Damages—Sony Pictures (Blu-ray)
I've never been much of a TV watcher. I lived overseas for the later part of my teen years and it just put me in a mindset that I wasn't interested once I came back. Occasionally I see a show on TV that catches my eye but I rarely follow through with a whole season. I will say though, if all shows were as good as this one I'd be making a lot of time for TV. I had never heard of Damages before receiving it for review and it took awhile before I had the time to watch the whole thing but once my wife and I sat down to start it, it was hard to stop. We were always looking for an opportunity to watch another episode and never found a single one boring or useless fill in any way. Fans of legal thrillers should definitely put this on the must see list!
Sony delivers a mixed bag video presentation on this one. I didn't watch this on TV but it has a lot of the same symptoms I see with bad HDTV presentations; namely overdriven whites, inconsistent detail and compression artifacts. Thankfully the latter is only on some brief occasions. Fine detail can be incredible at times but overall image detail wavers a lot from scene to scene. Colors are stylized heavily in flashbacks and film grain is laid on pretty thick. The blown out whites create a bit of a haze from time to time but it lends to the atmosphere of the show. This isn't a terrible presentation by any means but I could see some having issue with it.
The soundtrack is presented in lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and for the most part it's a winner. The musical selections throughout the show are quite good and the backing track has plenty of mood and atmosphere. Dialogue is balanced nicely with the rest of the mix and largely makes up the bulk of the soundtrack. As far as TV shows go, I see nothing to complain about.
There are some episode specific features mixed in here and there including deleted scenes and commentaries. You also get some behind the scenes features that look at the production and creation of the series.
This was a killer show that was engaging from beginning to end. My wife and I are now anxiously awaiting the second season which unfortunately hasn't even gone into production yet. Sony has done a decent job with the A/V presentation but I wonder how good the original video elements were. Overall though I give this one a strong recommendation, this is definitely not one to overlook!