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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Drugs > Police Procedural > Crime > Police > Soap Opera > Horror > TV > Breaking Bad – The Complete Third Season (2010/Sony Blu-ray Set) + The FBI – Season One, Part One (1965/Warner Archive DVD Set) + Southland – The Complete Second Season: Uncensored (2009/Warner Archiv

Breaking Bad – The Complete Third Season (2010/Sony Blu-ray Set) + The FBI – Season One, Part One (1965/Warner Archive DVD Set) + Southland – The Complete Second Season: Uncensored (2009/Warner Archive DVD Set) + Supernatural – The Complete Second Season (2006/Warner Blu-ray Set)


Picture: B-/C/C+/B-     Sound: B/C+/B-/B-     Extras: C+/D/C+/C     Episodes: C+/B/B-/C



PLEASE NOTE: FBI and Southland are only available from Warner Bros. in their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.


There was a time not that long ago when the idea of a TV show from cable was considered a joke and the show was something just thrown together no one would remember.  The Ace Awards remind us of this and it was pay cable that slowly changed that.  Now we have shows we compare as easily to broadcast network shows without giving it a second thought.  Here are three such shows with one older classic.


First up is Breaking Bad – The Complete Third Season (2010) which is a show that you will either like…




… (those are the first two seasons on Blu-ray) or you will not…




(that is my coverage of the First Season on DVD).  Yet, the show is still running and has a fan base like Weeds.  The storyline has become more developed and the show has become a little better since it has found its way in ways I was not expecting, but that still does not make me a fan.  However, that is still a surprise and someone starting at the beginning will (in a rare development) have more to look forward to than not.  I will not reveal any new developments, but you can read all about the show in the previous coverage.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image has some motion blur and is somewhat stylized down to go with the show’s approach, but looks as good as it is going to look here and the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is the biggest surprise of all with a strong, rich, full, warm soundfield that shames many feature films.  The 10 hours of extras include Blu-ray exclusive BD Live interactivity including the Breaking Bad Family Photo Album, 7 making of featurettes, Mini Podcasts connected to the show, Better Call Saul commercials & Testimonies, Gag Reel, 20 episodes of Inside Breaking Bad, 3 Uncensored Episodes, 9 cast/crew audio commentaries, Deleted Scenes and Unused Footage.  A nice set of extras indeed.


Quinn Martin was on a rile with The Fugitive when they started working with Warner Bros. on some of their series and one early hit was an early version of what we might now call a police procedural.  The FBI – Season One, Part One (1965) was much like Dragnet (which was soon revived after this became a hit, reviewed elsewhere on this site) in that it was based on real crime cases.  Efrem Zimbalist Jr. plays Inspector Lewis Erskine, heading up a unit that tends to deal with going after known criminals and we now know that W. Mark Felt (who much later turned out to be the infamous Deep Throat of the Watergate scandal, et al) was one of the show’s technical advisors!


Not seen much in many years, even after a brief revival, it suffered an undeserved fate by being pushed aside in the wake of the 1970s and was never deeply syndicated.  That’s a shame because the show has its moments, is formatted like The Fugitive or The Invaders and is as well written as any of its counterparts then or now.  It also has narration like those show sand The Untouchables, yet thanks to its cast and solid approach is its own show.  The first 12 hour-long episodes of the first half of this debut season are here over 4 DVDs.


Guest cast includes Jeffrey Hunter, Estelle Winwood, Dina Merrill, Brett Sommers, Jack Klugman, Robert Blake, Noam Pitlik, R.G. Armstrong, Alejandro Rey, Iron Eyes Cody, Dabney Coleman, Harold Gould, Oscar Beregi Jr., Eileen Heckart, James Gregory, Jill Haworth, Peter Mark Richmond, Bert Remsen, Susan Oliver, Barry Russo, Perry Lopez, Ken Lynch, Robert Duvall, Burt Reynolds, Norman Fell, James Farentino, Wesley Addy, Beau Bridges, Ted Knight, Paul Mantee, Parley Baer and Vic Perrin.  Philip Abbott. Stephen Brooks, Lynn Loring, Lee Meriwether and William Reynolds also star.


The 1.33 X 1 image comes from prints that are in pretty good shape, but some shots can look off-color, the prints may be discolored or slightly faded in a few parts and we get more than a few aliasing errors throughout, holding back the picture.  When it looks good though, it looks really good and as good as later Quinn Martin DVD sets CBS is issuing.  These discs are DVD-Rs, which might be causing some trouble, but this is a show that deserves later Blu-ray release and could get it if these sell well like they ought to.  The Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono is even better and cleaner throughout, showing how well recorded the QM Productions were for their time.  There are no extras.


The new show I like the most on this list is back.  Southland – The Complete Second Season: Uncensored (2009) continues the well-acted, written and well developed stories of the police dealing with serious situations of a specific LAPD unit and you can read about the show at this link:




The show continues to do well and continues to work, though the weekly TV grind has caught up with it a little bit, it remains the best new show on the list and deserves a larger audience than it has found.  I recommend you get both seasons and watch the whole series and I bet you’ll agree.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is styled down much like Breaking Bad, but it does nor take away from the show much and these DVD-Rs look as good as the previous DVD set.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix has healthy Pro Logic surrounds and actually sounds a little better than the previous season DVD set, making me wish both would hit Blu-ray.  Extras include unaired scenes, Backing The Badge scene specific audio commentary and featurette A Crime Tour: Southland’s Crime Map – Revisiting Shooting Locations.


Finally we have Supernatural – The Complete Second Season (2006), which I have already reviewed on DVD.  It too is a show you either like or not.  Here is our coverage of the show so far on home video:


One Blu-ray






Three Blu-ray





Four Blu-ray + DVD



Five Blu-ray + DVD




This is almost the same set as the DVD version down to the same lossy soundtrack (and a new extra), but the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image brings out more of the 35mm film shoot than the DVD set ever could hope to, even with the manipulated images here.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is the same as noted, but has some good surrounds in the mix at times.  We not only get the same extras as that previous DVD set, but a new interactive The Devil’s Road Map that offers =urban legends and factoids relating to all 22 episodes in this set.  At least fans will be pleased.



To order The FBI, go to this link:





You can also order the new set of Southland or the previous season linked above by putting the title in the search engine and choosing to order either or both.  You might even find Supernatural there.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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