NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
NUMB3RS continues to be one of the more interesting police procedurals on television, thanks, not only to its gimmick, but to itís well defined characters which are brought to life by a group of highly talented and completely likable actors. The gimmick that separates NUMB3RS from other police procedurals of the same ilk is how the show applies mathematical and statistical analysis to assist in criminal investigations, which ultimately helps the FBI identify unknown culprits that commit various crimes, not to mention, occasional acts of terrorism.
The basic premise of NUMB3RS finds FBI agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) continuing to rely on the services of his brilliant younger brother Charlie (David Krumholtz), an applied mathematics professor, whom consults for the FBI and other agencies that require the type of mathematical analysis that he can provide. The brothers Eppes professional interactions also spill over into the personal lives, where their father Alan (Judd Hirsch) plays a key role in bringing an outside perspective to certain investigations, as well as being crucial to the series human element. The cast of NUMB3RS also features Diane Farr as newly assigned psychological profiler FBI Agent Megan Reeves, Alimi Ballard as FBI Agent David Sinclair, Dylan Bruno as rookie Agent Colby Granger, Peter MacNicol as Charlieís best friend and colleague theoretical physicist Dr. Larry Fleinhardt and Navi Rawat as Charlieís potential love interest, mathematician Amita Ramanujan.
NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired during year two: Judgment Call, Bettor Or Worse, Obsession, Calculated Risk, Assassin, Soft Target, Convergence, In Plain Sight, Toxin, Bones Of Contention, Scorched, The OG, Double Down, Harvest, The Running Man, Protest, Mind Games, All's Fair, Dark Matter, Guns And Roses, Rampage, Backscatter, Undercurrents and Hot Shot. All of the episodes are pretty much standalones, although season two allows for some interpersonal growth for the characters, as they reexamine priorities- both personal and professional.
CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment has made all of the episodes that comprise NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that feature the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Like season one the episodes presented in this collection look really good on DVD. The production is designed for both standard and hi-def broadcasts, so the levels of image sharpness and detail are generally quite good, with only mild softness creeping in here and there across the episodes. Colors rare well rendered, producing vivid hues and appealing flesh tones. Again, the photography tends to shy away from flat sitcom lighting, so contrast is better than expected for this type of production. Film grain is noticeable in more than a few places, but the elements are free from blemishes. Digital compression artifacts are not a problem.
All of the episodes that constitute NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. These episodes sound great and are a terrific example of why all current television shows should be mixed in the discrete format; matrixed soundtracks are just muddy by comparison. Channel separations are clear and distinct, with all of the channels being deployed for directional sound effects (that is, when appropriate). This isnít to say that the episodes will blow anyone away, but for a talky police procedural, these sound mixes are stellar. Fidelity is top notch for television fare; the music is reproduced with an excellent sense of presence and sound effects are mighty convincing. Dialogue is clean and fully intelligible. No other language tracks or subtitles have been provided.
Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extra features that have been spread throughout the set. Running audio commentaries with cast members, as well as members of the production team are offered for the following six episodes: Obsession, In Plain Sight, The OG, Protest, Dark Matter and Guns And Rose. Behind The Scenes With Nicolas Falacci is and interactive photo gallery, while Behind The Scenes With David Krumholtz is brief featurette that features the star and his video camera on the set. At twenty-six minutes, Crunching Numb3rs: Season 2 is the most substantial program, offering a more detailed look behind-the-scenes. A Blooper Reel closes out the supplements.
NUMB3RS is definitely one of the most unique and entertaining police procedurals on television. CBS/Paramountís collection looks and sounds great, making NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON another must have for any fanís personal library.
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