Thursday, July 2, 2009

True Blood: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

True Blood: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonShow Rating: TV-MA (Mature Audiences Only)
Region: A

Disc 1 (26.4 GB):
Episode 01: Strange Love
Episode 02: The First Taste

Disc 2 (22.5 GB):
Episode 03: Mine
Episode 04: Escape From Dragon House

Disc 3 (34.6 GB):
Episode 05: Sparks Fly Out
Episode 06: Cold Ground
Episode 07: Burning House Of Love

Disc 4 (34.6 GB):
Episode 08: The Fourth Man In The Fire
Episode 09: Plasir D'Amour
Episode 10: I Don't Wanna Know

Disc 5 (23.2 GB):
Episode 11: To Love Is To Bury
Episode 12: You'll Be The Death Of Me

Video
True Blood comes to Blu-ray on 5 discs, all 12 episodes featuring very nice 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video transfers. The show's darker look translated very nicely to Blu-ray, with all scenes looking about as good as can be. Colors were rich, and black levels were solid. Overall sharpness and detail was top notch, and there was a healthy layer of grain present throughout the season as well. I was more than pleased with the look of the first season. 9/10.

Audio
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is included for each episode, and sounds fantastic. The show makes a really good use of the surround speakers, whether it be creating environment or fitting to an effect in the show. Dialogue was front and center, and was very clear. With a show like this, good surround use is important and enhances the viewing experience. True Blood does the job perfectly, it's a step below demo material, but it's still so so good. 9/10.

Extras

Six audio commentaries with the cast and crew
Including Executive Producer/Creator Alan Ball, Anna Paquin (Sookie) and Stephen Moyer (Bill)
Episode 01: Strange Love (Disc 1)
Episode 02: The First Taste (Disc 1)
Episode 04: Escape From Dragon House (Disc 2)
Episode 05: Sparks Fly Out (Disc 3)
Episode 07: Burning House Of Love (Disc 3)
Episode 11: To Love Is To Bury (Disc 5)

Enhanced Viewing Experience
A picture-in-picture track is included for each episode, and is generally impressive but ultimately disappointing. Lafayette pops up in video form throughout the season to talk about other people in Bon Temps, as well as himself. There is pop-up trivia and maps that appear every once in a while as well. Also included is a vampire 'documentary', Tru Blood Commercials and vampire rights pulblic services announcements. Some of these features would have been nice if they were available for viewing outside of the episodes.

Blu-news Summary
True Blood is one of the most seductive and addictive shows on television, and the show is a breath of fresh air from a lot of very mediocre shows lately. The show's theme is very interesting to begin with (vampires and humans co-existing), but it's the story and cast that really make the show as fantastic as it is.

At first I didn't really care about any of the characters, but after a couple of episodes I was hooked and loved every one of them. Anna Paquin is amazing as the show's lead, Sookie Stackhouse. Keep in mind this show is not for everyone, especially younger audiences, as it features a significant amount of sex and gore throughout the season.

True Blood is a bloody good time, and you have been warned, it's truly addicting. The show will have you coming back for more and more. The Blu-ray release only enhances the show experience, with impressive video and audio. True Blood on Blu-ray is a 'Must Own For Fans,' and to all others is 'Highly Recommended.'

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