The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

by Ethan Alter November 12, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Can you believe we used to be married?"

Dexter: The Final Season
Dexter: The Complete Series
In hindsight, Showtime's move to air the last season of Dexter opposite the final season of Breaking Bad did its once-hot, now-not serial killer… um, serial no favor. Because every right step taken by Vince Gilligan & Co. just served to show how off-course the saga of Dexter Morgan had gone since its Season 1 and Season 2 glory days. And despite the legitimate gripes some have about the Breaking Bad series finale, you'd have to actually be high on meth to consider Dexter's ludicrous farewell the superior send-off. It's almost as if the writers intended to punish -- rather than reward -- the fans who had stuck with them through thick and thin in a scheme more diabolical than anything Dexter himself might dream up. If you've been waiting to binge-watch the entire series, Breaking Bad-style, all eight seasons are now available in one giant set, though we'd recommend quitting after the season that pits Michael C. Hall against John Lithgow. Walk away then and spare yourself the title character's final humiliation that can best be summed up in one word: lumberjack.
Extras: The Final Season comes with five featurettes and the first two episodes of Ray Donovan, for people really eager to torture themselves. The Complete Series comes with all the previously-released bonus features that were released on earlier editions.
Click here to see our recaps of Dexter's final season

Silk: Season One
Because legal dramas aren't strictly the domain of American television anymore, this British courtroom procedural about the rivalry between defense barristers (the fancy Anglo-word for lawyer) Martha Costello (Maxine Peake, from the UK version of Shameless) and Clive Reader (Rupert Perry-Jones, from MI-5) as they compete to see which will land a coveted position on prestigious Queen's Counsel. Game of Thrones vixen Natalie Dormer (yay!) also turns up in less revealing outfits (boo!) as Clive's pupil, Niamh Cranitch. We've got a great pitch for a GoT spin-off: Margaery Tyrell: Royal Lawyer.
Extras: A behind-the-scenes featurette.

MADtv: Season 4
What were folks laughing about in 1998? Based on the fourth season of MADtv, steady sources of comedy were provided by 90210 (the original incarnation), Halloween H20, Felicity, Shaquille O'Neal (per-retirement), Celine Dion and the first Star Wars movie to be released in sixteen years. Flash-forward another decade and at least one of those things is still relevant! (We'll let you decide which.) Season 4 hosts include Jerry Springer, Donny Osmond, Keri Russell and Gary Coleman, absolutely none of whom are still relevant. Well, maybe Keri Russell. Depends on how much you like The Americans.
Extras: None

Family Ties: The Complete Series
Combat: The Complete Series
With Michael J. Fox's new series currently flat-lining on NBC, now seems the ideal time to revisit the actor's breakout show, which, two decades on, is still effortlessly funny and heartwarming in ways that his current program routinely struggles to be. While Fox emerged as the star of Family Ties, the entire ensemble deserves credit for making the show work, from parents Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter Birney down to the youngest Keaton kids (first Tina Yothers, and later Brian Bonsall). And in direct contrast to Dexter's disappointing series finale, Family Ties boasts one of the all-time great goodbyes, one that leaves us still hoping for a reunion show. C'mon… doesn't that sound better than another episode of The Michael J. Fox Show? Another classic television show getting the complete series treatment is the '60s wartime drama Combat!, set during World War II and revolving around the 361st Infantry, an American squad on the ground in France post-D-Day. Vic Morrow heads up the cast, while the guest star roster included such soon-to-be-famous-faces as Charles Bronson, Leonard Nimoy and James Caan. Combat! is also notable for being one of the shows that Robert Altman directed before he launched his big-screen career in the '70s. Remember that tidbit for your next TV-themed Trivia Night.
Extras: Family Ties comes with a bonus disc boasting featurettes, plus a photo album with episode descriptions. Combat! is bonus features free.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.




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