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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > War > Disaster > Drama > News > Journalism > Politics > Broadcasting > Comedy > Police Procedural > C > The Last Ship: The Complete First Season (2015/Warner Blu-ray Set)/The Newsroom: The Complete Third Season (2015/HBO Blu-ray Set)/Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fifth Season (2014 - 2015/Warner DVD Set

The Last Ship: The Complete First Season (2015/Warner Blu-ray Set)/The Newsroom: The Complete Third Season (2015/HBO Blu-ray Set)/Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fifth Season (2014 - 2015/Warner DVD Set)

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

Here's a look at new TV series arriving on home video...

The Last Ship: The Complete First Season (2015) is Michael Bay's latest foray in TV and one of his poorest, with its lite war porn, lite writing, lite action, lite character development and hardly-there comedy as the Navy destroyer the USS Nathan Jones may be gone too long (ha) as it faces a global catastrophe as a scientist (Rhona Mitra) originally just a scientist guest on the ship lands up teaming up with the Captain (Eric Dane) as they face their would-be adventures together. Unfortunately, the formula show and its formula predictability makes Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea look like an MIT class on oceanic studies.

Johnathan Mostow was also involved and cannot bring this dud to life either. It is one of those shows that drones on and on and on and on until you are awakened by an explosion or other loud disaster. This might find a small audience, but it is really bad. Yawn....

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds Inside The Episode clips, audio commentary tracks, Character Profiles, Prequel clips, 3 Behind The Scenes featurettes and the 2014 Comic Con Panel on the show.

The Newsroom: The Complete Third Season (2015) sadly comes to a conclusion after being some of the most literate, intriguing, smart, well acted, well written and well cast TV on TV that happens to be about, TV and TV news. By this point, the show seems to have run out of things to say in some level, something I would not say if the final episode was not the worst one they made. Did they run out of money?

Either way, it may not have been as successful as The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire or The Wire, but I believe the shows whole run (see our coverage of the first two seasons elsewhere on this site) will be looked back on as better TV than it is getting credit for now and a time capsule on what was really going on at this time... especially in the ways our actual news media was failing us and why the Internet just being there is no substitute for true, honest, important journalism.

Jeff Daniels really grew in this role and as we've always known (see Demme's Something Wild) was always more than just a comic actor, but an always underestimated one. The one big mistake was to allow his character (SPOILER) to get married to his female companion on the show or even to have one. The show needed even more conflict and a tad less comedy, romance and some different ways of presenting its political ideas. Still, it is one of those shows about journalism worthy of the greats (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, plus Network and The Insider) on the subject and that is why everyone should take the time to see the whole show just the same.

Extras include Inside The Episode clips for all episodes and an audio commentary track on the final episode by Executive Producers Aaron Sorkin and Alan Poul.

Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fifth Season (2014 - 2015) is a more comical police procedural with two female leads (Angie Harman and Sasha Alexander are not even listed on the packaging this late in the show's production!!! Some would consider that sexist and ignorant.) that is no Cagney & Lacey, but is only watchable because they have a little chemistry together. This one obviously found enough of an audience and I have seen the show in bits and pieces before.

However, the 18 shows here must not be the epitome of why the show is popular because these are also on the flat and boring side in a genre that is played out, no matter how funny or serious you make it. You get so-so jokes interrupted by murder and a little touch of gore. At this point, the show is for fans only and I just wonder how much longer it can go on or will it become a zombie show that goes on no matter what like the stuff British hit MidSomer Murders.

Extras include a paper slip with an episode guide, while the DVDs add Unaired Scenes, a Gag Reel and stunt featurette.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Ship is constantly a little dark, flat and boring across all episodes in a generic way, further dragging on a very poorly made series.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer in Newsroom by comparison looks pretty good, colorful, naturalistic, professional and advanced by comparison. This is consistent with the previous seasons and a pleasure to watch for the most part, but the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Rizzoli is the softest performer here, not as dark as Ship, but not that well shot overall just the same.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Ship and Newsroom are very well recorded, have good soundfields and are well-mixed, but Ships tends to be a little louder as expected. That actually holds it back, sometimes sounding a bit overdone at times, but Newsroom can be laid back in its dialogue-based approach. They tie each other as a result. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Rizzoli tends to fall somewhere between the two in approach, but lacks the soundfield of both.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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