The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

by Ethan Alter June 12, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The boys are back in town... one more time.

Entourage: The Complete Eighth Season
HBO's long-running series (some would say, too long-running) finally called it quits after an eight-episode final season that wrapped up a bunch of storylines nobody really cared about and gave the guys the happy endings they all craved, but probably didn't deserve. The season kicks off with a fresh-out-of-rehab Vince looking to restore his A-list reputation, while his pal E tries to get his management firm off the ground, Drama deals with an out-of-control Andrew Dice Clay and Turtle... well, honestly, who cares what Turtle's up to? As for Ari, his complicated marriage is shaping up to be on a permanent hiatus. But in classic Entourage fashion, all of their problems are cleared up by the last episode and the crew walks off into the L.A. sunset for good -- at least until they reassemble to make that movie version the writers keep threatening us with.
Extras: Two retrospective featurettes with new cast and crew interviews and reminiscences of better times past... like the Season 2 Aquaman storyline.

Episodes: The First Season
With Entourage nearing its end, Showtime seized the opportunity to release its own behind-the-scenes Hollywood comedy Episodes, in which two married British television writers (played by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) cross the pond to adapt their popular, award-winning Britcom to the U.S. market. To say that the process doesn't go smoothly is an understatement; the numerous challenges they confront include a series of overpaid, underqualified network suits, a brutal development process that fundamentally changes their show and a loose cannon of a star (Matt LeBlanc, playing himself) who has a knack for getting himself and his new collaborators into trouble. Considerably less obnoxious than Entourage, Episodes gets off to a strong start before fading halfway through the season, undone by a few questionable storylines and inconsistent characterizations. But with more focus and stronger writing, there's fertile material here for a strong Season 2, which kicks off on July 1.
Extras: Biographies of the cast and episodes from the most recent seasons of other Showtime series like The Borgias, House of Lies and Dexter.

Too Big To Fail
Based on the best-selling book by Andrew Ross Sorkin, this HBO telefilm dramatizes the 2008 financial meltdown with an all-star cast -- including William Hurt, Cynthia Nixon and Paul Giamatti, who won a Screen Actors Guild award for his role -- playing real-world figures like Henry Paulson, Michele Davis and Ben Bernanke. L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson sits behind the camera here and his experience comes in handy in terms of juggling the giant cast. But if you're looking for a more dramatic version of this story, check out Charles Ferguson's Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job instead.
Extras: A making-of featurette, a short documentary about the financial crisis and a timeline recounting the exact sequence of events.

Scandal: The Complete First Season
Since breaking through with Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes has primarily created shows that rarely rise above the so-bad-they're-good level like Private Practice and Off the Map. But her latest series, the Washington D.C.-set Scandal surprised us by actually being... well, pretty good. Kerry Washington stars as Olivia Pope, a Beltway insider who makes her living protecting the images of the city's political elite. As the season unfolded, we learned that there was more -- much more -- to her backstory, particularly regarding her past relationship with the President himself (played by Tony Goldwyn). We legitimately curious to see where the show goes in Season 2 this fall.
Extras: Deleted scenes, bloopers and two featurettes.
Click here to read our review of Scandal's pilot

Also on DVD:
Scandal escaped the cancellation axe, but two of its fellow ABC mid-season shows weren't so lucky. The Ashley Judd thriller Missing: The Complete First Season and the Kristen Chenoweth comedy GCB: The Complete First Season both got their walking papers, so here's your chance to see what you missed by not tuning in. (Hint: not very much.) Elsewhere, the Doctor's former companion continues to travel through time and space in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Fifth Season and the made-in-New Zealand post-apocalyptic series The Tribe: Season 1, Part 2 releases the second half of its first season.

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The Telefile

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