AMC gets back on the horse.
Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season
Rubicon fell short, but AMC finally found another series that could approach the following of their signature hits -- including Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead -- with the Old West drama Hell on Wheels. Set in and around the titular settlement, populated by workers building the first transcontinental railroad, the show picks up with ex-Johnny Reb soldier Cullen Bohannon arriving in Hell on Wheels to track down the man that murdered his beloved wife. His vengeance-laced mission brings him into contact with such assorted characters as freed slave Elam (Common) and duplicitous businessman Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney, in the Ian McShane role). Comparisons to HBO's late, great Western Deadwood are unavoidable and while Hell on Wheels isn't ready to join that rarefied company, it's a solid series that could get even better in its second season, which will premiere later this year. Now's as good a time as any to hop onboard.
Extras: Featurettes galore covering every aspect of the show's production, from the characters to the historical recreations to choreographing that big train crash.
Flashpoint: The Fourth Season
A made-in-Canada import that's built up a decent U.S. fanbase, Flashpoint stars Enrico Colantoni as the lead negotiator of an elite squad of cops who are regularly called upon to resolve some of the stickiest situations that the force faces, from hostage situations to bomb threats. Season 4 storylines find the members of the Strategic Response Unit dealing with corporate robbers, missing children and a revenge-driven arsonist. Enjoy all the Canadian cop action while you can folks; it's been announced that Flashpoint's fifth season will be the show's last. Which means that Colantoni will once again be available for that non-existent Veronica Mars movie.
Extras: Three featurettes, including one about the show's music.
Also on DVD:
Explore the cosmos and the history of the universe via The Universe: The Complete Season 6. Bonus: when you turn the sound off, the show makes for a great screen saver for your desktop. Collectors of vintage '60s television shows will be happy to add Hazel: The Complete Third Season to their libraries, while teens can dance along to Victorious: The Complete Second Season, the Nickelodeon series starring actress/singer Victoria Justice.
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