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Title: The Originals : Season 3

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:75

I have to say that I’m actually surprised that “The Originals” has lasted this long. Well, that’s not completely true. I’m surprised it made it a whole season being that it was just originally conceived as a spinoff show from the popular “The Vampire Diaries”. However, once it got going I should have guessed since it was a CW show, and the CW has a strange ability for shows to survive on its network that would have been cancelled or shuffled off to the side by some of the more cancel happy stations. Season 3 takes a sharp and slightly drastic turn with the villains of the season (and for good reason, as they were slightly interchangeable and hard to tell apart the last few seasons), and there’s some tweaks here and there, but the show is largely the same take on the vampire world as it has been for the least several years.

In slight recap, “The Originals” focuses on the Mikaelson family, the ORIGINAL vampires in “The Vampire Diaries” universe. They were created through magic, and being the sires of every single vampire on planet earth, they are invincible to all but each other, and even then, it takes some specialty items to seal the deal permanently. Over the course of 1000 years they have lived, they have killed, they have drained the blood of the innocent, and they have had to battle not only external enemies, but also their own flesh and blood to stay dominant.

Last season was a crazy rush for the show. We had family intertwisting that even the first season couldn’t relate to. Daddy dearest, Mikael (Sebastian Roche) had come to town to play, and then there were a VERY ticked off witch in the form of their body hopping mother, Esther. And of course we had Kol and Finn (their brothers) as her minions of doom. To top it all off we had the inclusion of Freya, their oldest sister who had been bartered off to the witch Dahlia years ago and was in hibernation for centuries (since she’s not really an immortal, but a super powerful witch like their mother). This time they decided to take some differing risks. Risks which had seemed a bit odd considering how safe they like to play things with the main characters. Usually we don’t have a MAIN character die, despite the fact that there is blood, guts and gore from every other expendable character imaginable. One of the major chances came with a sad consequence. Mainly Cami (Leah Pipes) who had been one of the most poorly done characters to date, but had JUST turned interesting with her change into a vampire.

The rest of the show plays out very similarly to the previous seasons, but I was REALLY surprised at the twist the finale of the show took. I’m trying my hardest not to spoil things, but the Mikaelson family has been left in a position that they have never been in before. Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) has now become the werewolf/vampire hybrid thanks to the witch’s potion, and Klaus is being tormented through “trials” for his centuries of cruelty and abuse. Not to mention that Rebekah is going insane with a curse of her own (literally insane), Not to mention Elijah and Kol getting bitten by Marcel leaving the ENTIRE family pretty much in suspended animation while werewolf Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) has to search for a cure for their ailments. Basically putting them in actual danger for once.

I’m actually suspicious that season 4 is going to bring a time jump for the series. With everything going on and all the maladies that have befallen their family in the final episodes of season 3, it seems unlikely that a cure will be found instantly, or that Hayley will be the showrunner while our main “heroes” lie under suspended animation. A little predictable, but could make for some exiting changes in season 4 if the show’s time lapses enough.

There’s very little “new” in season 3, besides shaking up the villains. However the show manages to still be entertaining despite some of what I call “The CW” flaws. The show can get a bit too soap operaish at times, and certainly suffers from having super invincible original vampires who can’t even be killed. Making their “plights” throughout the show always feel like we know the outcome. That all changes at the very end of the series, opening up some new avenues that honestly have me curious if they will be explored fully, or if they will just erase those consequences and come up with new twists and machinations to keep the Mikaelsons more of the same.

The one flaw that keeps me a bit frustrated is just that. So many things stay the same. Mainly the characters themselves seem to suffer from lack of personal growth. Klaus was a fantastic addition in season one, being a monster with a few human like qualities, but that schtick has grown a bit stale, as Elijah desperately fights for their brother against all odds, and Klaus continues being a complete and total douche every season. However, the show is hypnotically addicting, despite knowing the technical issues that each of the three seasons have had story wise. I’m not even sure why, but it is loads of fun.

