The hope in a zombie apocalypse is to have things return to normal. Or, at the very least, to find some semblance of what used to be normal. But as we see in The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season — which is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and in a special limited edition Blu-ray — sometimes getting back to normal isn’t easy. Though, apparently, neither is putting together a Blu-ray or DVD or for a TV show about zombies.
When The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season begins, our heroes find themselves trapped by cannibals in what, from the outside, looked like a safe, protected community. After [SPOILER ALERT] escaping, and dealing with the aftermath, they continued onward, only to be approached by someone from another place that might be safe and protected. Well, from the outside, anyway. And you can imagine how well that goes.
As you can probably surmise from the preceding synopsis, the episodes collected in The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season make for a rather interesting arc in this ongoing saga. Especially when you realize that the people we’ve been thinking of as “our heroes” could be someone else’s villains. Or, at the very least, someone else’s jerks.
But then, if you’re thinking of buying The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season, you’ve probably already seen these episodes; for you, it’s all about the extras. And while this collection has some good ones, it’s where in this collection that they appear that could use some work.
First up, there are commentaries on half of the sixteen episodes, including two on the first one, with such cast and crew members as executive producers Gail Ann Hurd and Scott M. Gimple, director and special effects artist Greg Nicotero, and actors Melissa McBride (Carol), Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese), and Norman Reedus (Daryl), among others.
As was the case with previous Walking Dead collection, these commentaries are insightful and interesting, though the best are those when the actors are involved. In fact, the highlight of the ones in this set is for the episode “Self Help,” which is an all actor affair with Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Alanna Masterson (Tara), and Christian Serratos (Rosita). Granted, it’s the least informative when it comes to how the episode was made, obviously, but the interaction between the cast members is so good you’ll wish you had the talent to act and had gotten hired to be on this show, too.
Next, The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season has sixteen short featurettes on what each episode means and how it fits in with the bigger picture. All of which are interesting to watch after the fact, though it’s hard not to think they wouldn’t have been better served on the disc with their respective episodes.
Similarly, The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season also has short, making-of featurettes on every episode, and again, while they’re informative, they also should be on the same discs as the episodes they’re about, rather than the last one.
The same, however, cannot be said for the other eight making-of featurettes on The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season, which include insightful looks at how they built Alexandria (“The Making Of Alexandria), and the zombie effects this time around (“Rotters In The Flesh”),. But the most interesting are “A Day In The Life Of Michael Cudlitz” and “A Day In The Life Of Josh McDermitt,” in which a camera follows these actors around as they film the show. Though it helps that these guys are entertaining fellas who have cool jobs.
Finally, The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season has deleted scenes from six of the sixteen episodes. But while it’s nice that they’re organized by episode, there’s nothing to indicate why they were cut. In addition, they — like the aforementioned episode featurettes and making-of videos — should’ve been on the discs with the episodes they were cut from, as opposed to the last disc.
In spite of these construction problems, The Walking Dead The Complete Fifth Season still does a good job of presenting and collecting this show in a handy way. Sure, it may not be what the fans were hoping for, but as we’ve seen from the epispodes in this collection, sometimes you have to just take what you can get.