And you thought your family was crazy.
Big Love: The Complete Fifth Season
Big Love: The Complete Series
HBO's polygamy-minded series Big Love debuted to high ratings and much praise back in 2006 and aired its final episode this past March to considerably less fanfare. That's because, halfway through its run, the show jumped the shark big time, abandoning the compelling domestic drama that marked its first few years for bigger and more absurd storylines involving, among other things, unnecessary trips to Mexico, inbreeding and political squabbling in the Utah State Senate. Even as things got increasingly crazy, the excellent ensemble cast (Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Golden Globe-winner Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) did their best to keep their characters grounded. Complete your Big Love collection with the standalone fifth season release, or watch the entire thing (or maybe just the first three seasons) via the complete series box set.
Extras: The fifth season edition comes with "Inside the Episodes" mini-documentaries and a retrospective about the entire five season run. The complete series set includes audio commentaries, three prequels and three mini-episodes and a handful of featurettes.
Portlandia: Season One
If Fred Armisen seems to be less and less of a Not Ready for Primetime Player on Saturday Night Live, that might be because he's busy writing, producing and starring in the IFC series Portlandia. Set, as the title implies, in Portland, Oregon, this offbeat sketch comedy show features Armisen and his co-star/co-creator Carrie Brownstein (formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney) playing various Pacific Northwest types in different comic scenarios. Jason Sudeikis, Gus Van Sant and Aubrey Plaza are just some of the big-name guest stars that popped up during the show's first season. Season Two starts airing on IFC on January 6.
Extras: Bloopers, extended scenes and audio commentary by Armisen and Brownstein.
The Simpsons: The Fourteenth Season
Hey, remember the time that Homer met Mick Jagger and Keith Richards? How about when Marge got a boob job? And wasn't it sweet to see Moe and Maggie as BFFs? All those storylines and more appeared on The Simpsons' fourteenth season, which aired from 2002 to 2003, back when the series was sandwiched between King of the Hill and Oliver Beene, instead of 50 Seth McFarlane shows. (Fun fact: It also aired opposite the short-lived series My Big Fat Greek Life. Ah, Nia Vardalos... how little we miss you.)
Extras: Cast and crew commentary tracks on every episode, deleted scenes, original sketches and featurettes.
Also on DVD:
Wow, are we up to Volume 22 already? Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXII finds the snarky crew of the Satellite of Love tearing into such "classics" as Time of the Apes, The Brute Man and The Violent Years. The History Channel series Vietnam in HD chronicles the story of America's most controversial war with high-definition transfers of archival on-the-ground footage. Finally, relive baseball's best post-season in many years with 2011 World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals, which recounts the Cardinals' rise from wildcard underdogs to World Series champs.
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