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The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

by Ethan Alter February 25, 2014 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jim Jeffries seeks to make FXX a Legit network.

Legit: The Complete First Season
At first glance, Aussie comic Jim Jefferies's half-hour FX series fits in squarely with that network's brand of comedy: lots of cringe-inducing humor, outré situations and just this shy of R-rated language. But Legit departs from FX's standard bearers (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League) in some notable ways; for one thing, it's a semi-serialized narrative that weaves ongoing storylines through episodic one-shot plots. Also, even though the central trio gets up to a variety of hijinks, they're considerably nicer than the ensemble of hilarious A-holes on Sunny and The League; Jeffries, for example, genuinely wants to help the pals in his life -- divorced sad-sack Steve (Dan Bakkedahl) and Steve's brother Billy (DJ Qualls), who is confined to a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy -- even though his attempts to do so often land them in trouble. The strange likability of the characters, coupled with the serial storytelling, make Legit an easy show to binge-watch, which you should do since Season 2 is going to begin on February 26, now on FXX rather than FX.
Extras: Commentary tracks on every episode, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a director's cut of the pilot episode and two featurettes.

The Middle: Season 4
It doesn't attract the ratings and awards attention of Modern Family, but ABC's The Middle continues to carve out a comfortable place for itself amidst the… um, middle ground of the network's line-up. Season 4 found Patricia Heaton's matriarch Frankie getting the axe from her auto plant job and going back to school to improve her career prospects, while hubby Mike (Neil Flynn) deals with the various trials and tribulations of their three daffy kids. Guest stars include Dave Foley as a school therapist, Norm Macdonald as Mike's brother and Brooke Shields as a white-trash next door neighbor. Currently in the midst of its fifth year, The Middle's Heck family will probably linger around just as long -- if not longer – than the Dunphy/Prichett clan.
Extras: A gag reel and deleted scenes.


Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season

Cartoon Network's jaunty, inventive animated adventure series hit new ratings highs in its third year, becoming one of the channel's most popular shows. The 26-episode season kicks off with the show's boy-and-his-dog heroes Finn and Jake battling the evil-minded Cuties, before sending them to help the Lumpy Space Princess and finally ending up in the realm of the Flame King (voiced by Keith David). With their adult/kid crossover appeal, the duo had better prepare themselves for several more seasons' worth of adventures to cartoonish realms.
Extras: Commentary tracks, an interview with creator Pendleton Ward and an alternate show introduction.

L.A. Law: Season 1
One of the defining shows of the '80s finally turns up on DVD courtesy of Shout! Factory. Coming off of his industry-changing creation (from which he was summarily fired), Hill Street Blues, Steven Bochco traded NYC grit for L.A. gloss in this legal procedural that sought to address real-world issues through often hyperbolic court cases. The heavy-hitting Season 1 cast line-up included Harry Hamlin, Jimmy Smits, Susan Dey, Corbin Bernsen and Jill Eikenberry, who made a habit of bed-hopping in between debriefs. That ensemble would change over the show's eight seasons, as would the tone of the series as the '80s gave way to the '90s. But this 23-episode is a time capsule of what cutting-edge TV looked like the middle of Me Decade.
Extras: Fresh interviews with Bochco, Smits and other cast and crew members.

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