Spend a slow week for TV on DVD releases catching up with the good cops of Southland.
Southland: The Complete Second, Third and Fourth Seasons
Poor Southland. Despite being generally beloved by critics (us included), the TNT (by way of NBC) L.A. cop series has had a hard time attracting as many viewers as it has positive reviews. Maybe part of the problem is that only the show's first season has been available on DVD, making it difficult for folks at home to catch up, particularly considering some of the personnel changes that have gone on since that freshman year. That finally changes today as Seasons 2, 3 and 4 arrive bundled in one handy six-disc, 26-episode set for an economic $60 sticker price. (Break it down and that's roughly $2 an episode.) And you'll be guaranteed of getting plenty of bang for your buck, because Southland contains some of the finest, most intense cop drama around since The Shield went off the air. It also boasts one of TV's best ensembles, including a kick-ass Regina King and The O.C.'s Ben McKenzie, who proves there's a lot more to him than Ryan Atwood.
Extras: Deleted scenes from all three seasons and then a trio of Season 2-specific featurettes, including a tour of actual South L.A. locations where the series filmed select scenes.
Click here to see where you know the cast of Southland from
Cougar Town: The Complete First Season
Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season
Cougar Town: The Complete Third Season
Speaking of underappreciated shows, Bill Lawrence's wine-soaked sitcom about a group of eccentric pals (including Courteney Cox, spent three seasons being moved around ABC's schedule before departing network airwaves for the friendlier home of basic cable... specifically TBS, where the show's fourth season started airing last month. If you just started watching and want to catch up on what you missed, the first two seasons are being re-released in box sets along with the new-to-DVD junior year. Watch the show evolve from the initial, more title-appropriate concept (Cox's fortysomething divorcee starts dating younger dudes) into an ensemble-based comedy that's like a drunker, kookier version of Friends. It'll never achieve those ratings, of course, but being on TBS means that as long as it attracts more eyeballs than Wedding Band did, it'll be around for some time.
Extras: Season 1 includes deleted scenes, boopers, a Jimmy Kimmel Live clip, and three featurettes; Season 2 comes with webisodes, deleted scenes and outtakes; and Season 3 just has room for a gag reel and deleted scenes.
Click here to see why we think Cougar Town is one of TV's best sitcoms
Animaniacs: Volume 4
Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man
Ben 10: Omniverse: Volume 1
When it comes to wacky Warner Bros. cartoon series from the early '90s, there are generally two types of people: Tiny Toon Adventures folks and Animaniacs folks. Personally, I subscribe to the former group, but Animaniacs has its charms as well, particularly whenever the central trio -- Wakko, Yakko and Dot -- take center stage. (Pinky and the Brain aside, I never warmed to the show's supporting cast, especially those irritating gangster pigeons.) Warner has been slowly, but steadily releasing the show's five-year run in bits and pieces and finally collects the final batch of 24 (out of 99) episodes in this 3-disc set. Now, can we finally get the final season of Tiny Toons as well? It's hard to think of another superhero who has been through as many animated permutations as Spider-Man. The web head's latest cartoon (following the widely liked, but short-lived Spectacular Spider-Man) takes its title and more comic approach from Brian Michael Bendis's comic book of the same name (Bendis is one of the writers and producers, along with Paul Dini). This set collects the first 12 episodes from the show's freshman year. And closing out the animated DVD offerings are the first 10 episodes from the latest iteration of the long-running Cartoon Network serial, Ben 10. Now with Omniverse! That'll mean something your kids, even if it means zip to you.
Extras: Animaniacs is extras-free; Ultimate Spider-Man comes with four educational short cartoons in the spirit of those "One to Grow On" PSAs; and Ben 10 includes an Alien Database, whatever that's supposed to be.
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