Numb3rs: The Complete Series - DVD Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Numb3rs: The Complete Series


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    Movie: :4stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :2.5stars:
    Final Score: :4stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    It doesn’t matter what day of the week you turn on the television, you’re GOING to run across a crime drama. I mentioned in my review of Major Crimes: The Complete Fifth Season that we had a glut on the market, but the viewers seem to be eating them up, as crime dramas make for one of THE largest cuts of the market pie, so to speak. We’ve got everything from Major Crimes, NCIS, CSI, Law & Order, The Mentalist, you name it and the market eats it up. Most of these shows have had to appeal to a certain “gimmick” to get their target audience in, as the usual Law & Order, CSI plots have been done to death. Bones has the neurotic, but Brilliant Dr. Brennan. The Mentalist has Patrick Janes as an ex “psychic” helping out the police, and Medium utilized Patricia Arquette as…well.. a medium. Numb3rs does exactly what the name implies and involves numbers into the mix. This time having a brilliant mathematician helping out his FBI agent brother in solving crimes.

    The show doesn’t JUST revolve around crimes of the week. If that was the premise of the show I think Numb3rs would have died an early death instead of making it a full 6 seasons. Instead the show gives equal screen time to the family of the two men, and their father. The basic premise is that Charlie Epps (David Krumholtz) has moved in with his retired father Alan (Judd Hirsch) while teaching math at the local college. Trying to spark a relationship with his older FBI agent brother Don (Rob Morrow of Northern Exposure) Charlie agrees to come help out the FBI solve crimes by using mathematical formulas to create algorithms that aid in analyzing criminal patterns. While the two are not solving crimes together, they’re learning how to live together as a family unit once more. Don is a driven first born with a penchant for getting lost in his work, while Charlie is the “special” one of the family. A man who can get so lost in his mathematical world and the excitement that it brings the child genius that he has a hard time relating to Don. Stuck in the middle is Alan, being the “normal” one of the group who tries his best to mediate between the two boys and forge a relationship as best he can. One with the son he can barely relate to, and two, with the one that is absorbed in catching criminals to the point that he blocks out everyone else at times.

    Over the course of 6 full seasons we get a solid look at the Eppes family, and while they are the main focus, the supporting cast members make for some great moments as well. Dylan Bruno and Alimi Ballard make great use of their screen time as the rough and tumble crime fighters who are a little leery of Charlie’s use in the field, but no one can rival Peter MacNicol as Dr. Larry Fleinhardt, the phsysicist friend of Charlie whom he uses as muse and partner many times. MacNicol was actually only supposed to be in the show for minimal episodes, but he became so popular that they drew him in as many times as they could, even getting agent Megan Reeves to fall in love with the nerdy professor in order to make a reasonable premise for him being there all the time.
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    Numb3rs was one of those shows that you have to put a certain amount of suspension of belief into effect. The inclusion of Charlie Eppes and his brilliant math formulas IS a gimmick, and one that is slightly exaggerated for the premise of the show. Like most of these crime dramas, great leeway is given to how much field time the civilian consultants get thanks to the FBI (a show that plays it fast and loose to the extreme is Blindspot), but that’s part of the fun. It’s a fantasy that brings some element of realism and grounding into the premise to create a hybrid of reality and fiction so that we can have an enjoyable time. In this respect, the show does exactly what it sets out to do.

    The first couple of seasons are the rockiest (which isn’t totally unsurprising), but right around season 3 the show really catches its groove and takes off, giving Charlie a girlfriend and allowing the character chemistry to really settle into an enjoyable pattern. Unlike most shows that go on for quite a few seasons, Numb3rs doesn’t end with a weak season. The last two seasons are usually the roughest spots for a long running drama, but they are actually just as good as the seasons that came before it, allowing the show to come to a conclusion on a high note, instead of having us wish that it had been completed a year or so earlier. Honestly, I have to say that while it is not my favorite crime drama out there, Numb3rs is one of the most stable shows in the genre, and doesn’t peter out at all. It’s a show that you can just sit back and have fun with and not worry about missing too much from episode to episode. Especially with David Krumoltz’s affable portrayal of Charlie and Judd Hirsch’s loveable persona on set.




