Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Treme: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Runtime: 632 Minutes
TV-Rating: TV-MA
Region: A
Episode List:
  • 01. Do You Know What It Means (Disc 1)
  • 02. Meet De Boys on the Battlefront (Disc 1)
  • 03. Right Place, Wrong Time (Disc 2)
  • 04. At the Foot of Canal Street (Disc 2)
  • 05. Shame, Shame, Shame (Disc 2)
  • 06. Shallow Water, Oh Mama (Disc 3)
  • 07. Smoke My Peace Pipe (Disc 3)
  • 08. All on a Mardi Gras Day (Disc 3)
  • 09. Wish Someone Would Care (Disc 4)
  • 10. I’ll Fly Away (Disc 4)
The Video
Treme: The Complete First Season’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation for all 10 episodes. The visual presentation of the series has been described as darker and intentionally so, they wanted to stay away from vibrant colors and go with a more muted palette.

The transfer is definitely darker as intended, which may turn off a few viewers looking for a rich and vibrant presentation. Detail however remains very solid throughout and is generally impressive. The high-def clarity is obvious and a clear improvement from DVD.

Like with any HBO Blu-ray release, the visual presentation was free of any technical issues. There are a few softer looking scenes, but that was not a technical issue. Overall the series looks great, fans of the series will be very pleased. 8.5/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included for each episode. French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, Spanish 2.0 DTS Digital Surround and Castilian 2.0 DTS Digital Surround tracks are also included. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish, Castilian, Dutch, Portuguese, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix included for each episode is of the highest quality and expectedly so. HBO never disappoints with their audio mixes and this one is no different. The series puts a strong focus on music and it always sounds as clear as can be.

Dialogue is crisp and clear like most new releases, as are audio effects. The audio effects also manage to fill the surround speakers constantly and make for a very immersive experience. The audio mixes do not disappoint one bit, only impress. 10/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc) (39.7 GB):


Down in the Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
Dig deeper into the world of New Orleans with Down in the Treme. This in-episode viewing mode includes five different features with unique content for each episode:
  • Music: Learn more about the artists who bring the Treme soundtrack to life.
  • Players: Read detailed bios on your favorite characters.
  • Lexicon: Brush up on your New Orleans vocabulary and the origins of some of the most popular phrases.
  • Locale: Explore the different neighborhoods of the Crescent City.
  • Cuisine: Satisfy your cravings with in-depth descriptions of the local delicacies
The Music of Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
Discover the brilliant artists and vibrant music featured in Treme. This in-episode viewing mode provides information about the song currently playing.

Audio Commentary on Episode 1
With Creators/Executive Producers David Simon and Eric Overmyer

Audio Commentary on Episode 1
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Audio Commentary on Episode 2
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Disc 2 (Blu-ray Disc) (44.1 GB):

Down in the Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
See ‘Disc 1’ section in review for details.

The Music of Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
Discover the brilliant artists and vibrant music featured in Treme. This in-episode viewing mode provides information about the song currently playing.

Audio Commentary on Episode 3
With Wendell Pierce, Khandi Alexander and Alan Sepinwall (TV Critic, HitFix)

Audio Commentary on Episode 3
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Audio Commentary on Episode 4
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Audio Commentary on Episode 5
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Disc 3 (Blu-ray Disc) (44.8 GB):

Down in the Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
See ‘Disc One’ section in review for details.

The Music of Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
Discover the brilliant artists and vibrant music featured in Treme. This in-episode viewing mode provides information about the song currently playing.

Audio Commentary on Episode 6
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Audio Commentary on Episode 7
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Audio Commentary on Episode 8
With Creator/Executive Producer Eric Overmyer and Producer/Director Anthony Hemingway

Audio Commentary on Episode 8
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Disc 4 (Blu-ray Disc) (44.4 GB):

Down in the Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
See ‘Disc One’ section in review for details.

The Music of Treme (Included for all 10 episodes)
Discover the brilliant artists and vibrant music featured in Treme. This in-episode viewing mode provides information about the song currently playing.

The Making of Treme (14:11) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew, the feature is nice, but the next feature provides more substance and footage.

Treme: Beyond Bourbon Street (29:05) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew in this entertaining and informative feature that should not be missed.

Audio Commentary on Episode 9
With Writer George Pelecanos and John Goodman

Audio Commentary on Episode 9
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

Audio Commentary on Episode 10
With Creator/Executive Producer David Simon and Executive Producer Nina Noble

Audio Commentary on Episode 10
With Josh Jackson (WBGO) and Patrick Jarenwattananon (NPR Music)

The extras included on this release are fantastic, especially the in-episode features and commentary tracks. I do wish more behind-the-scenes footage was included, but for a television series the features are quite impressive. 9/10

The Season
Treme: The Complete First Season’ is the most recent Blu-ray release from HBO Home Entertainment and one that I was excited to see. I have to admit, I didn’t see the season on television like I do with most series, but watching it on Blu-ray has made for a very enjoyable experience.

‘Treme’ takes place in New Orleans, months after Hurricane Katrina caused the devastation and damage that it did. The series follows many different characters through their struggles as they attempt to overcome the tragedy.

The series is created by David Simon (The Wire) and Eric Overmyer (Homicide), once again creating television magic that should not be missed. The focus on New Orleans works a lot better as a series than I expected it would.

The impressive cast includes Steve Zahn, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, Rob Brown, Wendell Pierce, Kim Dickens, Khandi Alexander, Lucia Micarelli, Clarke Peters and more. The cast is simply fantastic, providing some incredible performances that certainly deserve award recognition.

The show is touching and exciting and I cannot wait for season two. The show certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but I do think most (if you give it a chance) will find an incredibly strong series that we can all connect with. 9/10.

The Blu-news Summary
‘Treme: The Complete First Season’ is a fantastic series with a strong video and audio presentation. The extras included are also solid and impressive. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Highly Recommended’ to all.

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