In this case, father most definitely does not know best.
Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season
We Can Be Heroes
In what was supposed to be his triumphant final season, baseball's best bad boy Kenny Powers (played, as always, by the incomparable Danny McBride) got a crash course in fatherhood when his girlfriend/baby mama April (the insanely attractive Katy Mixon) drops their little bundle of joy off at his doorstep. Now, this overgrown kid has got to be the parent of a kid, while also trying to avoid being replaced on his Myrtle Beach minor league team by a Russian import. (Any similarities to Rocky IV are quite clearly intentional.) Season 3 also features memorable supporting roles from returning players like Craig Robertson, Will Ferrell and Matthew McConaughey as well as new additions like Jason Sudeikis and Lily Tomlin as Mama Powers. The show's junior year proved so entertaining (provided you like this sort of thing, which not everybody does) that HBO brought it back for another year -- look for Season 4 to hit sometime in 2013. The network continued to expand its alt-comedy bona fides in 2012 by bringing the Australian mockumentary series Angry Boys to these shores. The brainchild of Aussie comic Chris Lilley, who wrote, directed and plays all six of the angry young men featured on the show -- from a surfer to a wanna-be rapper -- Angry Boys pissed off as many people as it entertained, but that only solidifies its cult comedy status. And if you're still not laughed out, HBO is also releasing Lilley's earlier (and funnier) series, We Can Be Heroes, which follows a motley crew of oddballs competing to be named Australian of the Year, on DVD today. Jeeze, is the network trying to re-brand itself as Comedy Central or something?
Extras: Eastbound & Down comes with audio commentaries from the cast and crew on all eight episodes, as well as outtakes and deleted scenes. Angry Boys comes with six hours (yes, you read that right) of deleted scenes, as well as bloopers and music videos for Lilley's rapper alter ego. And Heroes features two hours of deleted scenes, a making-of documentary and extended episodes.
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 2
Paramount continues its clean-up work on the first Star Trek sequel series, dusting those '80s episodes off and painstakingly remastering them for high-definition, complete with a spruced-up soundtrack. Too bad that doesn't include the overall quality of the show, which was still struggling to find its way in its sophomore season. (Season 3 is generally regarded as the year that the new Enterprise found the proper direction.) Still, there are some solid hours of sci-fi entertainment to be found here, most notably "Q Who," which brought back fan favorite Q and also introduced the show's defining villains, the Borg. And even in the worst episodes, Patrick Stewart's commanding performance as Picard will make you happy to follow him anywhere.
Extras: A reunion of The Next Generation cast 25 years later, a two-part documentary exploring the strengths and weaknesses of Season 2, two audio commentaries, deleted scenes and vintage commercials.
Titanic: Blood and Steel
We've all seen the story of how the Titanic sank. But how was it built in the first place? For that tale, you can turn to this six-part miniseries, which aired on Encore in October. Beginning in 1909 and ending on the infamous evening of April 15, 1912, the series tracks the ship's tortured birth at a shipyard in Belfast, Ireland to its mid-Atlantic sinking. Neve Campbell, Derek Jacobi and Chris Noth are just some of the familiar faces who turn up in the course of the series clad in appropriate period dress. Sadly, there's no appearance of Leo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet or even Billy Zane, meaning that this Titanic series doesn't follow the movie's continuity. James Cameron would not be pleased.
Extras: Two making-of featurettes.
Cagney & Lacey: The Complete Series - 30th Anniversary
Long before Rizzoli & Isles, top female cops Christine Cagney (originally played by Meg Foster, who was replaced by Sharon Gless in Season 2) and Mary Beth Lacey (Tyne Daly) solved crimes, caught perps and in general proved that the world of TV policing didn't have to be a guy's game. Cagney & Lacey was also one of the earliest examples of a series that was saved by fan enthusiasm. When low ratings led CBS to cancel the series not just once, but twice, a letter writing campaign (plus increased viewership during the summer and an Emmy nomination) convinced the network to bring it back and it went on to run for a total of seven seasons, plus four TV movies. That entire run (plus the show's pilot) is encompassed in this 38-disc box set, which also comes with an autographed photo, plus a booklet detailing the history of the show and its importance at the time and still today.
Extras: The audio book Cagney & Lacey... and Me by Barney Rosenzweig and footage a 30th anniversary tribute event held in London.
Also on DVD:
Though it was passionately liked in some quarters, TNT's Men of a Certain Age: The Complete Second Season never made it past its sophomore year, the victim of that age-old culprit, low ratings. If you're still unaware about the Brony phenomenon, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Season 1 will get you up to speed. For those out there still collecting Simpsons box sets, The Simpsons; Season 15 is now available, collecting the show's 2002-2003 season, with such episodes as "The Regina Monologues" where the family goes to London and meets Tony Blair and, more importantly, J.K. Rowling.
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