. Anyway, my wife:

How did this season compare to others?
It was good. Similar in that there were people dying off every few episodes. And not just small characters: main ones. The big difference was Elena being a vampire.

How did that plotline work out?
She got to do a wide range of things. She could turn off her humanity and become a total bitch, killing people like crazy. Even the brothers, she couldn't care less about them. Nina Dobrev did a good job as an actress. She played two roles, and one of those roles had drastically different personas.

What was your favorite part of the season?
I liked how Klaus was forced to team up with the good guys. They all disliked each other but got along enough to work through their problems.

What was your least favorite part of the season?
Bonnie. Her character consistently did stupid things, often went off on her own the majority of the time, and never stopped whining. Worse, as a so-called powerful witch, she sucked at magic.

How about Silas, the main villain?
His power, changing his appearance, was interesting. Even now, I'm still a little unclear on his motivations.

Why have you stayed with the series?
It always moves along at a nice pace. I like it that major characters are always dying. And now they've all graduated high school, so that pathetic ruse can be dropped.

A top-shelf HD release from Warner Bros. Episodes receive pristine 1.78:1/1080p transfers and active 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks, delivering a total A/V package that continues to impress.

Extras are highlighted by six featurettes:

"Inking the Brotherhood: The Hunter's Mark"

"Creating Silas's Island"

"Blood, Boys, and Bad Behavior: Becoming a Vampire"

"The Evolution of Elena Gilbert"

"The Vampire Diaries: The Ultimate Prop Master"

"The Impact of a Single Show: The Vampire Diaries -- Fan Video"

A gag reel, deleted scenes, a gallery of fan-created artwork, and DVD/Digital Copies of the season round out the offering.

Closing Statement

You can see why Vampire Diaries is CW's bread-and-butter: it's found a formula for addiction, and the rollercoaster keep moving in its fourth season.

The Verdict

Dear Diary: Not Guilty, again! XOXO.

Review content copyright © 2013 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 95
Audio: 95
Extras: 80
Acting: 80
Story: 85
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile
Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)

Subtitles:
* English (SDH)
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 970 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurettes
* Gag Reel
* Gallery
* DVD Copy
* UltraViolet Download

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1405406/combined

* Official Site
http://cwtv.com/shows/the-vampire-diaries

* Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/thevampirediaries