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Supergirl: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

Supergirl has remained one of the strongest rated shows in the CW lineup, continuing to grow and improve with every single year. Melissa Benoist and supporting cast shine year in and year out, introducing terrific guests and villains into the mix while showcasing some impressing comic book supernatural action for the small screen. As per usual, the “girl of steel” will be making the annual trip to Blu-ray with her previous season. Unfortunately it comes with the uniform bonus features found across the other CW Arrow’verse sets and nothing beholden to this show exclusively. Nonetheless, that’s fine for all the Supergirl-only fans out there and its the show you ultimately want to collect when its all said and done. You’ll be able to grab this one online and in-stores when Warner Bros releases it on September 17th. 

Season 

In season four, Supergirl faces a bigger threat than she’s ever faced before – a new wave of anti-alien sentiment, spreading across National City that’s fomented by Agent Liberty.  As Kara mentors a new reporter at CatCo, Nia Nal, and tries to use the power of the press to shine a light on the issues threatening to tear the city apart, Supergirl takes to the skies to battle the many villains who rise up in this era of divisiveness.  But how does Supergirl battle a movement when she, herself an alien, represents one of the main things people are fearful of?

In my opinion, I felt Supergirl’s fourth season hit its highest marks and is the season with which to set the bar for however many may follow. The show came swinging out of the gates and was completely topical from start to finish. But, it was done in a very tasteful manner and not a harsh finger wagging, forceful way. I was actually pretty impressed with the tact and amount of understanding that went into trying to provoke conversation on touchy topics and how to approach them. Showing where some might go wrong and what it is that may lead people down such a path. Of course I’m talking about Sam Witwer’s turn as Agent Liberty. This was a pretty heavy topic to cover and I think the show did quite well with it. It hits very close to home in today’s America, but it didn’t approach things in an “unwatchable” or invading escapism type of way.

For the back half of the season, they finally dropped in Lex Luthor to the fold. In typical fashion of these DC shows, they reached back to their alumni bin and pulled out Jon Cryer who had previously played “Lenny Luthor” in the beloved (#sarcasm) fourth entry of the Christopher Reeves-led Superman films (Hmmm, Cryer in the fourth movie and the fourth season of a Super series). He brings a fantastic level of dread, cunning stealth planning and menace that really enhances the back half of the season and brings a great piece of villainy for the show we haven’t seen before as he affects most all of our characters in some fashion. Also, Benoist gets to have some fun this season in a dual role as a villain character. The season rides high with good turns, twists, social commentary and character arcs that really come together to form its best season.

Episodes

1. American Alien

2. Fallout

3. Man of Steel

4. Ahimsa

5. Parasite Lost

6. Call to Action

7. Rather the Fallen Angel

8. Bunker Hill

9. Elseworlds: Hour One

10. Elseworlds: Hour Two

11. Elseworlds: Hour Three

12. Suspicious Minds

13. Blood Memory

14. Menagerie

15. What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

16. Stand and Deliver

17. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

18. The House of L

19. All About Eve

20. Crime and Punishment

21. American Dreamer

22. Will the Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?

23. Red Dawn

24. The Quest for Peace

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  Supergirl’s fourth season comes to Blu-ray with a business as usual image.  The picture quality holds up to its first season and stand strong with its other CW Arrowverse family. Like always, the Blu-ray provides a step up from its HD broadcast appearance.  Motion, crispness, sharpness improve. Detail is very high.  The show is probably the brightest looking of all the other Arrow-verse programming and that lends itself to a wonderful looking image.

Depth:  Background and foreground imagery have a nice spacey relationship with good clarity. This fourth year has a real nice 3 dimensional work going on here, especially during some in air and flying sequences.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and inky.  No crushing witnessed.  Good shading and no real detail lost in the darkness.

Color Reproduction:  Coloring is rich and vibrant here.  Setting her apart from the other shows on the network, Supergirl’s city is bright, tropical and features lots of poppy colors, including her blonde hair.  Blues, reds, yellows…everything looks beautiful.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural with a consistent appearance throughout.  Facial details are window-clear in the bright image, displaying make-up, lip texture, wrinkles, stubble and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics:  Supergirl flies into Blu-ray for the third time with another terrific 5.1 presentation.  The mix is a great balance of the score/music, vocals and sound effects.  Things punch up and get effectively loud during some intense battle sequences but also let up for a lot of office and apartment scenes with dialogue taking the lead.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  Crashing, explosions, blasting, punching and much more (Including some dance beats) all thump your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Mostly front focused, there is some great ambiance and enhancements that feature in the rear speakers.  Front channels give a good toss around playing with movement and distance emanating from the screen.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is loud, crisp and provides excellent clarity.

Extras 

Supergirl: The Complete Fourth Season is a 4-Disc set that comes with an episode guide insert sheet and a digital copy of every episode.

Disc 1

Deleted Scenes (HD, 2:28)

Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2018 (HD, 1:00:59) – Featuring footage of all DC TV super hero show panels (Likely the best moments) that are intro’d by some autograph session footage and some back stage interviews. This feature aslo appears on every show’s 2018-19 season set.

Disc 2

Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds (HD, 45:01) – This set up like a talkshow, features a roundtable of the all DC TV shows’ creators discussion the big crossover event. It also features some interviews and thoughts from a few comic creators and writers (If you’ve seen DCAU Blu-ray special features, you’ll recognize many familiar faces). Also was featured on the Arrow and Flash sets.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 3:01)

Disc 3

Villains: Modes of Persuasion (HD, 38:05) – A rather terrific mini documentary on the history and psychology of the legendary and rich history of DC villains. Showrunners (Like David Goyer), producers, writers and more chime in to discuss the man across all DC shows (Not just CW ones, Gotham, Krypton and animated shows get their due as well). This, too, has appeared on the other sets.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:35) 

Disc 4

Deleted Scenes (HD, 10:27) 

Gag Reel (HD, 7:28)

Summary 

Supergirl hits it fourth season with good stride, producing its strongest yet. The Blu-ray release provides its naturally strong image and audio, which follows suit across it and the rest of the CW Arrow-verse programming on the format. Unfortunately aside from deleted scenes and the gag reel, none of the featurettes are beholden to this show specifically, but it does cover the stuff you want. Another solid pick up for your collectors.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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