The episode list:

1. For The Next Millennium
2. You Hung The Moon
3. I'll See You in Hell or New Orleans
4. A Walk On The Wild Side
5. The Axeman's Letter
6. Beautiful Mistake
7. Out of the Easy
8. The Other Girl in New Orleans
9. Savior
10. A Ghost Along the Mississippi
11. Wild at Heart
12. Dead Angels
13. Heart Shaped Box
14. A Street Car Named Desire
15. An Old Friend Calls
16. Alone with Everybody
17. Behind The Black Horizon
18. The Devil Comes Here and Sighs
19. No More Heartbreaks
20. Where Nothing Stays Buried
21. Give ’Em Hell Kid
22. The Bloody Crown


Rated TV-14

Video :4stars:
This is actually a first for the originals. Warner has been making some changes with their TV lineup over the last couple of years, and releasing some of their shows with weaker sales into DVD only for a wide release, and putting the Blu-ray into their Manufacture on Demand program in the "Warner Archive" series. "The 100" was the first show that featured this shift, but it seems lately that a lot more have followed suit, with "The Originals: The Complete Third Season" falling into that category after 2 seasons of wide release Blu-ray and DVD sets. “The Originals” is a dark show. VERY dark in fact, and the DVD release of season 3 mimics the previous two in that regards. The is bathed in the brooding darkness that fits so many vampire tales, with some mild crush and some wonky contrast. Other than those small issues, the 1.78:1 TV framed series looks quite fantastic. Detail is strong, even in the dark, and you can see every fiber of the pretty little vampires, and the scraggly hairs of those nasty little werewolves during the copious fights. The colors look like a baroque fright fest, with dark blues, dark greens, dark blacks, dark greys. Colors tend to be rather desaturated, but primary splashes of crimson blood come through with startling clarity and the occasional fleck of other strong primaries make an appearance here or there. Long shots sometimes look mildly soft, but close ups are vampire teeth sharp with very natural skin tones. There's some mild banding and a few scenes that showed off digital noise, but otherwise it is a good, healthy DVD encode.

Audio :4stars:
Just like the 1st season, "The Originals: The Complete Third Season" sports a nicely dynanic Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is vibrant and full of power, with a bass line that gives some serious intensity to the mix. Dialogue is clean and clear, and very well dispersed amount the three mains, something not a lot of TV shows can do well. Dynamic range is fluid, fluxing from one end of the spectrum to another, which gives the show a more cinematic feel. With the amount of action oriented sound effects the series has the surround channels are always in full gear. The sound of a vampire moving at hyper speed,, the rush and roar of New Orleans on a party night, the powerful impacts as Elijah, Klaus and the rest cause havoc on their enemies is impressive to hear. Sadly I noticed that the DVD track seems to be a bit "thinner" than I'm used to, but that is to be expected with a lossy Dolby Digital track compared to the lossless DTS-HD MA that the Blu-rays enjoy.

Extras :2.5stars:

• Gag Reel
• Unaired Scenes
• Charles Michael Davis in the Big Easy
• Come Visit Georgia
• 2015 Comic-Con Panel

Overall: :3.5stars:

Simply put. If you enjoyed the last two seasons of “The Originals” you’ll enjoy this season as well. It’s more of the same, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing (depending on your enjoyment of what has come before), and it hasn’t grown stale or too well worn like “The Vampire Diaries” has been (that show is nigh unwatchable at this point). The new twists and changes to the formula are slight, but make for some engaging scenarios this season, and for some interesting changes going into season 4. Audio and video are very solid for the show, and the extras are par for the course, sticking to mid-range quality and quantity in that department. Fun Watch

Additional Information:

Starring: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin
Created by: Julie Plec
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: TV-14
Runtime: 927 minutes
Own Season 3 on Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD & Digital HD September 20th

Buy The Originals : Season 3 DVD on Amazon

Recommendation: Fun Watch

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