The Mentalist – The Complete First Season (Warner DVD)
C+ Sound: B- Extras: C Episodes: C+
attempt to add a new twist on the police procedural, Bruno Heller created The Mentalist to try to make a hit show
in the mode of Monk or the older great detective shows of the 1970s. In this case, Simon Baker is a former showman
who claimed to have psychic powers (among other things) and after a devastating
series of events left the world of entertainment to work for the police.
Jane, he uses his observation skills on murder scenes and even cold crimes, but
hanging in the shadows is his need to deal with the serial killer simply known
as Red John. In the meantime, at the
unit he works for, his boss (the underrated Robin Tunney) tries to keep things
as efficient and professional as possible.
However, Jane is a show-off of his skills to everyone’s detriment and is
lucky some of the cases even get solved.
the idea for the show is good, give or take the serial killer angle that is
cliché, the writers have so much show-off moments for the title character that
it kills the ability to have any suspense on the show, take the show seriously
and build any really good mysteries.
With the character, they are more interested in perpetuating his
smart-ass qualities and putting in all kinds of twist and turn possibilities
instead of telling a good story. The
result is a sloppy show with a lack of character development and many missed
likable, but not so much that they can keep doing the show like this. Sometimes, dialogue is so unrealistic that
the show becomes a spoof of itself, especially in the ridiculous pilot that is
often embarrassing. Other such moments
following in later shows, as well as making it feel like Dexter-lite. We’ll see if
the series gets over these flaws in later seasons.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is consistent between episodes, but has
its share of detail limits and motion blur throughout. It can look good, but also is sabotaged by
some shaky camerawork, but color is not as gutted as is too often the case,
especially in this genre. The Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix is better with a good soundfield throughout all of the shows,
including dialogue that is well recorded and overall balance that is not
bad. Extras include a gag reel, unaired
scene for three episodes and two featurettes: Evidence Of A Hit Series & Cracking
The Crystal Ball: Mentalist vs. Psychic.
- Nicholas Sheffo