HEROES Season 1 and 2 Arrives on Blu-ray This Week

     August 25, 2008

Written by Rachel

If you don’t know what Heroes is by now you probably have been living either under a rock on a high, far away mountain or just never watch TV or leave your house because even if you don’t watch the show it’s hard to go ten feet without tripping over some kind of ad for it (and if you live in LA like I do, you also constantly get bombarded with giant billboards of Hayden Panettiere looking just that much more pretty then you.) If you really don’t know about the show you probably should go check out the Heroes Wiki for a complete explanation of the show, the characters, all the convoluted plots and secrets, and the male cast’s amazing ability to loose their shirts at least once an episode, because I’m mainly just going to cover all the nifty features on the Blu-ray discs here.

I’ve basically been a fan of the show since Jeff Loeb showed the original 73 minute pilot at Comic Con in 2006. I’ve watched it on TV, played on the website, and delved through all the special features on the season one box set. Therefore, when I heard that that both seasons were coming out on Blu-ray, I reacted with a level of incoherent joy that was just embarrassing, there was nothing else to do but to turn on the television, pop it in the PS3 and get to work.

To start off, it has to be said, Heroes is the kind of show that has to be watched in HD, you can watch it regularly and have no problems, but with the way that it’s filmed and the level of special effects present in the show, watching it in HD is nothing short of amazing. Watching it on Blu-ray however, is like watching a full length feature film in the theater except it’s all in your living room. The picture quality is astounding; everything is crystal clear, the colors are vibrant and even things out of focus in the background look wonderful. The shots of the cast are so clear you can see details of color in their eyes.

One of the first things I did was skip around in the episodes looking for my favorite special effects shots, which are pretty much staggering; sweeping shots of the city as Peter dreams of flying, Sylar telekinetically lifting all the pieces of glass in Mohinder’s apartment, Claire healing completely after exploding, it just all complements the amount of time and work that the makers of the show have put into crafting everything look as brilliant as possible. Blu-ray technology is, to put it simply, mind blowing, and Heroes is exactly the sort of show you want to watch on it.

They amped up the special features for season one, fixing a lot of the mistakes that I felt the original regular and HD versions had. The commentaries are now complete with the video footage that was originally only available on the website and were sadly missing from the box sets (which was annoying because not everyone can stream video.) There is a feature that allows you too take a closer look at Isaac’s paintings as they show up in the episode, and even a option that allows you too keep up with all the different connections all the different characters have with each other, though in a slightly strange way, giving info that fans of the show would already know. This feature is not for the fans of the show, it’s more for those people who are watching for the first time, which is great as it allows more people to gain interest in it (though they do contain some fun facts, like how Sylar’s power is actually named as “intuitive aptitude,” which hasn’t actually been discussed in the show.) These, along with all the original features that were already present on the other box sets, are always fun to play around with.

Season two also has “picture in picture” cast and crew commentaries, the bios of all the different characters and all the different connections that they have with each other, but in a cool map form that actually gets updated as the show progresses. The regular but always intriguing documentaries of the making of the show and deleted scenes from the episodes, as well as some of the cool things that they had only released on the NBC website previously, like the information on Richard Drucker and the History Channel-like documentary on Tekazo Kensei. They also include the alternate ending to episode 11 “Powerless,” with a featurette of the creators of the show talking about what they had had in mind for where they would have been going in the show before the writer’s strike forced the production to go dark for a time. This is actually very fascinating, as it shows the differences in the episode has it was supposed to be and how it aired, with missing scenes from that episode and a collection of scenes they had shot for future episodes. Both sets also come with the feature to record your favorite scenes onto your player to watch whenever you like, without having to get out the box set every time you want to watch Hiro mispronounce “villains” at Nathan.

But the Blu-ray discs also have some problems. Because of the lack of space on the box and the way the menus are set up, there is little to no way to figure out what each feature is about or what cast and crew is commenting on an episode without having to open up the feature itself, which is annoying. Season one is well rounded enough with all the features evenly spread out, but the season two box set is sort of an example in wasted space. The first two discs have four episodes each and a decent amount of features, but the third disc has two episodes and two deleted scenes and the last disc, even with the alternate ending featurette, has only one episode and nothing much else.

With so few episodes to the season and the amount of space available on the discs, the fourth disc seems a little extraneous. What is also lacking, but perhaps this is a personal gripe, is that for a show so surrounded with mysteries and secrets and strange connections, there are no easter eggs to be found on either box set, they could have added more hidden information to look for, or possibly added some more of the NBC website features having to do with Hana Gitleman, even some games would be nice (though perhaps that is why there is so much extra room on the season 2 box set, perhaps I just haven’t found them yet.) I just think that with all the secret ways you can find special hidden information on the websites and such, it’s surprising there is not much of that same feeling present in the box sets.

All in all, the box sets are amazing, and must buy if you are a fan of the show.

Season One Blu-ray Box Set ratings:

Show: A

Picture: A

Audio: A

Special Features: A- (there could have been more of them, but the new additions are fun and engaging)

Overall: A

Season Two Blu-ray Box Set ratings:

Show: C (an awesome box set still cannot make up for the failings of a bad season in my books unfortunately)

Picture: A

Audio: A

Special Features: B (still not enough really and not as engaging as season one’s, but the alternate ending feature is still pretty awesome)

Overall: B

Finally, you can also read our season one DVD review here and our season two DVD review here.

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