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Adapted from the series of novels by Tess Gerritsen, RIZZOLI & ISLES is definitely one of the most enjoyable cop dramas airing on basic cable television. Featuring tried and true television performers Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, RIZZOLI & ISLES is not only easy on the eyes, but it is also humorous thanks to its character driven focus that allows the actresses to play off one another exceedingly well, making the most of their best friend/odd couple relationship. The premise of RIZZOLI & ISLES places Angie Harmon in the role of Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, who comes from a working class Italian-American family, which includes her younger brother Frankie (Jordan Bridges), who has also joined the Boston P.D., and her mother Angela (Lorraine Bracco), who constantly worries about her children’s chosen professions.

Jane is the also best friend of medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, with whom she works closely on homicide investigations. Maura is the adopted daughter of a wealthy family, who sometimes lacks finesse when dealing with other people, due to a sense of brutal honesty that is sometimes about as blunt as being hit in the head with a baseball bat. Despite their decided differences, Jane and Maura are as thick as thieves, which greatly benefits their working relationship, even if they occasionally don’t see eye to eye on the minutia. The cast of RIZZOLI & ISLES also features Lee Thompson Young and Bruce McGill. Look for reoccurring appearances from Chazz Palminteri as Jane’s father Frankie Rizzoli, Sr..

RIZZOLI & ISLES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a three-disc set that features the following ten episodes that were aired during the show’s freshman year: See One. Do One. Teach One, Boston Strangler Redux, Sympathy For The Devil, She Works Hard For The Money, Money For Nothing, I Kissed A Girl, Born To Run, I'm Your Boogie Man, The Beast In Me, When The Gun Goes Bang, Bang, Bang.

Warner Home Video has made all ten episodes from RIZZOLI & ISLES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The episodes look very good for standard definition, appearing crisp and nicely defined. Colors feature good saturation and attractive flesh tones, in addition to terrific stability. Blacks appear accurate, as do the whites. Contrast and shadow detail are just fine for a television level production, rendered at standard definition. The episodes generally appear free from blemishes and the level of grain is fairly minimal. Digital compression artifacts are not a problem.

All of the episodes that constitute RIZZOLI & ISLES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. Like most talky cop dramas, the RIZZOLI & ISLES episodes feature effective, but unremarkable soundtracks, which keep the dialogue the primary focus of the mix. Everything but the dialogue is gravy, so the sound designs are focused front and center. There are occasional channel separations, but the outlying channels don’t see too much activity beyond ambient sounds and musical fill. Overall the fidelity is good; the music sounds fine and sound effects are reasonably convincing. Dialogue is easy to understand, which is exactly as it should be. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as some extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Rizzoli & Isles: Bringing The Characters To Life and Rizzoli & Isles: Chicks In A Bottle. Some Unaired Scenes and a Gag Reel close out the extras.

Fun, well acted and character driven, RIZZOLI & ISLES is definitely one of the most enjoyable cop dramas airing on television. The DVD presentations are solid. Recommended.


Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete First Season (2010)



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 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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