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DVD Review: The Mentalist: The Complete First Season

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A mentalist is a master manipulator of thought and behavior. The mentalist is Patrick Jane (Simon Baker in an acclaimed performance), a celebrity psychic whose wife and child are viciously murdered by an elusive serial killer called Red John. Devastated, Patrick admits his paranormal act is fake, renounces his earlier life and uses his astonishing skills of observation and analysis’ talents that made him appear psychically gifted to bring killers to justice. At crime scenes across California, Patrick now helps an elite team of detectives break their toughest cases. But no matter how many criminals he catches, Patrick never forgets his central goal: Find Red John. And bring him down.

Head on over the jump to check out my review of the six-disc DVD set.

The Mentalist: The Complete First Season

Available To Own On (click to purchase): DVD

Official Site Link: www.thementalistdvd.com

Release Date: September 22, 2009  

TV Show

Mentalist – Someone who uses mental acuity, hypnossis and/or suggestion.  A master manipulator of thoughts and behavior.

The Mentalist is an outstanding police procedural.  The series is led by Simon Baker who plays Patrick Jane.  After the loss of his wife and child by a serial killer called Red John, Jane stops his performance as a celebrity psychic and instead uses his skills to bring his killers to justice by helping the CBI – an elite team of police detectives.

The rest of the cast is also a positive.  The CBI crimes team is led by Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and includes agents Kimball Cho (Tim Kang), Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) and Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman).  Together the team takes us through various crimes and threads are maintained throughout.

The Red John serial killer story is set-up and covered in the pilot episode and is a constant thread throughout the season as Jane’s main goal — while not always at the forefront — is finding Red John.  The writers also keep the Red John mystery in the minds of the viewers through the episode titles, with either every episode containing the word Red in the title, or at the very least the color red is a theme in the title (for instance “Blood Brothers” and “Bloodshot”).

Simon Baker is terrific in this role and helps infuse a healthy dose of comedy in what are often bleak and dreary circumstances.  What I most enjoyed about the series is there is nothing mysterious about what is presented.  Jane simply uses his incredible skills to piece together the facts of te case and bring justice to the killer.  Although there is a fair amount of goofiness to the series — almost exclusively through Jane — the build-up to the crimes and events leading up to the discovery of the killers is wonderfully crafted.

EXTRAS

“Evidence of a Hit Series” This featurette incorporates interviews with the show’s creator Bruno Heller and most of the cast.  It covers a good deal of ground, including the background behind the show and its characters.

“Cracking the Crystal Ball: Mentalist vs. Psychic The second-longest featurette on the set, this basically does what the title suggests: explores the relationships between a mentalist and a psychic.  While it’s lengthy, I didn’t much care for it, although for those interested in these types of things, it’s probably worth the look.

“Lost Evidence (deleted)” – Three episodes in this set: “Pilot”, “Red John’s Friends” and “Red John’s Footsteps” all contain some deleted scenes.  They’re all fairly short, unimportant scenes.  Nothing lost really.

“Gag reel” I’m a big fan of gag reels and this one’s no slouch.  There are genuinely several funny bits here and well worth the watch.

FINAL OPINION

I missed The Mentalist when it premiered last fall, but I had always heard great things about it and was well aware of its huge audience by way of Nielsen ratings.  After watching the entire 23-episode season I can say one thing for sure: Sign me up for more.  This is an incredibly solid series, with a strong cast and just the right amount of comedy to cheer up what are otherwise very serious story lines.  I give the show and DVD a score of 4/5.

IMAGE GALLERY

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