The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

by Ethan Alter April 17, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Great soundtrack, shame about the show.

Treme: The Complete Second Season
It's telling that David Simon recently received more attention for criticizing TV recaps than he has for the actual TV series he currently has on the air. Since it premiered to high expectations in 2010, the New Orleans-set Treme has almost completely fallen off the pop culture radar, although a small, but devoted, group of fans continue to lobby hard for its virtues. Season 2 further explores the unsteady state of the Big Easy in the wake of Katrina, bringing back most of the same characters from the first year (most significantly Steve Zahn and Wendell Pierce) as well as new faces such as David Morse and Jon Seda, who play an overstressed cop and an ambitious developer, respectively. Although the show may not click dramatically for some (okay, most) viewers, everyone pretty much agrees that the wall-to-wall jazz music is great... and available separately on CD, so you don't have to pretend to watch and enjoy the show in order to get your aural fix.
Extras: Featurettes about the food and music seen and heard on the show, a documentary about New Orleans's rich musical history, music-themed commentary tracks and separate audio commentaries with cast and crew members.

Frozen Planet: The Complete Series
A follow-up to the smash BBC nature series Planet Earth, Frozen Planet is a seven-part look at the coldest places on the planet -- Antarctica and its neighbor to the (far) north, the Arctic. Nature documentary expert Alastair Fothergill rides shotgun as the show's executive producer, while David Attenborough lends his familiar, comforting voice as narrator. (Alec Baldwin narrated the version that aired stateside on Discovery, but Attenborough's dulcet tones accompany the DVD release.) The episodes cover such subjects as the four seasons in these two regions as well as climate change -- a topic that was considered controversial enough that Discovery almost declined to air that installment for American audiences, but reversed that decision at the last minute.
Extras: Video diaries, a series of featurettes and an hour-long highlights reel in case you can't bring yourself to watch all seven episodes.

Also on DVD:
Meet the original Duggars via Eight Is Enough: The Complete First Season, which collects the freshman year of the '70s sitcom about a newspaper columnist (Dick Van Patten, playing a character based on real-life journalist Thomas Braden) raising eight kids at home with the help of his wife -- a character that was actually written out of the show after the actress playing her passed away during the first season. Shout! Factory continues to pay homage the ahead-of-his time TV comedian Ernie Kovacs, following up their terrific 2011 box set with Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials, a series of eight specials Kovacs made towards the end of his life in 1961. Finally, animation fans have a bevy of titles to choose from this week, including Young Justice: Season One Vols. 1-3, starring the young heroes of the DC Universe from Superboy and Robin to Miss Martian and Artemis; American Dad: Volume Seven, the latest release from the Seth MacFarlane Fox Factory; Bob's Burgers: Season 1, the one Fox series on the air not produced by MacFarlane or Matt Groening (perhaps not coincidentally then, it's being hailed as one of the network's secret gems); and, finally, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Ending brings the second chapter in the Cartoon Network series to a close. Ben 10: Omniverse picks up the story again when it launches this fall.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

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