SRP $54.98 1.78:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 SHOWTIME/PARAMOUNT

SHOWTIME/PARAMOUNT has released the hit cable series, "DEXTER: SEASON ONE" on blu-ray.  Michael C. Hall, of "SIX FEET UNDER" fame, stars in "DEXTER," as a forensics expert within the Miami Police Department, hiding his alternate life as a serial killer. What's supposed to separate this pile of crap from the other serial killers, is he focuses his crimes only on other serial killers!  Aargh. The series is well made, with tight direction, good pacing, compelling narratives and well-drawn characters. Still, it's annoying for this critic to find that the series veers close to exploitation, largely due to its success, and the potential that many of its viewers are tuning in for the prurient interests for blood-letting more than quality. "SEASON ONE" is arguably the best season thus far, with the most recent season, pushing the plotline into some pathetic areas.

SHOWTIME/PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray.  It's a fantastic looking image. Colors are pushed to the max, with a consistently pleasing richness, complimenting the exotic locale of MIAMI, although never feeling over-saturated.  Blacks are typically deep, allowing for fine detail. However, grain pops up occasionally, limiting these darker scenes from achieving the same level of depth found in the blu-ray transfer of a series like "RESCUE ME." 

A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is provided, offering notably better fidelity than the previous dolby digital 5.1 mix found on dvd. While still front channel focused, surrounds kick in with effectiveness during key moments, for added intensity, and the music is well displayed through all speakers. Discrete effects tend to be limited to the front, but this doesn't prevent the mix from feeling immersive.

Audio commentaries are provided for two episodes, both of which are entertaining and insightful. Still, it's a major disappointment to find Hall is not a part of them.

Some of the other extras include the first episode of "SEASON 3" and the first two episodes from the new SHOWTIME series, "UNITED STATES OF TARA," starring Toni Collette.