The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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

Say farewell to the residents of the small town of Eureka

Eureka: Season Five
Sanctuary: The Complete Fourth Season
Alphas: Season One
Not wasting any time following last night's series finale, Syfy releases the fifth and final season of its long-running sci-fi dramedy Eureka -- which follows the misadventures of a small Pacific Northwest towns filled with geeky geniuses -- on DVD today. While never an exceptional series, at its best Eureka was reliable summer comfort food for genre fans, especially as Syfy moved further and further away from dramatic series in favor of reality TV. The uneven final season was also capped by a solid finale that brought back a few old faces and tied the series up with a clever final gag. We're not sorry to be leaving the town of Eureka, but we'll fondly remember our time there. In addition to Eureka, Syfy also bid farewell to the action series Sanctuary, which starred Stargate SG-1's Amanda Tapping as the leader of a monster-hunting squad. Frankly, four seasons is a good run for a show that few people watched and even fewer talked about. But as the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new: after premiering to decent word-of-mouth and numbers last summer, Alphas releases its collected freshman year prior to the debut of Season 2 on July 23rd. Basically Syfy's version of X-Men, Alphas gives character actor David Strathairn a steady paycheck as a scientist who oversees a team of bickering crime-fighters who each possess special physical and mental powers. After a slow start, the series improved considerably in the second half of the season, expanding on its mythology and introducing some great guest stars (particularly Summer Glau and Brent Spiner). If it's able to maintain that level of consistency, Alphas may become Syfy's next Eureka.
Extras: Eureka comes with a nostalgic commentary track on the series finale, deleted and extended scenes, four featurettes, a gag reel and a special holiday episode. Sanctuary includes commentary tracks on select episodes, outtakes, deleted scenes and several behind-the-scenes documentaries including a look at Tapping's daily routine. (We're assuming fighting actual monsters isn't involved.) Alphas offers deleted scenes, an extended cut of the pilot and a recording of the show's 2011 Comic-Con panel.

The Inbetweeners: The Complete Series
Between Skins and The Inbetweeners, our good friends across the pond are proving that they consistently make some of the best teen shows around. The antics of the Inbetweeners teenagers are certainly a lot funnier (not to mention more scarily realistic) than most of the things American networks come up with. Set at a suburban high school, the series follows a dorky sixth-former named Will who falls in with a group of fellow sex-obsessed freaks and geeks (all of whom are very vocal about lusting after his "fit" Mum) and engages in such classic teenage traditions as chasing girls, trying to buy alcohol and heading off on road trips. Like Skins, the cast is appealing, the writing is fast and funny and the school setting is so vividly realized we can practically smell the dirty gym socks and cruddy lunches. Also like Skins, MTV has already announced an American remake, which will almost certainly be terrible. So stick with the original and keep your eyes peeled for the feature film sequel, due in American theaters in September.
Extras: Commentary tracks with the cast and crew, video diaries, outtakes, deleted scenes and featurettes.

Also on DVD:
TNT's con-man series series Leverage: Season Four offers up another batch of enjoyable heists. Elsewhere, the Delta Burke-less final season of Designing Women is now available for your consumption and the third year of the classic TV Western Bonanza rides onto disc in a new box set.

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