The Guardian: The Complete Series

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
    Staff Member
    Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    853
    Location:
    Arizona
    The Guardian: The Complete Series


    [​IMG]
    Movie: :4stars:
    Video: :3.5stars:
    Audio: :3.5stars:
    Extras: :1star:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    Back around the start of the 21st century crime dramas were the biggest thing ever. There were multiple variations of the decades old series Law & Order, The Practice and soon to be Boston Legal. The genre had reached saturation point, with gritty and grimy being the name of the game. However, in 2001 a new series came out starring a baby faced Simon Baker before he became known as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist (probably his biggest claim to fame in the TV world). The three season series never really defied genre concepts, or even stood out from the pack, but it was a highly enjoyable court room drama that really felt “lighter” and more refreshing than its competitors of the day. Simon Baker and Dabney Coleman contrast against each other well, and the use of dual law worlds that Simon must undergo makes for a series that never failed to entertain.

    Simon Baker is Nick Fallin, working for his father Burton (Dabney Coleman) in his Pittsburgh law firm. After being nailed for drug use and possession, Nick is forced to give up 1500 hours of community service to pay for his indiscretion. The judge decides to do something a bit different and assigns nick to the Pittsburgh Children’s Legal Services as a child advocate. A job that forces him to look outside of his own selfish designs and machinations, and delve into a world that is completely foreign to him. All while staying at his father’s firm and trying to balance a busy lawyers life at the same time.

    The series acted almost like an episode of Leverage at times. And by that I mean that there are two “jobs” within each episode, rain or shine. One job is always related to his work as a high priced corporate attorney (whether that be dealing with his rocky relationship with his father, or dealing with a romantic love interest in the firm, or just another case), while the other is him having to work as a child advocate in Alvin Masterson’s beaten down little public services firm as a child advocate. Honestly, both sides of the coin are equally interesting and push the character of Nick forward evenly. The child services advocate position allows Nick to feel and open up to a softer side of his nature that wasn’t prevalent (even though he wants to think of himself as completely devoid of emotion and caring for the plebeians), and the corporate side of the equation furthers the sub plot of gaining an ACTUAL relationship with his workaholic father.
    [​IMG] The series is naturally episodic at hear, with small serialized elements (such as him and his father’s relationship), but those episodic elements of the show make it so much easier to watch as a night time watch. There’s only loose threads that tie each episode together, and like Bones or countless other dramas, you can watch an episode without worried about being sucked into a 9 part arc that requires you to see every single 44 minute chunk consecutively to understand what is going on. As such, it’s a bit of a lighter affair than many, and the sweet nature of child advocate cases keep the series from becoming as depressing or dark as, say, Law & Order.

    Season one has Nick just starting out on his adventures withing the Children’s Legal Services run, but it snowballs from there. He develops a love interest named Lulu (Wend Moniz) part way through the season, and things get a little tense when Nick and Burton’s relationship is strained even further with Nick’s desire to move up the corporate ladder faster than his father thinks is wise. The 2nd season changes things up a bit with Nick and Burton going in together to create their own firm of Fallin and Fallin, but still, things largely remain the same. The same goes for the third season, which continues the simple concept of dual case loads, but really doesn’t introduce anything new to the idea. A move which may not seem enormously risky, but it kept the light and enjoyable nature of the series all the way up until the final episode.





    Rating:

    Not Rated by the MPAA




    Video: :3.5stars:
    [​IMG]
    The Guardian looks to be the exact same transfers as the 2011 season releases of the show, and once again appear to be exact some replicas of the discs, minimal extras and all. That being said, the TV show was a low budget affair, and the discs aren’t going to win any awards for being glossy and shiny, but rather are you standard early 2000’s digitally shot TV shows. Colors are nice, but a little faded, and the compression from the original masters is quite evident. Digital noise is common, and so is the occasional aliasing and other elements common to TV shows on DVD that were never given a meticulous master. Details are decent, and black levels show off enough shadow detail to please most viewers. It’s not a stunning remaster of the series, but an honest transfer of the show on TV as it stood back nearly a decade and a half ago.






    Audio: :3.5stars:
    [​IMG]
    The 2.0 Dolby Digital track for The Guardian is exactly what one would expect from the show. This is a VERY dialog heavy TV show that was specifically designed for broadcast television. As such it’s not going to wow anyone, but at the same time does everything quite capably. Dialog is well placed in the center of the room, and there are no major volume issues. Everything can be head quite intelligibly, and the sounds of the court room dramas can open up the sound field a bit. Naturally there’s really no LFE, and the musical elements are limited to the opening and closing credits for the most part. It’s a solid track, but one that just wasn’t designed to be anything more than a simple vehicle for the show’s dialog.
    .






    Extras: :1star:
    [​IMG]

    • CBS Series Launch Promos











    Final Score: :3.5stars:


    The Guardian is a show that is both soft and sweet, yet intriguing and brutal at the same time. Simon Baker does a wonderful job at playing the cold hearted lawyer with a heart, and the show’s episodic nature makes for a very laid back viewing experience. The show started out strongly, and manages to keep that same momentum up for all three seasons. Paramount’s re-release of the series uses the exact same discs as the individual seasons released some six or seven years ago, but just housed in the typical giant “clamshell” case that Paramount has been using for all of their TV show re-releases the last couple of years. For fans who already have the previous set (or individual seasons) there is no need to “upgrade” (unless you want the space savings), but for those who haven’t purchased the series, the entire box set is only $34 right now, which makes it a very painless way to introduce yourself to a very solid court room drama.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Simon Baker, Alan Rosenberg, Raphael Sbarge
    Created by: David Hollander
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
    Audio: English: Dolby Digital 2.0
    Subtitles: English SDH (seasons 2 and 3)
    Studio: Paramount/CBS
    Rated: NR
    Runtime: 2972 Minutes
    DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2018







    Recommendation: Fun Watch
     
    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,762
    Likes Received:
    225
    Thanks for the review. New saw this series.. Will check it out where available.
     

Share This Page