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BuzzFeed: "This Breaking Bad Alternate Ending Must Be Seen To Be Believed"

Was it all just a terrible nightmare? Malcolm in the Middle ’s Hal may have eaten too many fried Twinkies before bed, according to a new DVD extra. [UPDATED] At BuzzFeed, you can check out my latest post, "This Breaking Bad Alternate Ending Must Be Seen To Be Believed," in which I take a look at an alternate ending for AMC's Breaking Bad , one that invokes Newhart and, well, Malcolm in the Middle . Fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad continue to mourn the death of the antihero drama in their own unique ways, but thanks to this DVD extra — from the Breaking Bad: The Complete Series DVD box set, out November 26 — fans of the science-wielding antihero have yet another chance to imagine a different fate for Bryan Cranston’s Walter White. In this case, an alternate ending to the show itself, which — heavily borrowing from the iconic ending of Newhart (which referenced the earlier The Bob Newhart Show ) — imagines that the entire narrative of Breaking Bad was a dream exper

The Daily Beast: "Secrets of Lost Revealed on New DVD" (a.k.a. My Thoughts on "The New Man in Charge")

Today, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released both Lost: The Complete Collection and Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season on DVD and Blu-ray. The box sets contain the latest--and possibly last--in-canon adventures of the Lost cast via the twelve-minute epilogue entitled "The New Man in Charge," which stars Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, and... Well, that would be telling. Over at The Daily Beast, I discuss " Lost : The New Man in Charge" as well as my thoughts about the strength or weakness of the epilogue as a narrative outgrowth of the series in a piece entitled "Secrets of Lost Revealed on New DVD." Plus, I check in with fellow television critics and writers Maureen Ryan (now of AOL Television), Entertainment Weekly 's Jeff "Doc" Jensen, Time 's James Poniewozik, and New York Magazine 's Emily Nussbaum to see their reactions to the Lost epilogue, how it fits in with the contentious ending of the series itse

TV on DVD: "Mad Men: Season Three"

"Change isn't good or bad. It just is." - Don Draper In its third season, AMC's gorgeous and provocative period drama Mad Men offered a year of turmoil, both political and social, that was infused with the very essence of change as series creator Matthew Weiner and his writing staff forever altered the foundations of the series. While some so-called game-changers do little more than rearrange the furniture, Weiner and Co. used the third season to lead up to several powerful shifts in the dynamic of this intelligent and gripping series. Tomorrrow, Lionsgate will release the third season of Mad Men on DVD. If you have seen Season Three of Mad Men, then you know that it's a slow burn that culminates in a series of gasp-inducing moments as the action draws in the Kennedy assassination, the real-life figure of Conrad Hilton, and major changes on the domestic and business fronts for the cast of characters that inhabit this meticulously recreated 1960s snow globe. (

TV on DVD: "The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Collection"

Half the fun of watching the newly released eleven-disc The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Collection is seeing some familiar faces--such as Colin Firth, James Callis, James D'Arcy, Amanda Redman, and many others--when they were significantly younger and, in some cases, were just embarking on their theatrical careers. The other half is, of course, falling under the spell of the master mystery writer Ruth Rendell (who also publishes novels under the pseudonym of Barbara Vine). As a longtime Rendell fanatic, I was thrilled to learn that Acorn Media was releasing seventeen televised feature-length adaptations of Rendell's work--which aired in the UK on ITV between 1987 and 2000 (and on some PBS stations)--in a single, hefty box set. Arriving under the title The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Collection , the box set collects such adaptations as Master of the Moor, Vanity Dies Hard, Going Wrong, The Secret House of Death, and The Fallen Curtain , to name but a few, as well as three Inspector We

TV on DVD: "Doctor Who: The Complete Specials"

Prepare to say goodbye all over again. I've only finally just gotten used to the idea that there won't be any more Doctor Who episodes starring David Tennant. Tennant departed the British sci-fi series after a handful of seasonal specials between December 2008 and January 2010 that depicted the Tenth Doctor locked in his final battle. A battle that resulted in the death of the Tenth Doctor and his regeneration. Doctor Who has always been a series that not only endures after the departure of its lead actor but seems to revel in the new possibilities that an incoming actor can bring to the role of the Time Lord. Still, Tennant has carved out a sizable place in the ongoing mythos of Doctor Who for his portrayal of the lonely traveler and he'll be much missed. BBC Video today releases Doctor Who: The Complete Specials , featuring David Tennant's final episodes as the Tenth Doctor. This five-disc set features all five of Tennant's Doctor Who specials, as well as a

