The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

by Ethan Alter October 16, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks turn to drink to drown their post-Emmy sorrows.

Mad Men: Season 5
Never mind how the Emmys went down -- Mad Men's fifth year found the series firing on all cylinders following its extended hiatus. From Megan's rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou," to Don's obsession with HoJo sherbet to Roger's LSD experience to Lane totally decking Pete like some kind of ad-man Ali to that thing that Joan did (we're still too verklempt to talk about it), the season was packed with surprising, character-rich moments. Standout episodes have to include "Signal 30" (a.k.a. "The One Where Pete Goes to Driving School (And Gets Punched)"), "Far Away Places" (a.k.a. "The One Where Roger Drops Acid"), "At the Codfish Ball" (a.k.a. "The One Where Sally Draper Sees Roger Getting a B.J.") and "The Other Woman" (a.k.a. "The One Where Joan Acts Out Indecent Proposal"). Yes, Homeland deserved its multiple statues, as did Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. But man, how does a show and a cast this good go home completely empty handed? Let's start the chant now: Mad Men wuz robbed.
Extras: Cast and crew commentary tracks, a reel of the season's best one-liners, a featurette covering Truman Capote's 1966 Black & White Masquerade Ball, a time line covering the origin of daylight savings time and a gallery of era-appropriate Newsweek covers.
Click here to read our Mad Men recaps
Click here to see our picks for Season 5's most jaw-dropping moments

Alcatraz: The Complete Series
Touch: The Complete First Season
Fox had high hopes for the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi procedural Alcatraz when it premiered last fall. And, despite the obvious debt it owed to other shows (most notably The 4400), it was a pretty good series... but not good enough to ultimately survive the end-of-the-season axe. Instead, Fox opted to save the Kiefer Sutherland-led Touch, in which the ex-Jack Bauer starred as the father of a young boy who has the ability to help people based on the patterns he sees recurring in everyday life. Or something like that. Frankly, Touch never made a lot of sense to us and if we were going to save an on-the-bubble show, we would have gone with Alcatraz because 1) It would have meant more Jorge Garcia and Sam Neill on our screens every week and 2) The developing mythology made some sort of vague sense... unlike Touch. At least we've got the whole series on DVD to contemplate what might have been. Touch, meanwhile, returns to Fox at midseason for another batch of sure-to-be-disappointing episodes.
Extras: Alcatraz includes unaired scenes, a gag reel and a documentary about the world's most famous prison. Touch comes with an extended cut of the pilot, deleted scenes and two featurettes.
Click here to read our Alcatraz weecaps
Click here to read our Touch weecaps

Check It Out: Seasons 1 & 2
A spin-off of the surreal, love-it-or-hate-it Adult Swim series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Check It Out stars John C. Reilly (who refuses to discuss the character in interviews, method actor that he is), as a self-styled investigator of some of life's biggest questions. In 12-minute segments that have all the production value and depth of a bargain basement public access show, Brule -- whose ends almost every scene with his catchphrase, "To your health!" -- interviews guests, makes field trips and reveals far too much embarrassing personal information about himself in the process. The appeal of the series lies entirely in Reilly's hilariously committed star turn; we can take or leave Tim and Eric, but we'll happily spend several hours in the company of Dr. Brule.
Extras: 20 minutes of deleted scenes, plus a half-hour of extended scenes.

Also on DVD:
The never-ending Canadian high school soap Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 11, Part 2 releases another season of teenage melodrama. We wouldn't have it any other way. Meanwhile, the release of Psych: Season 6 indicates that that USA series is still on the air. Yay?

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