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With its supernatural bent that allows it to plug into genre audience and the obvious charms of the lovely Jennifer Love Hewitt, GHOST WHISPERER is one of the more enjoyable little dramas currently airing on television. GHOST WHISPERER combines chills, suspense, occasional comedy and the deeper emotions that stem from the loss of a loved one into an entertaining package that generally tires up all loose ends by the end of its sixty minute time slot. The basic premise of GHOST WHISPERER casts Jennifer Love Hewitt as newlywed Melinda Gordon, who splits her time between two endeavors- her antiques business and helping restless earthbound souls cross over. Melinda’s ability to communicate with the dead was passed down from her grandmother and has been part of her was of life since childhood. Of course, Melinda’s unique gift has a tendency to interfere with other aspects of her life, but fortunately for Melinda, her husband Jim Clancy (David Conrad) and business partner Andrea Moreno (Aisha Tyler) are a very understanding of her abilities and obligations to those that have passed on.

GHOST WHISPERER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($64) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired in the show’s freshman year: Pilot, The Crossing, Ghost, Interrupted, Mended Hearts, Lost Boys, Homecoming, Hope And Mercy, On The Wings Of A Dove, Voices, Ghost Bride, Shadow Boxer, Undead Comic, Friendly Neighborhood Ghost, Last Execution, Melinda's First Ghost, Dead Man's Ridge, Demon Child, Miss Fortune, Fury, The Vanishing, Free Fall and The One.

CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment has made all of the episodes that comprise GHOST WHISPERER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The episodes look really, really nice on DVD and produce a generally sharp image with a more than respectable level of detail. Things can look mildly soft in places across the episodes, but it is never beyond what one would expect from this type of television production. Colors are pretty vivid, and render with appealing flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, the whites appear stable and the level of contrast is good. There is little by way of sitcom flatness to the show’s lighting design. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred are clean; although some grain shows up in places. Digital compression artifacts are usually well contained.

For this release, all the episodes that comprise GHOST WHISPERER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON feature soundtracks in the Dolby Digital 5.1 channel format. The episodes really sound sweet for a television caliber production, as the 5.1 encoding adds clarity and presence that isn’t found in matrixed soundtracks. Of course, the majority of the sonic information is localized to the forward soundstage, while the rear channels add occasional active effects, along with ambient sound and musical fill. Fidelity is fairly great for a television show; the musical component shines pretty nicely. Dialogue is crisply rendered and easy to understand. The bass channel is solid and keeps everything grounded. No other language tracks are provided, but English and Spanish subtitles have been included.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some supplemental materials. Running audio commentaries have been provided for the following episodes: Pilot, Ghost, Interrupted, Lost Boys and Undead Comic. The following episodes include Deleted Scenes: Mended Hearts, Homecoming and Undead Comic. Can You See Me? The First Season Of Ghost Whisperer is a twenty-one minute behind-the-scenes program that looks at the series creation and its freshman year. Second Sight: The Clairvoyants Of Ghost Whisperer spends eight minutes with the real life individuals, who serve as the basis for the series central character. A Tour Of Grandview is a three-minute exploration of the show’s setting. Ghost Whisperer Mythology clocks in at nine minutes and provides a detailed examination of the opening credit sequence. Scare Tactics spends eleven minutes on the more frightening aspects of the show. A Blooper Reel closes out the supplements.

GHOST WHISPERER is quite an enjoyable supernatural drama that has the added benefit of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s undeniable charms. The CBS/Paramount DVD set looks and sounds just fine, plus it offers a surprising amount of supplemental content. If you are a fan, GHOST WHISPERER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is a must have.



Ghost Whisperer - The Complete First Season (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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