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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Medical > Drama > Police Procedural > Comedy > Serial Killer > Mystery > British TV > Con Artist > B > Bones: The Complete Eighth Season (2012 - 2013/Fox Blu-ray)/The Fall: Series One (2013/Acorn DVD Set)/The Mentalist: The Complete First Season (2008 - 2009/Warner Archive Blu-rays)/White Collar: The C

Bones: The Complete Eighth Season (2012 - 2013/Fox Blu-ray)/The Fall: Series One (2013/Acorn DVD Set)/The Mentalist: The Complete First Season (2008 - 2009/Warner Archive Blu-rays)/White Collar: The Complete Fourth Season (2012 - 2013/Fox DVDs)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Mentalist is now only available from Warner Bros. exclusively through their Warner Archive series, though it is due on stores afterwards, it can be ordered from the link below no matter what, either way.

This set of TV releases include three hits and an instant classic...

I am amazed that we are on Bones: The Complete Eighth Season (2012 - 2013), but co-stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel as an FBI agent and forensic specialist is starting to get the deep bone of anything this show could still do. Some personal character events happen over the 24 episodes here across 5 Blu-ray discs, but at this point, only diehard fans are going to be able to get the most out of the show and fortunately, all the seasons so far are on home video (this is the fourth of eight we have covered) and at least the leads are more convincing and tighter than say, that of Castle. At least it is technically as good as previous seasons, so the budgets have not been slashed as much as many shows by this time.

Deleted Scenes, audio commentary on 4 episodes and a Gag Reel are the only extras.

The Fall: Series One (2013) is from British TV and at first might seem like just any other police procedural series. A brutal killing has happened and it is so bad, an additional expert is called in who will have the support of the latest micro and cyber-technology to catch the killer, but the Allan Cubitt-penned series is playing against every convention of the cycle, genre and succeeded spectacularly in creating one of the best TV crime dramas in decades.

In this case, the expert is Stella Gibson, played brilliantly in a tour-de-force performance by Gillian Anderson of The X-Files. She gives a very different kind of performance as a very different kind of police official with a very different background in some of the most complex writing for TV I have seen in many years. Her backstory is as complex as she is, there are other very well-developed characters around her, there are actual additional crimes and circumstances happening aside from the main killer she will track and this is all set in Dublin, a place with its own special character.

Then there is the serial killer, who is going after young pretty white females with long dark hair and killing them in the same ritualistic fashion, but even this is more involved than we usually see in this genre. As played by Jamie Dornan, a family man with two children who is a respected professional in his field, the entanglements become more interesting, challenging and intense as the show goes on. If you can handle the graphic nature of the material, made much more so with such amazing, superior editing to back it up, you'll wonder why no U.S. network has the guts to pick this one up. Too complex? Too scary? Too much better and superior to the same tired variants they have been churning out that plays it safe for too long?

There are a few other actresses that could have taken on the lead, but Anderson is incredible here in what is some of the best work she or anyone has done in the genre in a very long time. In some ways, this is so good, it is a landmark event that too many viewers are missing out on. If you have been looking for such a show that works and takes the next giant step in such storytelling, The Fall is one of the most important TV events of the last few years and is strongly recommended.

A 12-minutes-long behind-the-scenes featurette is sadly the only extra, but we can't wait for the next season.

The Mentalist has had enough success that Warner has decided to issue its Complete First Season (2008 - 2009) on Blu-ray. We reviewed the debut season at this link:


With the same content down to the extras, but the upgrade makes the DVD set secondary. See more in the technical section below.

Finally we have White Collar: The Complete Fourth Season (2012 - 2013) with con artist Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) on the run and being as slick as ever. However, the show was never that good, is very thin at this point and Bomer may be appealing to his audience, but his character is not given much to do outside of smiling and being slick, showing a lack of streetwise and gritty anything in the writing of his character. He is good as this character, but there is not really much new for him to do here if you think about it, so the show is now playing it too safe. Not that it was cutting edge to begin with, but it is coasting on its lead.

All 16 episodes are here on four DVDs and fans of the show (or at least Bomer) will be happy, but like Bones, it is adding new personal character revelations that seem superfluous and maybe even tired or desperate, so start from the beginning if you must watch at all.

Deleted Scenes, audio commentary on the In The Wind episode, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a Gag Reel are the only extras.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 AVC @ 24 MBPS digital High Definition image transfers on Bones are styled down as in previous seasons, but that is the look of the show viewers and fans are used to so they obviously stuck with it and it is passable, but I expected a slight improvement from a few seasons ago. However, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Mentalist are more impressive than expected with solid color, some depth and detail not expected (especially as compared to the DVD) and is the visual champ on this list without question. Even longtime fans may be surprised.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD sets tie for third and last place for picture quality, having some softness, though Fall is a better, more complex shoot visually, not to mention ts superior editing over all the shows here.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Bones should be the sonic champ here being the only lossless mix on the list, but its soundfield can be restricted and this was never a show that impressed me with its sound, so the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Mentalist actually sounds a bit better than its DVD version and Blu-ray gives it a little more room to breathe. With soundmixes this good, why no lossless mix?

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Collar is not great and actually typical of most confined TV mixes, so the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Fall is more than able to complete with it, meaning they ties for third and last place sonically as well, but I bet Fall would sound great lossless.

As noted above, you can order The Mentalist and its other season to date, along with many more great titles by going to this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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