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Title: Limitless: Season 1

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:77

“Limitless” was one of the most underrated and criminally ignored films of 2011. Starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro (before De Niro went over completely to DTV land), it revolved around a young writer who was stuck in life. Stuck until he got hold of NZT-48, a revolutionary new drug that enhanced his cognitive abilities to that of the smartest person on earth. While it wasn’t revolutionary or worthy of the Oscars, “Limitless” was a fun little sci-fi thriller that was just plain ENJOYABLE. Fast forward 5 or 6 years and Bradley Cooper is back, or at least partially back, as the producer and semi guest star of “Limitless: Season 1”, a show that picks up a few years after the movie ends and continues the basic subtext of the plot, except this time revolving around a young man by the name of Brian Finch (Jake McDorman). A man who is also stuck in his life, much like how Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper’s character) was in the film a few years back.

Brian Finch is a young man who HAD a bright future ahead of him, but sadly is stuck in neutral for the time being. His friends have moved on and gone to bigger and better things, and even his family is placating his man child ways. That is until Brian gets ahold of a new underground street drug called NZT-48 from a friend who took pity on him. All of a sudden, KA-POW! Brian’s mental capacities are incredibly enhanced and he is able to do soooooooooooo much more. The only problem is that NZT only lasts about 12 hours before it’s out of your system and poof, back to being a normal human being again. On his search to find MORE of the drug, Brian soon ends up in a conspiracy where the people responsible for using it are slowly being killed off. Suspected of being the killer, Brian is soon hunted by the FBI and subsequently cleared, but not before it becomes clear that Brian has an immunity to the deadly side effects of the drug. Side effects which have kept it relatively underground until now after the government realized their own agents were dying after using it for a while.

With Brian the only person who can TAKE the drug safely (something which is explained thanks to the inclusion of Bradley Cooper who reprises his role as the major user and controller of NZT), he is given a special consulting role at the FBI wherein he works for them in an effort to track down criminals using his enhanced cognitive functions. However here’s the rub. Brian is not just in the FBI of his own volition. Senator Eddie Morra has gotten to Brian First (as told through some flashbacks) and is using Brian as a mole within the FBI for his own gains. Now Brian isn’t exactly happy about this arrangement, but because Senator Morra is giving him injections of a secret serum that makes him immune to the side effects of NZT that makes him so useful, the young man doesn’t really have a choice.

Brian is a bit different than your normal FBI consultant. Usually these characters are tortured people with memory problems, or incredibly morose and down, but Brian is a bit of an arts and crafts type of guy who still loves to use his old Bong, Sinbad, on the off hours. Thus his approach to solving crimes is a bit more whimsical and fun oriented. This doesn’t always come across as a good idea to his handler, Rebecca (Jennifer Carpenter), who is a bit more straight laced than he is, and his FBI babysitters (nick named Mike and Ike, just because Brian said so) are usually a bit frustrated by his offbeat methods of investigations. However, it is these offbeat and quirky moments that make the show stand out from the rest of the police procedural crowd. In fact, “Limitless” is nothing more than your average run of the mill “light” sci-fi police procedural, but it’s the fun and whimsical way that the character Brian interacts with everyone around him that makes it so much fun.

Jennifer Carpenter is on top of things like usual, playing a much less messed up and profane version of Deb from “Dexter”, and fits into the role of a strict FBI agent quite well. Most of the episodes deal with her and Brian running from spot to spot taking care of “crime of the week” episodes, but the inclusion of Eddie Morra and his special agent, Jarrod Sands (Colin Salmon) make for some interesting, if not diverting, serialized arcs where Brian is dealing with the moral implications of working with Senator Morra, who actually ends up drifting more towards the antagonist side of the fence the more the show goes on. A stark contrast from how the movie ended, but a natural progression if you really think about the reality of using a drug that makes you so much smarter than everyone around you.

The episode rundown is as follows

1 – Pilot
2 – Badge! Gun!
3 – The Legend of Marco Ramos
4 – Page 44
5 – Personality Crisis
6 – Side Effects May Include…
7 – Brian Finch’s Black Op
8 – When Pirates Pirate Pirates
9 – Headquarters!
10 – Arm-ageddon
11 – This Is Your Brian on Drugs
12 – The Assassination of Eddie Morra
13 – Stop Me Before I Hug Again
14 – Fundamentals of Naked Portraiture
15 – Undercover!
16 – Sands, Agent of Morra
17 – Close Encounters
18 – Bezgranichnyy
19 – A Dog’s Breakfast
20 – Hi, My Name Is Rebecca Harris
21 – Finale: Part One!
22 – Finale: Part Two!!


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video :4stars:
Sadly “Limitless: Season 1” was one of the newer shows that gets to bypass the Blu-ray route and goes straight to DVD despite being a show shown in HD. Still, the DVD’s themselves look VERY nice, and are given ample room to breathe, spread out over 6 DVD-9s with an average of 4 episodes a disc (2 on the final disc). The bitrate is very healthy and show benefits from it with good color replication and solid detail throughout. There are a few moments where I noticed some macroblocking and a flicker of banding in the midst of a flashlight beam, otherwise the 1.78:1 encoded DVDs looks artifact free. Skin tones are natural looking I really can’t see much to complain about the set.

Audio :4stars:
The set is nice enough to gives us the 2.0 Dolby Digital mix that went along with many broadcasting stations, as well as the full 5.1 Dolby Digital track that was aired with the HD presentations. The track are both rich and full of life, from the pop rock score theme song that follows you through the series to the gunshots, crashes and bangs that go along with the average police procedural in the line of duty. The more boisterous moments are aggressive and full of LFE, while the rest of the time the show tends to be a bit front heavy as dialog becomes the major focus. Said dialog is always clean and clear, free of major distortions, and blends nicely with the rest of the track. A straight forward, but technically sound audio mix that fits the genre.

Extras :3.5stars:

• Audio Commentary with series creator Craig Sweeny and actor Hill Harper
• Gag Reel
• Launch Promos
• Big Screen to Small Screen
• The Style of "Limitless"
• More of Who You Are
• Brian Presents

Overall: :4stars:

“Limitless: Season 1” is a fun, if not slightly derivative, police procedural that was sadly cancelled just after the finale of the first year. The creators of the show have worked tirelessly to pitch it to a competing channel, or direct to Netflix/Amazon type of situation, but as of this time there really has not been any good news for fans. It’s a fresh and intriguing take on the procedural genre, but sadly one that is just living in a world where there is market saturation in those types of shows. I had a lot of fun watching it and I would definitely check out season 2 if it gets picked up, but sadly that doesn’t look to be the case. Audio and video are impressive, and there is actually a really nice array of extras on the six disc set to keep you digging even further into the mythos. Recommended for a fun watch.

Additional Information:

Starring: Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Created by: Craig Sweeney
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0
Studio: CBS/Paramount
Rated: NR
Runtime: 938 minutes
DVD Release Date: September 6th 2016

Buy Limitless: Season 1 DVD on Amazon

Recommendation: Decent Watch

More about Mike

3,979 Posts
I had fun with this too. Too bad it hasn't been picked up. Fingers crossed...

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