TV on DVD: "Chuck: The Complete Second Season"

With only a few days to go before the triumphant return of Chuck to the airwaves, Warner Home Video has today released the fantastic Chuck: The Complete Second Season on DVD and Blu-ray. While its first season was sadly truncated to the writers strike, Season Two of Chuck found its footing amid a glorious mix of genre-busting action, intrigue, romance, and workplace comedy. While the series' first season nicely set up the universe of Chuck , introducing its core troika of spies and the soul-crushing monotony of retail work, the second season expanded upon those ideas, taking the series to dizzying new heights while remaining grounded and relatable. (Who among us wouldn't jump at the chance to escape the drudgery of minimum wage and spend time with super-spies?) Broadening out the world created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, Season Two of Chuck pushed hapless asset Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) and handler Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) closer together while also thr

TV on DVD: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas"

Looking to do a spit-take with your eggnog this holiday season? FX's raucous and hysterical series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia continues to push the envelope in terms of good taste (and always manages to make this jaded critic roar with laughter in the process) via its new direct-to-DVD Christmas special ("A Very Sunny Christmas") that captures the absurd energy of the television series and then some. Without the cable network censors (lax, though they are) to hold them back, the creators/stars of Sunny push their unique brand of comedy even further with this outrageous Christmas special, which finds the gang attempting to get even with Frank for his tradition of giving himself the gifts that Dennis and Dee want each year and taking a stroll down memory lane as Mac and Charlie come to terms with some unpleasant truths about their own families', er, Christmas traditions. While I found the Christmas special utterly hilarious, it's definitely not for e

TV on DVD: "Better Off Ted: Season One"

Every now and then a comedy series comes along that's so wickedly inspired and so incisive that it's a shame that so few viewers are actually tuning in. This past season, that series was ABC's little gem of a single-camera comedy, Better Off Ted . Created by Victor Fresco (who also gave birth to the way undervalued comedy Andy Richter Controls the Universe ), Better Off Ted is an wittily acidic workplace comedy revolving around shady multinational corporation Veridian Dynamics and its employees. Specifically, we're taken inside the head of the company's self-appointed moral compass Ted Crisp (Jay Harrington), a single dad who is the head of Veridian's R&D department and who (sometimes) draws the line at creating products that are outright designed to make people's lives worse. Sometimes, anyway. Ted has a crush on his researcher Linda (Andrea Anders) but he used up his "office affair" on their terrifyingly icy boss Veronica (Portia de Rossi

The Daily Beast: "DVD Rentals for Thanksgiving Cranks"

Hate your houseguests? Over at The Daily Beast, I offer my suggestions for TV-on-DVD viewing during to alleviate stress during the Thanksgiving holiday in a piece entitled "DVD Rentals for Thanksgiving Cranks." Organizing the weekend into specific time-based sections, I offer some TV-on-DVD suggestions to entertain and divert everyone's attention from squabbling relatives and burnt Brussels sprouts. Of course, you needn't hate your houseguests this holiday season to enjoy the bounty of TV collections on DVD, either...

TV on DVD: "Life on Mars: Series 2"

Time to go down the yellow brick road again. Yes, Stateside Life on Mars fans, that day has finally arrived as Acorn Media today releases the complete second season of the original UK drama series Life on Mars on DVD. Forget about the lackluster (and mercifully short-lived) American version and travel back to the 1970s with the original UK Life on Mars , which has only deepened and grown more mysterious and provocative after its abrupt conclusion in 2007. Not up to speed on the franchise? Created by Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan, and Ashley Pharoah, Life on Mars is an alternately trippy and gritty crime drama series that follows the adventures of Detective Inspector Sam Tyler (John Simm), a grimly determined investigator in present-day Manchester who is seemingly thrown backwards in time. While in pursuit of the serial killer that abducted his girlfriend, Sam is struck by a car and finds himself mysteriously in 1973 Manchester, where he comes face to face with a personal mystery

