The show may be called New Girl, but for us, it's all about the Schmidt.
New Girl: Season One
Last September Zooey Deschanel brought her adorkable (or, depending on your tolerance level for Zooey-meister, annoyingable) manic pixie dream girl act to the small screen in what became one of the season's breakout hits. (Season 2 just kicked off on Fox last week.) And while New Girl encountered a few dead spots and course corrections during the course of Season 1, overall the show proved consistently funny and charming, thanks largely to Deschanel and her strong supporting cast -- particularly our boy Max Greenfield, whose star-making performance as plus-sized dork-turned-chiseled... well, dork, Schmidt, catapulted him to the top of our list of favorite scene-stealers. Other highlights of the show's first year included funny guest arcs by Lizzy Caplan and Justin Long, the Calvinball-esque drinking game True American and Winston rocking out to show tunes while cruising across the US/Mexico border. If they keep the quality up, we're looking forward to hanging with this crew until the new girl becomes an old girl.
Extras: Commentary tracks on three episodes, including the Emmy-nominated pilot; deleted scenes, extended scenes and alternate takes; a gag reel; three featurettes and an episode of Fox's new comedy, Ben and Kate.
Click here to see our recap of the best things about New Girl's first season.
Click here to see our review of the Season 2 premiere
Hart of Dixie: The Complete First Season
After wandering around in the B-list celebrity wilderness since the end of The O.C., Rachel Bilson re-teamed with her former Orange County overlord Josh Schwartz for this cheesy (but enjoyably so) CW series in which she plays a big-city doctor who reluctantly accepts a job in the small southern town of Bluebell, Alabama. So basically it's Doc Hollywood with better fashion sense and no Woody Harrelson. On the other hand, it does give former Friday Night Lights QB Scott Porter a steady gig as Bilson's love interest -- who also happens to be married to her rival, played by Jaime King. Maybe he'll tempt a few of his ex-Panthers into stopping by for a guest spot or two...
Extras: A gag reel, deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.
Click here to see our round-up of Hart of Dixie's most ridiculous moments
How I Met Your Mother: Season 7
Once the jewel in the crown of CBS's comedy line-up (sorry Big Bang Theory), How I Met Your Mother has been on a downslide for some time now, culminating in its largely awful seventh year, which began with Barney about to marry a person whose identity was kept a secret until the finale (in a completely unsurprising twist, it turned out to be Robin) and included such other lowlights as Lily and Marshall's demon spawn finally arriving in the world, Katie Holmes playing the elusive Slutty Pumpkin, the Eriksen/Aldrin's stint in the Long Island suburbs (culminating in the listless farce, The Burning Beekeeper) and the previously jilted Ted breaking up his old flame Victoria's wedding for purely selfish reasons. All in all, Season 7 made us root for the show's eight and final season to really and truly be its last.
Extras: HIMYM includes deleted scenes; a gag reel; commentary tracks on select episodes; and four featurettes, including footage of Neil Patrick Harris earning his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Click here to read our recaplets of How I Met Your Mother's seventh season
Magic City: The Complete First Season
Seeking to capitalize on some of the buzz it earned for its Kelsey Grammer series Boss, Starz concocted this hybrid of Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men. Set in Miami Beach circa 1959, Magic City follows hotelier Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), proprietor of the lavish resort, Miramar Playa, who is so eager for his joint to succeed that he strikes a bargain with gangster Ben "The Butcher" Diamond (Danny Huston)... a bargain that comes back to bite him in more ways than one. Although the production values are top-notch, the drama definitely isn't; even pros like Morgan and Huston can't overcome the torpid dialogue and predictable plotting. Starz still believed strongly enough in the show that they ordered a second season before the Season 1 premiere even aired. Maybe they'll bring in a whole new writing staff as well.
Extras: Six making-of featurettes covering various aspects of the show's production.
Click here to read our review of the series premiere
Also on DVD:
If you didn't pick up the hit British series Downton Abbey in its previous editions, PBS is now hawking a Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Gift Set in anticipation of the show's Season 3 premiere in January. All of the bonus features have been ported over from the previous releases, but this one does boast better packaging, which as we all know is a major deciding factor in DVD purchases. Tucked away on Friday night, The CW's spy series Nikita: The Complete Second Season has nevertheless developed a nice little cult following, who enjoy the show for its well-executed twists and turns as well as the butt-kicking charms of star Maggie Q. Another CW series popping up on disc this week is 90210: The 4th Season, the still-running sequel to the generation-defining Fox soap. In case you aren't already a regular viewer of USA's block of House repeats, you can re-experience the entire run of Hugh Laurie's just-cancelled medical drama via House: The Complete Series. Be smart and bail after Season 5.
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