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The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, October 30, 2012

by Ethan Alter October 30, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Call it NYPD Blue: The Copper Years.

Copper: Season One
For their first original dramatic series, BBC America concocted a project that takes full advantage of the network's transatlantic identity. Set in 1860s Manhattan, specifically the infamous Five Points neighborhood, the show follows the exploits of a transplanted Irishman, Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) who joins the NYPD after returning home from the Civil War to find his daughter dead and wife missing. As we pick up his narrative, Corcoran is balancing solving day-to-day crimes (you know, beatings, murders... the usual) with his right-hand men, while also getting caught up in more complex cases, like the plight of a child prostitute who many not be the innocent victim she appears to be and a scheme to buy up local real estate that's being perpetrated by his wealthy friend and fellow Union veteran, Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid). Copper's production values are impressive and series creator Tom Fontana is an old hand at urban procedurals, having previously overseen the late, great Homicide: Life on the Street. But over the course of the first season, the individual elements never coalesced to produce a truly great, can't-miss show. BBC American went ahead giving it a sophomore year anyway, so maybe they'll find the secret ingredient in between seasons.
Extras: Audio commentary on select episodes, a making-of documentary and deleted scenes.
Click here to read our review of the Copper pilot

Coma
The original Michael Crichton-directed medical thriller Coma, based on the novel by Robin Cook, is one of those late '70s genre movies that ran in an endless loop on cable throughout our childhood. It's not a great movie, but it is a solid double and never fails to evoke a certain amount of nostalgia. A&E's recent mini-series, on the other hand, is twice as long and half as enjoyable, marred by shoddy direction, terrible dialogue and painful performances from actors we generally expect more of, including Lauren Ambrose, Geena Davis and Ellen Burstyn. Cook's original book is constructed so well, you'd think it would be impossible to screw up. Based on this version of the story, you'd be very, very wrong.
Extras: None.
Click here to read our biggest questions about Coma

All in the Family: The Complete Series
Normal Lear's iconic sitcom -- still widely and correctly viewed as one of the greatest series of all time -- gets the long-awaited Complete Series DVD treatment courtesy of Shout! Factory. So many shows have seized their inspiration from Archie Bunker and his family, watching it today is to witness the origin of contemporary TV comedy before your very eyes. And while some of the jokes will be dated for contemporary audiences, it addresses social issues that remain relevant with a comic fearlessness that's still rare to find on the network television. Let's put it this way: Matt Stone and Trey Parker have frequently said that there would be no South Park without All in the Family, which is reason enough to be glad this show exists.
Extras: Two retrospective documentaries, the two original pilots as well as the respective pilots for the show's three spin-off series (Gloria, Archie Bunker's Place and 704 Hauser) and a collectible book with essays and photos.

Also on DVD:
In case there are any Chuck fans out there who haven't already collected the entire run of the cancelled NBC spy comedy on DVD, you can now own it in a single box, thanks to Chuck: The Complete Series. The rest of us can continue thinking that the series peaked with Season 2. Elsewhere, Metalocalypse: Season 4 collects the fourth year of the Adult Swim metal-scored cartoon and Michael Douglas and Karl Malden keep the Bay Area safe in The Streets of San Francisco: The Complete 5th Season.

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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