TITLE: WITCHES OF EAST END - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Release Date: June 24, 2014 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Color / 2013
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 10
Running Time: 417 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 11 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles and Captioning: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese Subtitles
* “Falling Under Their Spell”
* Deleted Scenes
* Gag Reel
* Cat Blooper
Witches of East End stars Emmy award-winning Julia Ormond as Joanna Beauchamp, an ageless mother trying to keep a supernatural secret from her daughters, Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and Ingrid (Rachel Boston) so they can lead a normal life. But when Joanna's estranged sister (Mädchen Amick) arrives to warn her of an evil entity out to destroy them all, Joanna is forced to reveal the truth about her family's magical legacy. Co-starring Virginia Madsen, Eric Winter and Daniel DiTomasso, this powerful and enchanting drama series will cast its spell on you!
The three-disc set from 20th Century Fox contains all 10 first season episodes in their unedited format, along with some bonus features. The series returns for a second season on Sunday, July 6 and airs Sundays at 9:00 PM on Lifetime. Recurring stars include Jason Winston George and special guest stars include Freddie Prinze, Jr.
The series premiered last fall and aired from October through December with 10 must-see episodes. The storylines are solid and fun. The cast is great and Jenna Dewan-Tatum looks amazing and shines on this show. She portrays the character Freya brilliantly, as does the entire cast. You’ll need to watch all 10 episodes of this season in order obviously, but some of the best ones include the series premiere “Pilot,” where the Beauchamp family is greeted by their relative, Wendy, around the time an old couple is mysteriously attacked, while Joanna's unsuspecting daughters, learn their true identities when an old boyfriend of Freya's past-life turns up and plans to kill her. In “Today I’m a Witch,” Wendy teaches Freya and Ingrid magic while Joanna faces her own troubles. In “Electric Avenue,” Joanna witnesses Maura Thatcher's loss of mental stability caused by Wendy's spell, while Ingrid summons Adam's spirit and accidentally allows a spirit from Dash and Killian's past to cross through and look them up for trouble. In “Snake Eyes,” while Freya contemplates her Tarot reading, the Shifter casts a nasty spell on her and steals her powers. The next episode, “A Parching Imbued,” after a failed attempt to restore Freya's powers, the Beauchamp women deduce that it was, in fact, the Shifter who took them, and cast a tracking spell, but once again the Shifter is one step ahead of them. And on the first season finale, "Oh, What a World,” it's the day of Dash and Freya's wedding, and bad omens are in abundance.
All of the episodes on the set are unedited and presented as they originally aired. All music appears to be intact as well. Runtimes are as follows:
Marilyn Fenwick, R.I.P. (41:17)
Today I Am a Witch (42:51)
A Few Good Talismen (40:30)
Electric Avenue (41:48)
Potentia Noctis (40:56)
Snake Eyes (40:55)
A Parching Imbued (42:33)
Oh, What a World! (42:43)
The packaging is designed nicely. The cover art has a nice shot of the Beauchamps in the woods dressed nicely and then we have the Witches of East End logo and Complete First Season mention in the middle. The back of the packaging we have a nice shot of Freya and Ingrid on the top making magic and casting a spell. We have basic information on the series and set, along with a list of special features and DVD Specifications. There are also four episodic photos towards the bottom. “The Witching Hour Has Arrived!”
Inside the case we have a little plastic holder that you can flip back and forth like a page of a book. The holder holds disc one on the front and disc two on the back. Disc three is on the right panel on the case. As for artwork on the panels, we have a shot of the woods stretching on both panels, along with that star shape on the left panel. We also have a disc-by-disc breakdown with all the episode titles and special features listed. There is also an insert about the books by Melissa De LA Cruz. As for disc artwork, each disc has different characters in a dark background with the woods. Disc 1 has a shot of Joanna & Ingrid and contains episodes 1-3, Disc 2 has a shot of Freya & Wendy and contains episodes 4-7, and Disc 3 has a shot of Dash & Killan and contains episodes 8-10 and the extras.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very nicely done, with the star shaped image coming up then video clips playing on the main menu with the closing theme song playing in the background. There are auto-trailers before the main menu on disc one for 3 Days to Kill and The Americans. The main menu options are: Play All, Episodes, Set Up and Extras. Play All of course plays all episodes consecutively. The Episodes option takes us to an episode submenu. We get the title of the episode, a nice description and an image from the episode. The Set Up option lets you listen in English or Spanish and turn on subtitles either in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. The Extras option list the special feature on disc three only that you can select. 12 chapter stops are placed appropriately throughout each episode. That seems like a lot of stops, but it works.
Video and Audio Quality:
Both the video and audio are superb, as they should be. This isn’t a Blu-ray set, but the video quality is excellent. It is in Widescreen 1.78:1 form. Most DVD players should upconvert it to HD and it will look as if you’re watching it in HD. The audio is crisp and clear in Dolby Digital 5.1 in both English and Spanish. Not much else to say here, but the witches look great in great quality!
Disc three has the “Extras.” Although, I’m kind of surprised there aren’t ANY audio commentaries. The cast is fun, so it would have been good to hear their perspective and stories. Anyway, as for what extras we have, first up we have “Falling Under Their Spell” (6:30). Each character explains their character and their storyline. Interviewed are Mädchen Amick, Daniel DiTomasso, Rachel Boston, Julia Ormond and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Then we have “Deleted Scenes” (1:55). We get four deleted scenes from episodes 1, 3, 4 and another one from episode 4. Too bad we didn’t get more, though. Up next we have a “Gag Reel” (1:00). It’s very short, but it’s funny. And finally, we have a “Cat Blooper” (1:33) and there is a little commentary and analysis from (I think) a producer of what happened when they tried to use a cast during a scene from the first episode. It’s interesting, but again short. All in all, the extras could have been better, but it’s better than nothing.
The show is very good and this DVD is almost as good. There are some flaws in the DVD, but the quality of the show makes up for all that. The DVD needed a bit more special features, I think. The video and audio is superb and I like the menu design. The episodes are first-class. All season we are wondering who the soul mate is and who is the destroyer is - Dash or Killian? We get answers quickly and there is no messing around. It’s only 10 episodes and you’ll be hooked! Season two debuts on Sunday, July 6 on Lifetime, so catch-up or refresh yourself quickly before we get the 13 second season episodes. But first, get your key ready to go inside the portal and watch these ten great episodes over and over again!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall Score: 4/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal
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