Pick up Downton Abbey's third season on DVD... or Shirley MacLaine gets it!
Downton Abbey: Season 3
So you managed to not illegally download Season 3 episodes of England's hit period soap while it was airing last fall across the Pond. And you avoided all those headlines about Dan Stevens' future on the show. But will you still be able to watch Downton Abbey live on PBS every Sunday now that the entire third year is (legally) available on DVD? Or will the temptation to mainline the few remaining hours of the show -- including its cataclysmic Christmas Special -- prove too powerful? It's up to you, of course, but if we had the opportunity to find out what's going to happen next with Mary and Matthew, Thomas and O'Brien and Tom Branson and his new bundle of joy as quickly as possible... we'd take it without regrets.
Extras: Two hours-worth of featurettes, including one devoted to Shirley MacLaine's brief time at the manor and another covering Downton's stout-hearted men.
Click here to read our full recaps of Downton Abbey Season 3
Pan Am: The Complete Series
One of the 2011 fall TV season's most high-profile launches, ABC's airline-themed answer to Mad Men premiered to strong ratings, but gradually fell to earth as the series went along. Blame it on a lack of creative vision rather than timeslot woes. Although the ensemble cast -- which included Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner and Michael Mosley -- was solid (particularly Karine Vanasse's loveable French stewardess, Colette) and the '60s period details nicely rendered, the writers could never really figure out how to exploit the (admittedly limited) setting of the titular airline's luxury aircraft, the Clipper Majestic. They also had a hard time blending tones, with the romantic exploits of the various crew members never quite jibing with some of the more serious storylines (including spy games and real life historical events, such as the Haitian revolution) the show attempted. So no, in the end, Pan Am didn't work. But it's a failed venture that's at least interesting to watch.
Extras: Nada. But honestly, Pan Am fans should just be happy that these 14 episodes turned up on DVD at all.
Click here to read our full recap of the pilot
Click here to read the five things we'll miss about the show
Femme Fatales: The Complete First Season
If Red Shoe Diaries met and married Pulp Fiction, the resulting baby might look something like Femme Fatales, Cinemax's late-night anthology series of 30-minute crime stories fleshed out with lots of soft-core sex. Look, there's no sense beating around the bush: this is an awful show, filled with lame attempts at Tarantino-like dialogue, laughably bad performances, a tone that tries to be both campy and self-serious and gauzy lovemaking montages that are cheesier than anything in the Emmanuelle movies. But Femme Fatales is such a misfire on every level, it becomes insanely addictive to watch -- just when you think its sunk as low as it can go, it manages to plunge to new depths. If you're looking for a new title to add to you and your buddies' next beer-and-nachos fueled Bad Movie Night, here you go.
Extras: For a largely terrible series, Femme Fatales sure comes with a lot of extras. There are cast and crew commentaries on all 14 episodes, plus a bonus disc that offers deleted and alternate scenes, making-of featurettes (including one that breaks down the shooting of a typical sex scene), a director's cut of one episode, a blooper reel and footage from the show's panel at the 2011 edition of the San Diego Comic Con.
Also on DVD:
Because weekly doses of Ed Grimley on SCTV and Saturday Night Live weren't enough during the '80s, Martin Short's alter ego landed his own Saturday morning cartoon series as well. Although The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley: The Complete Series had an agreeably surreal bent and some terrific vocal guest stars (including Catherine O'Hara, Christopher Guest and Jonathan Winters), the series only lasted 13 episodes. Airing stateside on Hulu, the British sci-fi series Misfits: Season 2 has managed to garner a decent cult following. If you're still into physical media rather than streaming, here's your chance to catch up.
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