The Telefile

TV On DVD: Tuesday, September 13, 2011

by Ethan Alter September 13, 2011 6:00 am
TV On DVD: Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We must confess/That your suckiness/Is bringing us down/So give us a sign/Please get good again one more time.

Glee: Season Two
After a heavily-hyped, highly-rated, creatively fertile Season One, Glee crashed down to Earth big time in its sophomore year. The season's low points have already been chronicled extensively (let us never speak of that Rocky Horror episode again) so in the spirit of good sportsmanship, let's take a moment to cite some of the things that did work last year: 1) Brittany coming into her own as the show's most reliable comic foil and its best dancer (sorry Mike Chang); 2) Santana's realization that her feelings for Brittany went beyond friendship and occasional make-out sessions; 3) Kurt's bravery in the face of Karofsky's bullying (and kissing, which, ugh); 4) Gwyneth Paltrow's appealing guest turn as savvy sub Holly Holiday (for which she just picked up an Emmy); and 5) that Fleetwood Mac episode, the Don't Stop finale excluded. Here's hoping Season Three -- now with less Ashley Fink! -- gives us more things to praise and less to revile.
Extras: A batch of new featurettes, including one devoted to Glee's guest star roster as well as a behind-the-scenes peek at that episode we already said must not be named, and a montage of Sue's best quips and Santana's best put-downs. We're much for excited for the latter than the former.

Wishful Drinking
Everyone's favorite galactic princess, Carrie Fisher, takes center stage in this filmed version of her well-received one-woman show, which covers her turbulent childhood, her rocky marriages (to Paul Simon, among others) and, of course, her time aboard the Millennium Falcon. A hilariously candid speaker (just wait til you hear her talk about waking up next to a dead guy) Fisher doesn't spare herself, her family or her colleagues from her pointed barbs. Some bits of business are funnier than others -- a flow chart depicting her convoluted family tree starts out well, but goes on a bit too long -- but overall this show will provide Star Wars fans with almost everything they ever wanted to know about the real-life Princess Leia, but were afraid to ask.
Extras: Extended scenes from the show and a conversation with Fisher's mother, the unsinkable Debbie Reynolds.

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
In a purely coincidental, but still unfortunate bit of timing, this Spartacus prequel arrives on DVD just after the show's original star Andy Whitfield passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the too-young age of 39. Whitfield himself doesn't appear in this mini-series, which instead follows the exploits of Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (John Hannah) and his crazy wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) prior to Spartacus' arrival in their gladiatorial boot camp. The show's hallmarks -- i.e. lots of soapy melodrama, bloody stylized violence and sex, sex, sex - are most certainly in evidence though, and prime our appetites for Season Two, in which Liam McIntyre will try to fill Whitfield's sizeable sandals. RIP Andy and best of luck Liam.
Extras: An "On-Set with Lucy Lawless" featurette plus eight other behind-the-scenes docs, audio commentaries on every episode and bloopers from the arena.

Camelot: The Complete First Season
Outsourced: The Complete Series
Continuing our tour of last season's defunct TV shows, this week brings the DVD releases of Starz's take on the King Arthur legend as well as the NBC sitcom about call center technicians in India. Modeled after The Tudors and Spartacus, Camelot never achieved either show's popularity or creative spark. Which is a shame, because if any actress was ever born to play the evil, yet sexy Morgan Le Fey, it's Eva Green. Outsourced, on the other hand, never seemed all that promising to begin with (to say the least) and the show managed to live down to expectations as it plodded through its first and only season. So what's the next title that we can expect from the NBC graveyard? Perfect Couples or The Paul Reiser Show? Place your bets, place your bets...
Extras: Camelot offers character profiles, bloopers and assorted featurettes, while Outsourced streets without any previously announced bonus features.

Also on DVD:
Denis Leary's firehouse drama aired its final episode last week, but just in case you missed it, that farewell -- along with the rest of the show's final season -- is collected for posterity on Rescue Me: The Complete Sixth Season. With the fall season officially kicking off this week, now's your last chance to get caught up on the previous seasons of a few returning favorites. Choose between The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season, Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season, Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season, Private Practice: The Complete Fourth Season and last and probably least Blue Bloods: The First Season. You can also check out what the wacky gang from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 6 was up to in the show's sixth year or hang out with Amanda Tapping and the rest of the Sanctuary crew on Sanctuary: The Complete Third Season.




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