The Mentalist: The Complete First Season (2008)

Genre(s): Comedy / Crime / Drama / Mystery
Warner Brothers || NR - 998 minutes - $59.98 || September 22, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-06


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Bruno Heller (created by)
Cast: Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman, Amanda Righetti


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Thai

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.::THE FILM::.

CBS’ latest police procedural, “The Mentalist”, begins quite well and maintains mid to high quality storylines from start to the season finale. Although there are plenty of crime shows on television already, this one stands out from the rest thanks in large part to a charismatic, part funny, somewhat dramatic Simon Baker.

Baker plays Patrick Jane, a former psychic charlatan turned CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) consultant who helps a team of agents solve often unusual or complicated crimes within the state. The team consists of leader – and oft pushover – Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), Kimball Cho (Tim Kang), Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman), cutie Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) and unit director Virgil Minelli (Gregory Itzin) who likes the results but disapproves of Jane’s methods.

As with most freshman series, we get a nicely divided dose of crime and character development. For Patrick Jane, his character arc involves a genius serial killer known as “Red John”, a man who had targeted and killed Jane’s wife and daughter after Jane taunted and patronized the killer while on a talk show portending to know Red John’s actions and motives.

The season does a good job balancing out the Red John subplot while still presenting interesting crime stories and fun interactions between the main characters. For example, early on they establish a potential romantic bond with Rigsby and Van Pelt not to mention a little chemistry between Jane and Lisbon.

Here are the episodes with my personal favorites with an asterisk:

01. Pilot*
02. Red Hair and Silver Tape
03. Red Tide
04. Ladies in Red
05. Redwood*
06. Red Handed
07. Seeing Red*
08. Thin Red Line
09. Flame Red
10. Red Brick and Ivy
11. Red John’s Friends*
12. Red Rum
13. Paint it Red*
14. Crimson Casanova
15. Scarlett Fever
16. Bloodshot
17. Carnelian Inc.
18. Russet Potatoes
19. A Dozen Red Roses
20. Red Sauce
21. Miss Red
22. Blood Brothers*
23. Red John’s Footsteps*

Although I only have a few favorites, every episode is still quite good and even in its first season, separates itself from the pack, possibly better than “CSI” but still below “NCIS” and “Criminal Minds”, but as a light diversion to the everyday gruel, it’s a nice pick me up thanks to a fine cast and captivating lead actor in Simon Baker.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Lost Evidence (8:45) – 3 episodes contain deleted scenes but as with most TV shows, they were cut mainly for time constraints or it already delivered information in a more concise way.

Evidence of a Hit Series (24:03) – The cast and crew talk about the show, why it works so well and how it is different from other procedural crime series. It’s really a basic ‘making-of’ featurette that covers the season’s main plot surrounding Red John as well as the character arc for Patrick Jane.

Cracking the Crystal Ball: Mentalist vs. Physic (18:11) examines the difference between mentalists and physics from the perspective of expert scientists, mentalists and law enforcement.

Surveillance Video (7:06) is a gag reel with flubbed lines and on set mishaps.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“The Mentalist” is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and for a TV on DVD release, looks good. This isn’t a particularly visually amazing show anyway but colors look right and detail levels are also nice.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is adequate and efficient. This is mainly a dialogue and score centric kind of show so you’re not going to get a whole lot of workout in terms of action sequences but it should be good enough for most.



.::OVERALL::.

“The Mentalist” is a rare show that takes off from the pilot episode and keeps the high quality until the season finale, thanks to Simon Baker and an ensemble cast that works well together. I certainly hope it has the opportunity to stick around for seasons to come as it still has even more potential to get better.