HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The 100 - Season 3
HTS Overall Score:81
“The 100” has been one of those series that REALLY started out on the wrong foot. The first season was arguably one of the worst CW opening seasons in quite some time, with a completely unlikeable lineup of characters and a bleak setting that just DEPRESSED you. The season finale showed a modicum of interest at expanding the universe but I wasn’t really expecting much. Season two turned the series around by being the peak of the series to date with a MUCH better experience. Season 3 is about on par with season 2 (which is a huge relief) but is a little more uneven in its delivery. There are some really skunky things they did that related back to the days of season 1, *cough*lexa’s death*cough*, but also some REALLY awesome moments that act as the best parts out of the whole series.
Well, last time we left off the Ark had come down to Earth and the adults were FINALLY completely reunited with the survivors that they sent down as canaries in the coal mine during season 1. Factions have split off and the group is no longer as homogenous. Clarke (Eliza Taylor) has become sick of the person she had to become in order to save the rest of them and has gone rogue, while the remaining survivors of the ark crash are scattered around the vicinity, making their way back to ground zero in hopes of reuniting with the rest of the human race, and of course the few that have their own agenda.
Thelonious Jaha (Isiah Washington) has had his spiritual awakening and after an encounter an automated A.I. at the city of light, is now determined to populate the city under the A.I.’s notion of utopia as best he can. Joining up with the rogue John Murphy (Richard Harmon) the two wind their way back to cause more havoc along the way.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75225[/img]Some things go REALLY right for the series, especially with Clarke and Bellamy, a character who you LOATHED in season one. His character arc sadly seems to be stuck a little bit, as he doesn’t seem to have much growth over his season 2 counterpart, but his integration into the show is vital. Sadly there are also some really UCKY changes in the show, especially dealing with the inevitable death of Lexa. We all knew it was coming, especially with her growing attraction to Clarke. Not to mention the fact that after how awesome she became there were rumors of her not being able to stick around show. Thus you have this amazing character that everyone wants to see but the actress is unavailable. Like I said, inevitable. Even then my complaint doesn’t arise from killing her off. NO ONE is safe in “The 100”, but it’s HOW they did it. It felt almost like an afterthought instead of letting the fan favorite character go out with dignity. Just a pet peeve.
Slightly inconsistent, and still moodily dark and filled with CW romantic pairings and tropes, “The 100” manages to build itself a solid mythos that keeps me coming back for more, even though I have to watch the show in bursts of 2-3 episodes at a time instead of binge watching. Characters are becoming more fleshed out and you still don’t know who is going to be kept alive and who is iced the next week, making it one of the more unpredictable broadcast television shows out there in quite some time.
The Episode Rundown is as Follows
1. Wahneda: Part One
2. Wahneda: Part Two
3. Ye Who Enter Here
4. Watch the Thrones
6. Bitter Harvest
8. Terms and Conditions
9. Stealing Fire
13. Join or Die
14. Red Sky at Morning
15. Perversion Instantiation – Part One
16. Perversion Instantiation – Part Two
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75233[/img]Last season was a bit of a change for Warner Brothers. Up until then most TV seasons were released on Blu-ray but Warner has taken some of their lower sellers and release them on DVD only with an option for Blu-ray from their MOD group, Warner Archive. Once again the DVD is their standard method of review so we weren't able to review the Blu-ray this time around. Much like the previous season, the encode for "The 100: Season 3" is near immaculate. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the encode looks phenomenal with rich colors, deep blacks and some great looking detail to boot. The color palette is very balanced and natural with excellent saturation levels, although there is still the heavily stylized dark teal grading that gives everything a slightly bleak look at time. The Ark refuge looks appropriately grey and teal toned, with lots of silver and gunmetal, while the Earth forest is alive with different shades of blue, green and reds, and every color in between. Those self-same forest shots are filled with tons and tons of minute visual detail, from the coloring and texture of different leaves, to the dirt and grime embedded in the 100 survivor’s clothes and faces as they try to survive out in the wild. Black levels are very deep and only show a few instances of banding, with great shadow detail. contrast is a bit dark but nothing too wild and besides the color banding in some dark shots, I didn't notice any major artifacting besides a flicker of macroblocking in a few scenes.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75241[/img]as with the last season. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is also really great for a DVD, but does suffer from the limited bitrate and compression of the format. Vocals are crisp and clear, with strong balance between the effects and the dialog. The forest is abounding with ambient noises, form the crunching of leaves and twigs underneath grounder feet, to the click and schnicking of weapons from the Ark dwellers. The score has a nice deep and throaty feel, ominous and pulsing with power. LFE is powerful and full of energy with the frenetic pounding of war drums and the raucous sounds of battle. The innards of the "chosen" city tends to be a bit quieter, but overall the track is an impressive sounding one for a TV show on DVD. I do miss the lossless audio of the Blu-ray but this 5.1 encode is no slouch.
• A Short Lived Victory: Unlocking the Season 3 Finale
• Arkadia: From Wreckage to Salvation
• Ice Nation: Brutal and Fierce
• Wanheda: Clarke’s Journey
• Polis: Capital of the Grounders
• The 100 Pre-Viz Stunts Season 3
• 2015 Comic-Con Panel
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
I’m glad that “The 100” has found its footing, so to speak. The first season was one of the more unpleasant experiences of my life with unlikeable characters in a show that was just plain DARK. The series is still plenty dark and full of some CW type romantic tropes, but it has morphed into a much more balanced experience with characters that are more relatable and show some semblance of decency here and there instead of being TOTALLY loathsome. They always say not to judge a show on its first season and “The 100” is definitely proof of that. The audio and video are great and this season has the most extras out of the three, allowing me to give this a solid thumbs up as a good watch.
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Eli Goree, Thomas McDonell, Isaiah Washington
Created by: Jason Rothenberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 673 Minutes
Own it on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD July 19th 2015
Buy The 100 - Season 3 DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Solid Watch
More about Mike