TV on Disc Channel Guide: The complete 'House'
Plus Ken Burns' 'The Dust Bowl' debuts the day after its PBS premiere, and more
"Game Of Thrones: The Complete First Season Collector's Edition" (HBO) is the most lavish fantasy epic TV has ever seen and now it comes out as a Blu-ray+DVD deluxe gift set for the holiday season. Videodrone's review is here.
Craig Stevens is TV’s most debonair private-eye "Peter Gunn: The Complete Series" (Timeless), the stylish late-fifties private eye series created by Blake Edwards. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
"House, M.D.: The Complete Series" (Universal) - "Everybody lies." That's the working philosophy of diagnostician Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), the brilliant medical detective fascinated by puzzling symptoms and unresponsive conditions. He’s also insufferable, insulting, arrogant, cynical, abrasive, and more interested in the disease than the patient it ails. Yet this hobbling, Vicadin-popping, soap opera-addicted, rude and crude misanthrope with the bedside manner of Don Rickles manages to win the support (and eventual love) of the hospital administrator (Lisa Edelstein), the friendship of Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), and the affection of beautiful young intern Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison). Just how does the TV’s most insufferable doctor become a modern sex symbol and how does Laurie makes this insufferable, insulting, arrogant, cynical, abrasive character is so mesmerizing?
This box set doesn't answer the question necessarily, but it should satisfy anyone interested enough to go looking for it: all eight seasons and 176 episodes of the hit series, from the original crew of interns (Morrison, Omar Epps, and Jesse Spencer) through his subsequent teams (Olivia Wilde, Kal Penn, Peter Jacobson, Amber Tamblyn, Odette Annables and Charlyne Yi), plus memorable guest stars Chi McBride, Sela Ward, David Morse, Andre Braugher, and more. Right to the end, he plugs away with the disease-of-the-week dramas if only to prove again and again that everybody lies and to execute his little rebellions against authority for no reason than it is in his sour, self-pitying nature. There's nothing new here that wasn't in the original season releases except for an illustrated episode guide. 41 discs in eight standard cases with hinged trays.
"The Dust Bowl" (Paramount), the new Ken Burns documentary, chronicles the devastating drought that almost destroyed the plains states during the 1930s: the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, according to Burns. "Though it has the pokey pace and flat affect of his other films -- for Burns, history is elegy -- it is also one of his best works: more tightly focused than usual in time and place, with a clear shape, dramatic arcs and a conclusion that is at once cautionary and moving, topical and timeless," praises Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd.
Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD the after the two-part production concludes on PBS. Also includes a featurettes, deleted scenes, and bonus interviews.
"Video Game High School: Season 1" (Rocket Jump) is a web-series about an elite high school of the future where the curriculum revolves around, you guessed it, mastering the art of video games. Geek Mom reviews the series for Wired here. Two discs, DVD only.
It's holiday variety shows, sixties style, in two new releases of vintage TV specials. "Christmas with Danny Kaye" (Inception) presents two complete Christmas specials from "The Danny Kaye Show." From 1963 are guest stars Nat King Cole and Mary Tyler Moore, and from 1966 with guests Peggy Lee and Wayne Newton, plus a bonus clips from the 1965 special with Kaye reading from "A Christmas Carol." DVD only.
"The Dean Martin Christmas Show" (Time Life) is a 1968 special featuring 39 guest stars, among them Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Glenn Ford, Johnny Carson, William Holden, Roy Rogers, Raymond Burr, Bob Newhart, Dom DeLuise, and more. DVD only.
- "Transformers Prime: Season Two" (Shout! Factory) is the new CGI reboot of the classic giant robot animated series. 26 episodes plus supplements on DVD. The Blu-ray edition follows next week.
- "Ancient Aliens: Season Four" (A&E) offers ten more episodes of UFO archeology on Blu-ray and DVD.