Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Extra Extras.

When I got my blu-ray player, I heard a lot of "can you really tell the difference?" And the answer is, yes, you can. Especially on shows with bright colors (Ugly Betty) or hot stubbly guys (Supernatural) or lots of blood (True Blood).

In fact, I've been revisiting the first season of True Blood which I happen to own on blu-ray thanks to Amazon holiday lightning deals last year. One of the coolest things about owning movies and shows on blu-ray (in addition to the sound and picture quality) is you get a chance to see the extra extras that the creators load onto the discs. In the case of True Blood, it's the "enhanced viewing" mode.

While you watch an episode, at the bottom of the screen facts or hints will occasionally pop up filling you in on the details of vampire culture, the history of Bon Temps, and the characters on the show. A map will also appear to give you an idea of where things are in relation to one another...for example, Jason lives basically across the street from Gran's. Shocker. I'm surprised he can dress himself without help.

But the coolest thing about the enhanced viewing mode is the background info you get on the vampires and townspeople. Even a vampire who has only one line will get a back story, letting you know when they were born, when they were turned, and what they did in-between and after (this appears as a few sentences at the bottom of the screen). But it's even better for the Bon Temps residents, as a small window with everyone's favorite gay drug-deal/short order chef appears, and Lafayette tells you all about a person, their family, and their place in the town. With appropriate flare of course, Lafayette also clues the viewer in on the gossip of Bon Temps and the world at large. Check out a clip below, where Lafayette talks about the advent of V:

I wouldn't recommend watching the enhanced viewing mode if it's your first time through the episodes, since it gives pretty blatant hints of what's coming up in the season. But for a fan who wants to get more out of the show and get some inside scoop on the vampires and people of Bon Temps, it's pretty freakin cool. And it reminds me why premium cable is the place to be. Too bad I'm so frugal/thrifty/cheap that I'm not willing to spring for the extra cable costs. After all, that's why God invented blu-ray, right?

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