TV on Disc Channel Guide: Bringing Closure to 'The Closer,'
Plus new seasons from the 'NCIS' juggernauts, the only case 'Perry Mason' ever lost, and more
"House: Season Eight" (Universal) is the final season of the series starring Hugh Laurie as TV's most famous misanthrope medical genius and the valedictory lap brings back a lot of familiar faces from past season. Videodrone's review is here.
"Revenge: The Complete First Season" (ABC), a juicy nighttime soap opera of the rich and beautiful in the Hamptons and a ferocious scheme of righteous vengeance, was one of the success stories of the 2011-2012 TV season. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
"The Closer: The Complete Seventh and Final Season" (Warner) – The TNT original series is an odd bird, headed by a Deputy Chief (Kyra Sedgwick) with reckless disregard for procedure, command structure, and even the law at times, and a crew that has evolved into the most well-oiled detective squad on TV. Which makes their brand of professionalism and camaraderie all the more impressive because it feels earned, forged under the pressure of job.
It's fitting that the final season of the series is haunted by two old cases, one involving a suspected rapist (Billy Burke) they could not convict, the other revolving around the Deputy Chief's calculated disregard for a suspect that resulted in his death as surely as if she had executed him herself. And if she beats criminal charges, she still has to face up to the act itself, which the show deals with pretty well (if not completely honestly). Mary McDonnell, whose Internal Affairs officer has been a frequent guest character, joined the cast for this season in preparation for the spin-off "Major Crimes," which is already forging its version of the team in its new incarnation on TNT.
DVD only, 21 episodes on five discs in a standard case with hinged trays, with the moderated discussion "Confessions of the Closer" featuring the cast and creators in front of an audience, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.
"NCIS: The Ninth Season" (Paramount) and "NCIS: Los Angeles – The Third Season" (Paramount) offers a match set of military-based procedurals.
"NCIS: The Ninth Season," headed by Mark Harmon as flinty team leader Gibbs, is the original recipe and offers the comfort food of old-school procedurals with a military command structure. This season, class clown heartthrob and movie buff Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) grows up a little, thanks to some life-changing situations involving national security betrayals. The rest of the team is on the job too: Cote de Pablo as Israeli Intelligence veteran turned NCIS field agent Ziva David, Sean Murray's tech geek McGee, and my favorites, Pauley Perrette's goofy goth scientist Abby and David McCallum's forensic doctor "Ducky" Mallard. DVD only, 24 episodes on six discs in a box set of three thinpak cases, with commentary on three episodes, five featurettes, deleted scenes, and a cast roundtable discussion.
In contrast to the East Coast original is the younger, buffer "NCIS: Los Angeles – The Third Season" (Paramount), with Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J chasing bad guys in the California sun. This is a slicker, sexier show with sun-baked outdoor action, a younger set of players than "NCIS" original recipe, and cooler technology, all of which helped make this even more popular. DVD only, 23 episodes (plus the bonus "Hawaii 5-0" cross-over) on six discs in a standard case with hinged trays, with commentary on one episode, six featurettes, and deleted scenes.
"Tiny Toons Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation" (Warner) is the DVD debut of the 1992 direct-to-video spin-off from the animated series, following the summer adventures of the children of Bugs, Daffy, Porky and friends.
"Planet Dinosaur" (BBC), the six-part British documentary series on prehistoric life, uses computer animation to illustrate the most recent understanding the creatures and environments of the prehistoric ages. John Hurt narrates. DVD only.
"Judge John Deed: Season Six" (BBC), the final series of the British legal show starring Martin Shaw as the former defense barrister turned maverick judge whose quest for justice often bends the letter of the law, presents two feature-length episodes on two discs. DVD only.
"Megacities" (Athena), a three-part documentary series presented by BBC journalist Andrew Marr, explores five of the most populated cities on the globe: London, Dhaka, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Shanghai. The three-episode "Crisis at the Castle" (Athena) looks at the preservation challenges of three family-owned castles in Britain. Both DVD only.
"Perry Mason: Season 7, Volume 1" (Paramount) presents 15 more episodes of courtroom brilliance from Raymond Burr's definitive TV lawyer and his crack team (Barbara Hale and William Hopper). Among the episodes this season is the historic "The Case of the Deadly Verdict," the only case where Mason lost to D.A. Hamilton Burger (William Talman). DVD only, four discs.
"Mike & Molly: The Complete Second Season" (Warner) mines a season of laughs out of the wedding plans of Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell. DVD only, 23 episodes on three discs, plus a wedding video (awwwww!).
"The Adventures of Tintin: Season Three" (Shout! Factory) is the final season for the 1992 animated series, a co-production of French and Canadian studios and still the most faithful screen version of the books. DVD only, 13 episodes (most of them two-part adventures) on two discs. No supplements.
"The Infinity Gauntlet! Season 2, Volume 4" (Shout! Kids) offers the final six episodes of the comic superhero series. "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Vol. 1" features 30 episodes on three discs. Previously a web-exclusive, it's now in stores. Both DVD only.