One of the best new series to premiere in the past year, “HOUSE: Season One” is now available on dvd in a boxed set from UNIVERSAL.  Hugh Laurie stars as Doctor Gregory House, a brilliant doctor with a dislike of patients, but love of finding the cures to treat them. Bryan Singer and a lot of other talent have created a show that while reminiscent of C.S.I. in its visual style, stands out on its own.  Each episode revolves around one or more patients about to die, if House and his team can’t figure out what’s ailing them!  House’s impersonal demeanor manages to create tension with the hospital chief administrator and many others, creating its own drama and subplots. 

UNIVERSAL has presented all 22 episodes of “SEASON ONE” here. Presented over six sides and three dvds, the sixth side includes extras. 

UNIVERSAL has really done a disservice to fans of the series with the transfer here.  One of the most visually impressive to air in HDTV, it cries out for a 16:9 enhanced transfer!  But, UNIVERSAL has only provided a letterboxed, “non-anamorphic” transfer! Sure, the colors are fine. Contrast is suitable and there are no artifacts, but this image could’ve been OUTSTANDING and was robbed of the chance!

UNIVERSAL has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 mix.  It’s not an aggressive mix, however, there are some creative surround moments. Most effects are used to boost the music tracks. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

UNIVERSAL has provided numerous extras, including featurettes, but the best extra, “CASTING SESSIONS WITH HUGH LAURIE” is only slightly more than a minute long.  Another disappointment is the lack of any commentary.