The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

by Ethan Alter June 5, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Just call him Bad to the bone.

Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season
Trying to pick which AMC show is better -- Breaking Bad or Mad Men -- is a zero sum game, so let's just agree that, when they're firing on all cylinders, both shows are excellent TV. And Breaking Bad was definitely in fine form during its Season 4 run, which pitted partners-in-meth Walter and Jesse against Giancarlo Esposito's Gus Fring, the manager of the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant chain... and a ruthless drug kingpin. From the killer premiere to the mind blowing finale, this was arguably the best season yet for one of the very best shows around.
Extras: Cast and crew commentaries on all 13 episodes, an extended cut of the season finale, deleted, extended and alternate scenes, a gag reel, eight behind-the-scenes featurettes and a series of those hilarious "Better Call Saul" commercials starring Bob Odenkirk's sleazy chain mall lawyer.
Click here to read our Breaking Bad recaps
Click here to revisit some of BB's best, worst and grossest moments.

Falling Skies: The Complete First Season
Steven Spielberg tapped his Saving Private Ryan screenwriter Robert Rodat to create this post-apocalyptic cable series, set in the aftermath of an alien invasion that decimated the population of Earth. The survivors have joined forces to become a rebel army, mounting guerilla-style attacks on their new overlords. Our guide to this brave new world is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a history professor turned leader of the 2nd Massachusetts regiment who attempts to care for his three sons while mourning the memory of his dead wife and striking sparks with the hot doctor (Moon Bloodgood) that travels with his unit. The scope of the show is definitely ambitious and the sizeable budget is fully on display in the impressive production design and special effects, but dramatically Falling Skies is, unfortunately, kind of a dud with mediocre writing, predictable storylines and bland characters. In the Spielberg extraterrestrial canon, it ranks closer to War of the Worlds rather than Close Encounters or E.T..
Extras: Commentary tracks with the cast and crew, making-of featurettes, video from the show's panel at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con and a sneak peek at Season 2, which premieres June 17.
Click here to read our recaps of Falling Skies Season 1

Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Second Season
ABC Family's most consistently entertaining series got even more fun during its second season, when the mysterious A's identity was revealed at last (or was it... ?), Jenna pretended to be blind for a whole episode, Emily received an unexpected dose of HGH and the liars walked the runway in outfits their dead best friend created. We're looking forward to seeing how they top themselves in Season 3, which kicks off on tonight.
Extras: Deleted scenes and two featurettes, one devoted to the show's fashions and the other centered around its male cast members.
Click here to read our Pretty Little Liars recaps
Click here to revisit some of PLL's best Season 2 moments

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season
Larry David took his shtick bi-coastal in Curb's eighth season, which started off in sunny L.A. before making the move to New York. While not quite as great as last season's Seinfeld reunion, this year did offer up such highlights as "Palestinian Chicken," in which Larry inadvertently gets literally caught in the middle of a heated battle between a Palestinian chicken restaurant and a Jewish diner; "The Hero," in which Larry matches wits with Ricky Gervais; and the season finale "Larry vs. Michael J. Fox," where his acrimonious relationship with the former Family Ties star gets him kicked out of New York by none other than Mayor Bloomberg himself. In the last scene of the finale, Larry picks a fight with a random guy on the streets of Paris. Is it too much to hope that next season will be an Around the World in 80 Days homage? We'd love to see Larry trying to order a bagel and a schmear in Beijing.
Extras: A tour of New York City led by Larry's pal Leon (scene-stealer J.B. Smoove) and a taped recording of a 92Y panel with David, Jeff Garlin and Susie Essman moderated by Brian Williams.

Also on DVD:
A comedy series about three twentysomething guys written by three twentysomething guys, the Comedy Central series Workaholics: Seasons 1 and 2 is kind of like Office Space: The Series, following the exploits of three white collar college grads toiling at a telemarketing firm. Jason Robards plays power-mad fictional president Richard Monckton (gee... wonder which actual president he's been modeled after?) in the '70s miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, which also stars Stefani Powers, Andy Griffith and Cliff Robertson. With its summer line-up about to kick off, USA releases previous season sets of some of its biggest shows, including the Matt Bomer con man series White Collar: Season Three, the sports therapist drama Necessary Roughness: Season One, the legal procedural Fairly Legal: Season One and, the granddaddy of them all, the spy serial Burn Notice: The Complete Fifth Season.

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