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Starring: Simon Baker

Number of discs: 6

Rating: NR (Not Rated) – consider it PG for violent content.

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

Run Time: 998 minutes

The Mentalist is a superb television show which falls somewhere between police procedural and a cozy. Featuring Aussie heartthrob Simon Baker as the Holmesian Patrick Jane a consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation. The CBI actually exists and is charged with assisting local, state and federal agencies with investigations based in California.  Patrick Jane in his heyday was an eminent psychic who raked in the money deceiving people with his ability to cold read and manufacture stories in a heartbeat. As part of his public relations in his former life Patrick Jane even consulted with the police and openly insulted the serial killer Red John on television. His reward for this hubris was the slaughter of his family by the same Red John who has never been captured. Patrick Jane works with the CBI with the sole intent of finding and killing Red John.

All of the above was back story – nothing to ruin any plot at any moment in the series. The Mentalist works for the same reason Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation Sherlock Holmes works – we all marvel at those who see the same things we see but put together the pieces as if they were a simple equation. There is always a sense of: “I could have done that”, but in our hearts we know that isn’t true.  What is true though is that The Mentalist is a tightly written series that has a strong story arch that is well served by the “crime of the week” style of storytelling that can stand apart from or integrate with the Red John arch.

The cast of The Mentalist is competent but nothing to write home about with the exceptions of Simon Baker and Tim Kang  (as Kimbal Cho) who really shine . The direction is generally as good as one has come to expect from a television series neither spectacular nor poor.  In some ways The Mentalist will remind mystery show fans of Psych and Monk but really has a charm all its own which is due in large part to the excellent scripts. This six DVD set contains the first 23 episodes of the show along with the obligatory gag reel and  documentary short and of course has found a permanent place in my DVD collection.

Episode List
Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: Red Hair and Silver Tape
Episode 3: Red Tide
Episode 4: Ladies in Red
Episode 5: Redwood
Episode 6: Red-Handed
Episode 7: Seeing Red
Episode 8: The Thin Red Line
Episode 9: Flame Red
Episode 10: Red Brick and Ivy
Episode 11: Red John's Friends
Episode 12: Red Rum
Episode 13: Paint It Red
Episode 14: Crimson Casanova
Episode 15: Scarlett Fever
Episode 16: Bloodshot
Episode 17: Carnelian, Inc.
Episode 18: Russet Potatoes
Episode 19: A Dozen Red Roses
Episode 20: Red Sauce
Episode 21: Miss Red
Episode 22: Blood Brothers
Episode 23: Red John's Footsteps