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Ghost Whisperer
The Second Season

review by Zach B.

 

 

Running Time: 967 minutes

Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, David Conrad, Camryn Manheim, Jay Mohr

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $72.99

Features: Audio Commentaries, A Conversation With The Living, Grandview Graveyard, Melinda's Closet, Ghostly Visions, The Other Side Webisodes, Jennifer Lovew Hewitt Speed Painting Video, Crystal Ball Mind Game

Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, English Closed Captions, Scenes (7 per episode), Six-Disc Set

Released: September 18th, 2007

 

 

All the second season episodes of "Ghost Whisperer" are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and look quite nice. The episodes look pretty sharp overall, with very accurate fleshtones and well-saturated colors that are quite bold and fitting. Detail is great too, and there is no edge enhancement. The only downside to these transfers are the noise, and the heavy amount of edge halos. Other than that though, these episodes look quite nice for a TV series on DVD.

 

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on the episodes are pretty strong too. Fidelity is high, and the dynamics are better than I anticipated. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear, while the show's music sounds nice through the channel and definitely give off an ominous feeling. The surrounds are pretty discrete though, especially since some episodes feature a dose of action. Overall, these tracks capture the mood of the series well.

English Dolby Surround tracks are also included with each episode, plus English closed captioning through your TV.

 

The extras are divided up across the set. The first disc features the Crystal Ball Mind Game, which supposedly reads your mind based on a numbers trick. I played the game three times, and it only correctly guessed my "symbol" once. Hmm, I guess DVDs aren't magical after all.

The fifth disc has a 23 minute featurette called Conversations With The Living. Creator John Gray, executive producer Ian Sanders, executive producer Kim Moses, co-executive producer James Van Praagh, Jay Mohr, Camryn Manheim and Jennifer Love Hewitt reflect on the second season of the show. This is well put-together and is pretty insightful, as the producers discuss how the show has evolved. There's ample focus on how they've made protagonist Melinda grow, adding more mysteries to the plotlines, the purpose of new characters and playing up the show's mythology. If you're a fan of the series, it's a must watch.

Ghostly Visions is an 11 minute piece that focuses on make-up artist Kandace Westmore, and how she brings the dead to life. It's very interesting to watch the artistic process take place, and it's all the more impressive since Westmore only has a limited amount of time to prepare the make-up. The producers also talk how they sometimes plan the evolution of the make-up throughout an episode, and discuss specific make-up jobs for season two episodes. Nicely done.

Grandview Garden is a series of six featurettes, not lasting more than a few minutes each, that focuses on some of the ghosts in episodes of the series. Other than the usual clips, producers and writers give backstories on these particular ghosts, and what they wanted to achieve with them thematically. These are also pretty insightful, if a little obvious at times, and will probably appeal only to those who really enjoy the series.

The sixth disc features a sixteen minute featurette called Melinda's Closet, which highlights costume designer Joseph Porro. He has a great job: making Jennifer Love Hewitt look gorgeous on the series. Porro is quite detailed in how the costumes set the tone for the series, where he takes his inspiration from, and his process once he receives a script. The producers and Jennifer Love Hewitt also give their input. This is a nice look at a creative process that you often don't get to hear about for a TV show.

The Other Side is a series of eight webisodes that appeared on the CBS website, that tell a story and give way to what it's like to be a ghost. The webisodes (in anamorphic widescreen) are a few minutes each, and in total, last 25 minutes. There's also a trailer for the webisodes, plus a behind-the-scenes look with the webisodes star Mark Hapka, where he gets to crossover on the actual series.

Finally, there's the Jennifer Love Hewitt Speed Painting Video where a painting of Jennifer Love Hewitt comes to life before your eyes.

Also peppered throughout the set are Audio Commentaries. The first disc has a commentary with creator John Gray and executive producer Kim Moses on the first episode of the season, "Love Never Dies" (which Gray also wrote and directed), and the sixth disc has a commentary with executive producer Ian Sanders "The Collector" (who also directed the episode). This first commentary is a bit on the slow side, and unfortunately, the duo basically narrate the on-screen action. Now and then there is a production anecdote, the vision they have for this particular season and the series overall, but they are few and far between. Sanders' commentary is a bit better, since he offers more on the technical side, but he's also guilty of saying things that viewers probably no - not to mention that he offers a few dead spots. The commenaries are for die-hard fans of the series only. (Also note that despite the fifth disc saying there's a commentary with Moses for the episode "Children Of Ghosts," it is not found on the disc.)

Finally, inside the package, you get some Ghost Whisperer tarot cards.

 

This second season of "Ghost Whisperer" on DVD will surely please fans of the show: the episodes look and sound good, while the plentiful amount of extras has some fun supplements as well as ones that go in-depth into the creation of the second season. For you wannabe dead-communicators, this is a worthy purchase.