RAY DONOVAN: The First Season Blu-Ray Review

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Showtime’s Ray Donovan just returned for its sophomore season, but before you delve into all the new drama, you can relive the entire first season, now available on Blu-ray, in the comfort of your living room – and you should.

Ray Donovan is a sensational new series starring Liev Schreiber, as a Hollywood fixer, and Jon Voight, as his maniacal father. The show centers around Ray’s life in Los Angeles with his wife, Abby (Paula Malcomson), daughter Bridget (Kerris Dorsey), son Conor (Devon Bagby), and brothers, Bunchy (Dash Mihok) and Terry (Eddie Marsan). After an unstable childhood in Boston, Ray moved the entire family to California and has since then become an influential behind-the-scenes man involved in a slew of illegal activities in the interest of keeping his clients out of the news and out of the slammer. He draws on skills from his sordid past in Boston to make a living in the land of milk and honey.

The underlying premise of the first season is the exploration of the relationship between Ray and his father, Mickey (Voight), who comes to Los Angeles after serving 20 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Mickey’s relationship with his family is limited to the the letters he received from his daughter-in-law, Abby, unbeknownst to her husband. When Mickey reemerges in his family’s life after all this time, battle lines are drawn between the estranged father and son, and everyone is caught in the middle.

With Ray being the central character, all the other characters make up the periphery of the storyline – Bridget and her first boyfriend, Conor and his aggression, Abby and her depression, Teri and his relationship issues, Bunchy and his “sexual anorexia,” and Mickey and his love child Daryl (Pooch Hall), The combination of these character arcs make for a solid television watching experience, and really come together to form a compelling show.

Ray Donovan: The First Season looks great in blu-ray format presented in 1080p high definition with English TrueHD 5.1, French 5.1 Surround, Spanish 2.0 Stereo and English SDH subtitles. The colors are muted, which suits the material, and the sounds is clear

Unfortunately, Showtime is notorious for releasing their hit shows on Blu-ray without giving viewers any incentive to go this route, meaning they are consistently lacking in the special features department. We saw it earlier this year with the final season of Dexter, and we’re seeing it again with this title. Ray Donovan is a series with layers and it would have been nice to have a behind-the-scenes perspective on them. This Blu-ray offered nothing in the way of explanation for production choices or character arcs; none of the extras lasted for longer than two minutes, and although the series itself is worth investing in, their are probably better (read: cheaper) options in this case.

I highly recommend giving Ray Donovan a chance, but if you’re looking for a special features heavy addition to your Blu-ray collection, this title probably isn’t for you.

You can catch new episodes of Ray Donovan on Showtime, Sunday nights at 9/8c for the rest of the summer!

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The Author

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling has A.D.D. and her tastes reflect it. Her movie collection boasts everything from Casablanca to John Tucker Must Die to every season of Sons of Anarchy to-date. She adamantly supported a Veronica Mars Movie, hopes that the Fast & Furious franchise continues far into the future, and has read every popular YA book series turned film in recent years (except Harry Potter..). When she's not on an indie film set or educating the youth of America, she uses her time arguably productive as a freelance writer.