The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

by Ethan Alter November 29, 2011 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Tom Welling trying to act!

Smallville: The Complete Tenth Season
Smallville: The Complete Series
Ten years after its debut on what was then known as The WB, the long-running series Smallville called it a day, finally allowing its Superboy to become a Superman. The super-sized two hour finale didn't exactly redeem the show for its many, many sins (click here to remember some of the worst of the worst), but it was nice to see Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor one more time (apparently, no amount of money in the world could tempt Kristin Kreuk back) and watch the eternally unlucky-in-love Chloe Sullivan (fan favorite Allison Mack) settle down with a super-stud of her own. If you've been collecting the show all along, you can complete your set with the standalone Tenth Season collection or save shelf space by purchasing the entire run in one handy box. Hard as it may be to believe, an entire generation of viewers has grown up with Tom Welling, and not Christopher Reeve, as their Superman. Henry Cavill, you've got some big red boots to fill.
Extras: The Tenth Season set comes with a featurette about the filming of the show's 200th episode, a music video, deleted scenes and commentary tracks on selected episodes. The Complete Series collection includes an all-new retrospective documentary with new cast and crew interviews, pilots for the failed Aquaman spin-off show as well as The Adventures of Superboy from 1961, an episode guide and a DC Comics-penned issues of the Daily Planet that highlights key storylines from the show's run.

30 Rock: Season 5
Even die-hard fans of Tina Fey's once-great comedy series would probably admit that Season 5 of 30 Rock was the show's weakest year by a large margin. There were a few bright spots amidst the tedium, including Matt Damon's recurring appearance as Liz's pilot loverboy and a terrific Aaron Sorkin cameo. But then there were high-concept episodes like "Live Show" (a, well, live show) and "Queen of Jordan" (a faux reality show starring Tracy Jordan's wife, Angie) that were botched in execution and too many so-boring-nobody-cares storylines like Jack's new baby, Tracy's disappearance and pretty much anything involving Kenneth. Word on the street is that the show's sixth year may also be its last. If it has another season like this one, we're ready to let it go.
Extras: Commentary tracks on select episodes, behind-the-scenes featurettes and both the East Coast and West Coast version of "Live Show."

Mission: Impossible: The '88 Season
In part to navigate around an ongoing writer's strike that was threatening to affect the 1988 fall season, ABC decided to revive the Mission: Impossible TV franchise, even bringing back Peter Graves to revise his role as Impossible Missions Force team leader, Jim Phelps. Surrounding him were a bunch of younger, sexier (well, sexy by '80s standards anyway) faces, who used then-newfangled technology like optical disc players. The M:I name wasn't enough to tempt viewers away from established Sunday night hits like Murder, She Wrote and Family Ties, though and its subsequent move to Thursdays pitted it against the juggernaut that was The Cosby Show. The show was gone after two seasons and 35 episodes, the first 19 of which are included on this set, which is being released just in time for the debut of the fourth film in the far-more-successful big-screen M:I franchise.
Extras: None.

Also on DVD:
Best remembered as the season that introduced married gay couple Reichen and Chip to the world The Amazing Race: Season 4 also included such memorable personalities as clowns Jon and Al and professional virgins Millie and Chuck. The once white-hot Betty White boom seems to have cooled recently, but her TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland: Season Two is still chugging along. We just watch it for the still-foxy Valerie Bertinelli. And Smallville isn't the only just-concluded show getting a Complete Series set. The Girls Next Door: The Complete Collection offers all 6 seasons of defunct E! series that took viewers into the Playboy Mansion for up-close-and-far-too-personal looks at Hugh Hefner and his various blonde Fembot girlfriends.

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