The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

by Ethan Alter September 24, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hannibal Lecter prepares for his stint on Top Cannibal Chef.

Hannibal: Season One
This time last year Bryan Fuller had two shows set up over at NBC: a reboot of The Munsters called Mockingbird Lane and a Red Dragon prequel series that paired FBI profiler Will Graham with psychiatrist (and secret cannibal) Hannibal Lecter. Mockingbird never progressed past the pilot (which aired as a one-off event around Halloween), but Hannibal wound up airing 13 critically-acclaimed, if low-rated hour-long episodes. Rather than cut the show's lifespan short, the Peacock did the right thing and ordered a sophomore season, which will no doubt carry the same potent mixture of Gothic horror and psychological terror that made Season One so attention-grabbing. Fueled by a pair of fantastic lead performances -- Hugh Dancy's tortured Graham and Mads Mikkelsen's austere Lecter, an approach that couldn't be more different from Anthony Hopkins's showboating turn -- and a non-traditional take towards procedural plotting. Hannibal may have its roots in Thomas Harris's books, but in Fuller's skillful hands, it emerges as its own distinctly thing. Extras: Cast and crew commentaries, unrated cuts of the episodes, deleted scenes, storyboards from the pilot, gag reel (the good, non-murderous kind of "gag") and four featurettes.
Click here to read our full Hannibal recaps
Click here to see why we're happy Hannibal was renewed

Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series
Foyle's War: Set 7
Matt Smith's farewell season as the 11th Doctor (Peter Capaldi will take over in the next cycle) happened to coincide with the show's 50th anniversary, a landmark birthday that will be commemorated with an all-new special in November that unites Smith with his direct predecessor, David Tennant. That team-up sounds promising and will hopefully provide a better Whovian career-capper for Smith than this wildly uneven batch of solo episodes. Sure, there were a few highlights (most notably "The Snowmen" and "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS"), but oh the surrounding mediocrity! Whether it was spaceship-flying dinosaurs or yet another appearance by the Cybermen, too much of the season was given over to wheel-spinning as the writers prepared for Smith's departure. Needless to say, we're psyched for Capaldi's turn in the TARDIS, particularly if he manages to aim a few Malcolm Tucker-style barbs at his companions. Another staple of British TV, the period mystery series Foyle's War, slaps a batch of episodes on disc today. Picking up in the aftermath of World War II, these new installments find Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle butting up against the encroaching spy games his nation started playing as WWII gave way to the Cold War. So when are we getting the inevitable Doctor Who/Chris Foyle crossover?
Extras: Doctor Who comes with behind-the-scenes interviews, featurettes, episode prequels and commentary tracks on select episodes. Foyle's War includes featurettes and video introductions to each episode by the show's creator.
Click here to read our full recaps of Doctor Who

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season
Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season
The Neighbors: The Complete First Season
In only its second season, 2 Broke Girls went and blew up the major narrative thread that gave the sitcom its foundation. Against the odds, sassy, vaguely racist Brooklyn waitresses Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) raised enough dough to open the cupcake shop they'd dreamed of since the pilot… only to watch it fail and close its doors before the finale. While there's something admirably ballsy about taking that kind of big creative risk, series creator Michael Patrick King was careful not to mess with the formula too much. Which means the show was still shot-through with terrible story lines, faux-edgy humor, broad caricatures in place of funny characters and an overall smug tone. We still love Dennings, but she desperately needs to find another vehicle for her ample talents. Speaking of not rocking the boat, Modern Family's fourth season found the series continuing its creative stasis. Occasionally an episode came along that showed some of the show's old comic flair -- we're thinking specifically of the one where Ty Burrell's Phil unwittingly arranges a date night with a gay gym buddy (Matthew Broderick) as well as the season finale, which sends the whole clan off to Florida -- but too often it felt like the writers and actors were just going through the motions. On the other hand, one couldn't accuse the alien invasion comedy The Neighbors of playing it safe. This odd (and oddly appealing) suburban sitcom overcame a rough pilot to blossom into a modest fall hit that makes surprisingly clever use of its intergalactic fish-out-of-water premise. Most of last fall's comedies didn't deserve a second chance… The Neighbors does.
Extras: 2 Broke Girls offers two featurettes, un-aired scenes, a gag reel and footage from the cast's appearance at PaleyFest. Modern Family includes commentary tracks on four episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and four featurettes. The Neighbors comes with bloopers and deleted scenes.

South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season
Family Guy: Volume 11
American Dad: Volume 8
It's an Animation Domination on DVD, leading off with the release of South Park's sixteenth year. Watch Cartman invent the myth of Jewpacabra, Butters star in a Stan-directed PSA about bullying and the show's own unique take on the 2012 election. Given that each episode is written and produced in about four days, it's not a huge shock that the quality can swerve to awesome to awful on a dime, but when South Park's cooking, it's hard to find more provocative political satire outside of The Daily Show. Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy doesn't really do that kind of topical humor (at least, not well), but its legions of fans don't really care. Year 12 found Chris going to space camp, the Griffins doing the Nielsen Family thing and Stewie cloning himself and Brian in a teleporter incident. As for MacFarlane's other surviving Fox show, American Dad!, the eighth year featured vocal cameos from unexpected folks like Cee-lo Green and Anjelica Huston, which proved more surprising (and amusing) than any of the storylines.
Extras: South Park includes Trey Parker and Matt Stone's signature mini-commentaries on every episode, plus deleted scenes. Family Guy and American Dad are bare bones.

Also on DVD:
Follow the continuing adventures of the well-toned, well-tanned group of Hawaii-based crime fighters on CBS's supreme guilty pleasure, Hawaii Five-0: The Third Season. Chuck Lorre's cash machine Two and a Half Men: The Complete Tenth Season hits the decade-mark of terrible writing and lazy performances. The last remaining Law & Order franchise Law & Order: SVU – The Fourteenth Year continues to keep the streets of New York safe from rapists, murderers and other psychos.

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