The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

by Ethan Alter August 14, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is how we'll always remember the Community crew... as NES characters.

Community: The Complete Third Season
Treasure this DVD set, friends, because in many ways it represents the final season of our second-favorite ratings challenged NBC sitcom (after Parks and Recreation). Sure, Community is coming back for another batch of episodes in the fall, but those likely-final 13 installments will be overseen by someone other than Dan Harmon, the insanely talented (and, by most accounts -- including his own -- insanely hard to work with) series creator. Going into Season 3, Harmon promised everybody (including us) that he was going to try and make Greendale Community College's strangest study group more accessible to mainstream viewers. Considering that some of the year's best episodes involved parallel universes, Dreamatoriums and elaborate spoofs of the Apocalypse Now documentary Hearts of Darkness, one of those Ken Burns PBS series and old-school 8-bit NES adventures, we're going to say that he didn't really stick to the plan. But that's okay, because we wouldn't trade any of those episodes for more "normal" sitcom fare. (We get enough of that from CBS.) While we'll obviously still show up for the gang's first day back in class in October, this set kind of represents their graduation diploma.
Extras: Cast and crew commentary tracks on all 21 episodes; deleted scenes and gag reels; and two featurettes, one devoted to the show's hilarious Glee spoof and the other covering the aforementioned Ken Burns episode.

Dexter: The Sixth Season
Sure the title character may be a serial killer and everything, but Dexter's worst crime during its most recent season was its flagrant abuse of Edward James Olmos. The Battlestar Galactica star climbed aboard the sixth season of Showtime's thriller as the mentor and accomplice of new murderer Colin Hanks. But there's something mysterious about this guy... actually, no there isn't. It's flagrantly obvious what's up with Olmos and that lack of suspense is just one of the many problems with this season, which probably ranks as the show's worst... yes, even without the presence of Julia Stiles. At least we can take comfort in knowing that there are only two seasons left to go, so one way or another, Dexter will soon put us all out of misery.
Extras: Interviews with the cast and the show's writers, plus the first two episodes of Showtime's House of Lies, which are only slightly superior to this season of Dexter.
Click here to read our full Dexter Season 6 recaps

Glee: The Complete Third Season
Speaking of shows that just enjoyed their worst-ever seasons, the junior year of Fox's once-hot, now-not high school musical was the pits on both the storytelling and singing front. Every episode was packed with so-boring-nobody-cares storylines such as Finn and Rachel's stomach-turning romance and almost-marriage to Quinn's brief time in a wheelchair to all those Glee Project winners that were shoved down our throats. And then there were the boring and flagrantly offensive moments, like Emma's hateful parents and Coach Beiste's domestic violence story arc. Things like that forced us to watch most of the non-musical sequences with our hands covering our eyes to avoid the horror. And even the music wasn't that great anymore, what with the cast butchering numbers from classic musicals like Chicago and West Side Story and then doing a whole disco episode, as if the show's teen demographic has any idea what the hell Saturday Night Fever is. At least network TV's other melodramatic musical series Smash was fun to hate-watch. Sitting through Glee was just torture.
Extras: Four featurettes, a pair of music videos, some bonus Sue Sylvester insults and a music jukebox feature.
Click here to read our full Glee Season 3 recaps
Click here to read which deleted Season 3 scenes we want to see next

Also on DVD:
If you're still not on board the Happy Endings train, Happy Endings: Season 1 & 2 will get you caught up on the delightful ABC sitcom before it returns for its third season when more people will hopefully be seduced by its charms. The now-grown children of the '80s will be happy to hear that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Final Season is now available for purchase, bringing the Turtles' first (and still best) television incarnation to a close. Those same viewers might also want to pick up Power Rangers: Super Samurai Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 just to see where another franchise from their youth is today... or introduce it to their own young 'uns. And finally, the good folks at Warner Archive have finally released Star Trek mastermind Gene Roddenberry's first TV series The Lieutenant through their MOD service. Produced three years before the Enterprise made its maiden voyage, the show follows a Marine Corps officer (played by Gary Lockwood, who would later soar through the stars in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Spacey Odyssey) who heads up a team of recruits that need some breaking in. The set contains all 29 episodes, plus a theatrical version of the series that has never previously been released.

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