Welcome to fairy tale mystery theater.
Grimm: Season One
One of two fairy-tale themed series that debuted (and survived) last season, NBC's Grimm never equaled the ratings might of its companion/competitor, ABC's Once Upon a Time, but managed to find a healthy Friday-night audience that enjoyed its mixture of mythology and procedural-based mysteries. David Giuntoli plays a Portland-based homicide detective who discovers that he's part-"Grimm" -- a centuries-old crime-solving clan that's expected to police the divide between the human and fairy worlds. Silas Weir Mitchell co-stars as his sidekick, a werewolf (or, in the lexicon of the series, "Wider Blutbad") who has managed to put his thirst for human blood on hold long enough to hunt down his fellow fantasy creatures. All 22 Season One episodes are included in this five-disc set, allowing you to get caught up before Grimm returns on August 13.
Extras: Two making-of featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, audition tapes, visual effects samples and an interactive guide to the show's various monsters.
Strike Back: The Complete First Season
Imported to these shores from its native England for a run on HBO's little brother Cinemax, Strike Back partners an ex-Delta Force Yankee operative (Sullivan Stapleton) with a British CTU sergeant (Philip Winchester) and sends them around the world on a variety of high-risk, high-action missions for the international agency Section 20. Basically, it's like The Unit only with pay cable freedoms and heavier firepower. The ten-episode first season includes missions to such dangerous locales as South Africa, Kosovo and Chechnya. Season 2 begins on August 17 and if you need another reason to get caught up, try this one on for size: none other than Bob Dylan is a fan of the series, lending two of his latest tunes to the second season. The track "Early Roman Kings" is part of a promotional music video that currently playing on Cinemax and "Scarlet Town" will play over the closing credits of the premiere of Season 2's first two episodes. "Masters of War" indeed...
Extras: Cast and crew audio commentaries on five episodes.
Parenthood: Season Three
Despite a ratings track record that can perhaps best be described as mixed, the second small-screen adaptation of Ron Howard's 1989 ensemble comedy (the previous attempt was a short-lived 1990 series starring Ed Begley Jr. and Jayne Atkinson) has managed to stay on the air for three years, with a fourth set to begin this fall. Following the exploits of the extended Braverman clan, the show is overseen by Friday Night Lights guru Jason Katims, who knows a thing or two about creating meaty drama for a large cast. This set includes all 18 episodes of the show's junior year and features former East Dillon QB Michael B. Jordon in a supporting role.
Extras: Katims chats over the season's final two episodes.
Click here to read our rules for being a Braverman
Huff: Season 2
Our long national wait is finally over; six years after it went off the air, Showtime gets around to releasing the second and final season of its Hank Azaria-starring dramedy. It's been so long since the show's run, its star has had the chance to headline another cancelled live-action series, NBC's Free Agents. In case you don't recall (and you probably don't), Huff cast Azaria as a psychiatrist who experiences his own crisis of mental faith when a patient kills himself during a session in his office. Created by Bob Lowry -- who went on to produce the even more short-lived shows Viva Laughlin and The Black Donnellys -- Huff's supporting cast included such reliable performers as Oliver Platt (currently back on Showtime as part of the soon-to-end The Big C) and Paget Brewster. All that talent in service of such mediocre material -- it's like House of Lies all over again.
Extras: None, but just the fact that the second season is finally available on DVD seems like a bonus enough, at least to those who liked the series... all two of you.
Also on DVD:
If you love Dance Moms -- and who doesn't? -- now you can savor every cringe-inducing moment thanks to Dance Moms: Season 1. We know we'll be watching this set over and over again until the dancing tots are all grown up and in rehab. Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone series comes to a conclusion with his eighth and final TV movie mystery, Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt. So if you want more of that famous 'stache, it's time to finally break down and start watching Blue Bloods. Another month, another batch of Gunsmoke episodes for fans of classic TV courtesy of Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season Vol. 1. Finally, folks looking for animated series can choose between the Adult Swim silliness of Squidbillies 5 or the pony action in The Hub's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
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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