The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

by Ethan Alter May 22, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Buying Sherlock on DVD is elementary our dear readers.

Sherlock: Season 2
The second season of the BBC's terrific modern-day re-telling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries wrapped up its American run on PBS this Sunday, but in case you missed it, you can burn through all three episodes on DVD starting today. And trust us, once you start watching, you probably won't want to stop, thanks to the great writing from Steven Moffat and the performances by Benedict Cumberbatch as the prickly private dick and Martin Freeman as the intrepid Doctor Watson. The first episode re-introduces one of Holmes's most memorable foils, Irene Adler, while the middle chapter is an updated take on The Hound of the Baskervilles and the final installment pits the detective against his arch-nemesis James Moriarty in a finale that's a real cliffhanger. CBS is bringing their own contemporary Sherlock to the screen in the fall with Elementary, but they've got a big deerstalker hat to fill.
Extras: Commentary tracks on the first two episodes and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Click here to read why you should be watching Sherlock

The River: The Complete Season One
Proof positive that not all great pilots will lead to great series, this ambitious ABC horror series -- executive produced by Steven Spielberg and by Oren Peli, the mastermind behind the Paranormal Activity franchise -- launched with a killer first episode and then went steadily downhill from there. The mistake wasn't trying to apply the first-person Paranormal Activity aesthetic to TV; the unique style of the series was actually one of its selling points, along with Bruce Greenwood's committed performance as a Steve Irwin-type explorer who goes missing in the wilds of the Amazon, forcing his family to come after him and encountering lots of spooky goings-on along during their voyage. No, what hurt The River was its increasingly erratic plotting and uneven performances from the rest of the ensemble cast. It's always nice to see a network TV series try to depart from the cookie-cutter norm, but maybe The River would have worked better as one of Peli's big-screen efforts.
Extras: Deleted scenes and commentary tracks on individual episodes.
Click here to read our recaps of The River

Teen Wolf: The Complete Season One
There was a lot of scoffing when MTV announced they were rebooting the '80s chestnut Teen Wolf as a weekly series last summer, but believe it or not, the finished product turned out to be pretty darn good, making our list of the season's best shows. Only tangentially related to the Michael J. Fox movie, the series developed its own distinctly dark and intriguing mythology that had us hooked by the end of its run. With Season 2 set to start on June 3, here's your chance to jump aboard the Teen Wolf train without feeling any shame.
Extras: An extended version of the season finale, a gag reel, deleted scenes, a montage of the titular teen wolf's shirtless scenes and additional making-of featurettes.
Click here to read our take on the Teen Wolf Season One finale

Route 66: The Complete Series
Back in the early '60s -- when cross-country road travel still carried a whiff of romance and danger -- the CBS series Route 66 followed two idealistic young men (Martin Milner and George Maharis, who would later be replaced by Glenn Corbet) who hit the open road in their sweet Corvette. Traveling from town to town, they made lots of new friends, a few enemies and enjoyed all sorts of adventures. The cast of guest stars reads like a Who's Who of past, present and future Hollywood royalty, among them Boris Karloff, Buster Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Robert Redford. The series ran for four seasons before eventually running out of gas in 1964. Now, Shout! Factory has collected all 116 episodes in one handy set, just in time for the summer when a new generation of youthful road warriors will take to the highways.
Extras: A 1990 Paley Television Festival panel with members of the cast and crew, '60s commercials and a documentary about the show's biggest star -- the Corvette.

Also on DVD:
If you're bummed out by the dull finale of the most recent Survivor season, you can relive two of its earlier editions Survivor: Guatemala and, even better, Survivor: Exile Island. Another soon-to-return summer series puts its previous season on DVD to get newbies caught up to speed. Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Second Season features the somewhat-dynamic duo of Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as a detective and medical examiner who fight crime together. And for the kiddies already juggling their summer sports league schedules, there's Team Snoopy, a sports-themed anthology of Peanuts cartoons, including Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown and The Pelicans.

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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