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TV on DVD: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

by Ethan Alter October 4, 2011 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All they want to do is eat your brains. They're not unreasonable, no one's gonna eat your eyes.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Special Edition
The first season of AMC's most popular series arrived on DVD and Blu-ray several months ago, but with Season 2 about to kick off on October 16, the network is double-dipping with a special edition re-release with lots of new bonus features. The show itself holds up nicely as well, from Frank Darabont's chilling pilot (bon voyage, Frank -- we'll miss you) to the tense finale in the basement of a barricaded CDC. Here's hoping the new crop of episodes live up to (and, in some cases -- like the Dixon brothers -- improve upon) what has gone before.
Extras: A black-and-white version of Darabont's pilot (the director pulled a similar stunt with his 2007 horror picture The Mist, which was released to DVD in color and B&W versions), commentary tracks on all six episodes, five making-of featurettes and a conversation between Darabont and the show's F/X artist, Greg Nicotero.

Prohibition
PBS is wasting little time bringing its latest Ken Burns documentary to the masses. On the same day it airs the third and final installment in the 5-and-a-half hour long film about America's brief spell as a "dry" nation gets a DVD release on both standard and Blu-ray editions. It's a fascinating, timely slice of history, told with Burns' usual formal rigor and wealth of archival material. Be sure to check out the book it's based on as well, Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
Extras: Over two hours of bonus interviews and scene titles.

The League: The Complete Second Season
Louie, Archer and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia get most of the attention, but FX's other comedy series, about a group of middle-aged pals that bond and squabble over their fantasy football league, is quietly about to begin its third season later this week. While it is undeniably less consistent than its channel-mates, The League does benefit from its cast, which includes experienced comics Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll, as well as husband-and-wife mumblecore veterans Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton. The occasional cameo from actual NFL players don't hurt either.
Extras: Extended episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and several show-within-the-show clips.

Bored to Death: The Complete Second Season
Speaking of underappreciated comedies, HBO's Bored to Death is emerging as one of the network's most reliable shows, offering up a quirky mixture of comedy and mystery. As with The League, the cast is key here, from leading man Jason Schwartzman, to buffoonish sidekick Zach Galifianakis to silver-haried scene stealer Ted Danson. Filmed almost entirely on location in the great borough of Brooklyn, Bored to Death also nets some pretty great guest stars: Kristen Wiig, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt are some of the people that road the Q train over the East River in Season 2.
Extras: Audio commentaries with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, outtakes and behind-the-scenes segments.

Also on DVD:
After three seasons of solid word-of-mouth, but mediocre ratings, In Treatment: The Complete Third Season and Lie to Me: Season Three both called it quits at the end of their respective third years. That's four seasons shy of the '90s ABC sitcom Boy Meets World: The Complete Seventh and Final Season, which offers up its seventh and final season for those viewers old enough to remember who Ben Savage is. Speaking of vintage teen idols, the ABC Family series Melissa & Joey: Season One, Part Two stars the one-time Sabrina (or, if you're really old, the one-time Clarissa) and the former Joey Russo as an adoptive single mom and her new nanny respectively. And finally, we can't end this nostalgia-driven round-up without mentioning The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, the filmed version of Pee-wee Herman's triumphant return to the Great White Way. "Way?" Wait a minute -- you said the secret word! Quick, everyone scream real loud!

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