    Rating:

    Not Rated by the MPAA




    Video: :4stars:
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    CBS has a certain “looks” to it that translates across most of its dramatic TV shows. The series has a very healthy looking encode in 1.78:1 on the DVDS, and looks rather pleasing to the eye. Natural colors dominate the landscape and the show relies on a few yellow and blue filters to change things up here and there. Fine detail is great, with everything crystal clear except for a few times when grain/noise can spike just a little bit. The first few seasons show some digital artifacting and compression quibbles that are very minimal, but the rest of the show seems to smooth out as time goes by and those issues pretty much vanish when season 3 hits. Black levels are strong and show plenty of shadow detail in the murky lair of the Eppes house, and the skin tones show a very neutral look to them. Overall a very pleasant TV show encode.







    Audio: :4stars:
    [​IMG] While the show has an obligatory 5.1 Dolby Digital track, I noticed that season 3-6 added in a Dolby Digital stereo track for night listening as well. With that being said, the 5.1 is the one that we’re going to focus on as it is the main audio mix. The show is pretty vibrant, with plenty of activity going on in the field, while the quieter moments at the FBI headquarters tends to be more front heavy and subdued (naturally). Vocals are crisp and clear, and the mild ambient surround usage while at the office is pleasant, but minimalistic. The show does open up quite a bit when Don, Colby and Megan hit the field, and that’s where it gets a lot of the expansiveness from. A good TV mix, and one that is transferred well from TV to DVD.
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    Extras: :2.5stars:
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    • Crunching NUMB3RS:Season 1
    • Point of Origin: Inside the Unaired Pilot
    • Audition Reels with Optional Commentary by Mark Saks
    • Do the Math: The Caltech Analysis
    • Charlievision: FX Sequences 1.0
    • Crunching NUMB3RS: Season 2
    • Behind the Scenes with Nicolas Falacci
    • Behind the Scenes with David Krumholtz
    • Crunching NUMB3RS: Season 3
    • Eppes Central
    • Set House Tour
    • Crunching NUMB3RS: Trust Metric
    • Crunching NUMB3RS: Season 5
    • Celebrating 100
    • Coming Full Circle: NUMB3RS The Final Season
    • The Women of NUMB3RS
    • Pixel Perfect: The Digital Cinematography of NUMB3RS
    • Production Photo Gallery with Nicolas Falacci
    • Audio Commentaries on Select Episodes
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Blooper Reels









    Final Score: :4stars:


    Numb3rs is one of the few CBS/Paramount shows that I’ve reviewed lately that did NOT come with a complete boxset released before this. The show ran from 2005-2010, and was given individual season releases, but this is the first time that they’re all brought together for one giant boxset. From a visual standpoint, I have to say that this is one of the nicer sets that Paramount has put out, with the standard mega case format for housing the discs, and a very nice slip box with art both in and outside of the set. As usual, the decision to purchase the set will depend on if you’ve purchased the seasons before. If you HAVE, then I wouldn’t worry unless you’re looking for the space savings. They’re the exact same discs paramount released a few years back just put into one big set. HOWEVER, if you haven’t bought the show yet for some reason, this boxset is easily the cheapest and most efficient way of getting the series. As a fan, I have to say it’s well worth the $60 I’m seeing it go for all six seasons.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz, Judd Hirsch
    Created by: Nicolas Falacci, Cheryl Heuton
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
    Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English Stereo (Seasons 3-6)
    Studio: Paramount/CBS
    Rated: NR
    Runtime: 5040 Minutes
    DVD Release Date: May 6th, 2017







    Recommendation: Fun Watch
     
    #1 Michael Scott, Jun 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

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