Worst. Pot Dealer. Ever.
Weeds: Season Seven
Nurse Jackie: Season Three
Yes, folks... Weeds really is still on the air. The long-running Showtime comedy wrapped its seventh year in September with a final episode that seemed more like a series finale than a season finale. But just like real weeds (not the medicinal and recreational kind), this show simply won't go away. Nancy Botwin and the rest of the increasingly annoying cast will be back for Season 8 later this year. Nurse Jackie also continues to hang around Showtime's schedule, despite middling ratings and reviews. Season 3 finds the pill-popping, adulterous nurse once again wrestling with a variety of problems on both the home and hospital fronts. If you're still into one or both of these shows but not enough to pay for Showtime, here's your chance to keep up with the continuing adventures of Nancy and Jackie. The rest of us can continue to pretend like they don't exist.
Extras: Weeds features cast and crew commentaries, a gag reel, deleted scenes, two featurettes and a Q&A with Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon. Nurse Jackie includes two featurettes, a gag reel and commentaries.
Underdog: The Complete Collector's Edition
There's no need to fear, Underdog is here! The classic '60s animated series gets a lavish DVD box set that would provide an ego boost for even the most self-esteemed challenged super-mutt. Created primarily to peddle General Mills breakfast cereals, Underdog became a hit in its own right thanks to the title character's good-hearted bravery and penchant for speaking in rhyme. Underdog regularly squared off against such villains as Simon Bar Sinister, the Overcat and Riff Raff, all the while wooing TV reporter Sweet Polly Purebred. Shout! Factory's nine-disc set includes all three seasons of the series, collected together for the first time. He may not have been as ahead-of-his-time as Rocky and Bullwinkle, but Underdog knew how to get the job done.
Extras: Commentaries with the show's co-creator and original vocal cast, a retrospective featurette and bonus cartoons.
Most Valuable Players
Calling all drama club nerds, both past and present: you won't want to miss this high school musical-themed doc, which recently aired on the OWN Network as part of Oprah's Documentary Club. In 2008, director Matthew D. Kallis followed three Lehigh Valley-area drama clubs on the road from from rehearsals to opening night to the Freddies, a Tony Awards-style ceremony -- complete with musical performances, an emcee and a live broadcast on local TV stations -- celebrating the year's best achievements in student theater around the region. While the proceedings get a little sappy at times, it's a thrill to see all the talent and enthusiasm on display and the ceremony itself is genuinely suspenseful as you wait to see which productions and performances will take home a Freddy. Oscars, eat your heart out.
Extras: A generous helping of deleted scenes, an outtakes reel and a brief interview with the filmmakers.
World on a Wire
Long unavailable following its premiere on German television in 1973, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's sci-fi miniseries is finally arriving on DVD in a beautifully restored print courtesy of the good folks at the Criterion Collection. Based on the novel Simularcron-3, World on a Wire takes place in the near future (one that still looks strikingly '70s in design, though) where scientists have created a simulated world inside of the real one. It goes without saying that the two eventually bleed together, thus inspiring the age-old question: "What the heck is reality, anyway?" An obvious forerunner of The Matrix and other worlds-within-worlds sci-fi tales, World on a Wire is a lost genre classic that's thankfully lost no more.
Extras: A 50-minute making-of documentary, an interview with a German film scholar and an essay about the series with critic Ed Halter.
Also on DVD:
Lest you think Showtime had the market cornered on the Borgia clan, Borgia Faith and Fear: Season One is another sudsy serial about the medieval crime family, this one from Tom Fontana, the creator of the late, great HBO prison series, Oz. Originally streamed on Netflix, all 12 episodes are now collected here on DVD. Hazel: The Complete Second Season presents the sophomore year of the '60s sitcom that starred Shirley Booth as a no-nonsense live-in maid. Somewhere, Grampa Simpson is screaming with glee: Matlock: The Seventh Season will provide the old coot hours of entertainment as Andy Griffith's elderly lawyer kicks some serious legal butt.
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