TV on DVD: "Black Adder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition" and "Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered"

Just a few quick words on two Britcom TV on DVD releases today that brought a smile to this jaded writer's face. BBC Video today releases new editions of British comedy classics Blackadder and Fawlty Towers , both in deluxe remastered versions that not only include all episodes produced but a healthy dose of extras and bonus features. (Just don't mention the war.) It's a testament to the creative forces behind both Black Adder and Fawlty Towers that both series have stood up extremely well, even after all of these years; both series remain as sharp, incisive, and hilarious as they were when they aired. The sumptuous six-disc Black Adder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition contains all four seasons of BBC's Black Adder as well as Blackadder's Christmas Carol, Blackadder's The Cavalier Years, Blackadder: Back and Forth , new commentaries, documentaries (including the 25th anniversary doc "Blackadder Rides Again"), behind-the-scenes featurettes, vide

Saboteurs and Lovers: An Advance Review of "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan"

There are many copies. And they have a plan. I feel a bit conflicted about Battlestar Galactica: The Plan , the nearly two-hour-long direct-to-DVD movie that's set roughly around the first two seasons of Syfy's groundbreaking drama series Battlestar Galatica . On the one hand, I was excited to return to the dystopian world of human survivors and Cylon skinjobs, ahead of Syfy's planned prequel series Caprica (which launches in January), but on the other I can't help asking myself if this was a story that cried out to be told. Battlestar Galatica: The Plan , written by Jane Espenson and directed by Edward James Olmos, doesn't really tred any new territory, per se. What it does offer is a different perspective on the events of the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica , from the POV of the Cylon attackers. It's through their eyes--both the Cylon skinjobs and the mythical Final Five--that we see the chain of events unfold, from the attack on the Colonies to t

TV on DVD: "Fringe: The Complete First Season"

Despite my gentle (and constant) criticism of FOX's procedural sci-fi drama Fringe , I have to say that it does make for some fun marathon viewing on DVD. Warner Home Video today releases Fringe: The Complete First Season , a seven-disc box set that contains all twenty episodes of Fringe's first season and over six hours of bonus material that will keep any fan of the series occupied for quite some time. Throughout its first season, Fringe --created by J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman--struggled to find its pacing and storytelling hook, with many (myself included) somewhat frustrated by the lack of momentum in the earlier episodes, the constant re-explanation of the series' plot and characters on a weekly basis, and its episodic nature. For those who haven't tuned in, here's a precis of the action: FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is assigned to the mysterious and shadowy Fringe Division following a bizarre and shocking incident involving her partn

TV on DVD: "Torchwood: Children of Earth"

Just four days after the end of Torchwood: Children of Earth here in the US, BBC Video is releasing the two-disc set for the epic mini-series from writers Russell T. Davies, John Fay, and James Moran. While I've not only reviewed the mini-series in full (my advance review of the five-night event can be found here ), I also wrote up each installment of the series' limited run ( Day One , Day Two , Day Three , Day Four , and Day Five ) and offered up a two-part interview with executive producer Julie Gardner (which can be found here and here ). Over the course of the five taut installments, Davies and Co. manage to break the alien fighting team in half, push the series' characters well beyond their breaking points, and bring us piece of a politically and socially-minded action-adventure-sci-fi television making that is absolutely extraordinary in its scope. Make no mistake: this is an alien contact story unlike any other but the writers wisely craft a series that tells

TV on DVD: "The Mighty Boosh: Seasons One to Three"

"Come with us now on a journey through time and space... to the world of the Mighty Boosh." Thus begins each episode of the gleefully surreal British comedy series The Mighty Boosh , which is finally available Stateside on DVD beginning today after brief runs of the series' three seasons to date on both BBC America and Adult Swim over the past few years. Available as three separate two-disc sets, The Mighty Boosh : Seasons One, Two, and Three offer up a delightful look inside the deliciously twisted minds of creators and stars Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. Despite their relative anonymity in the States, The Mighty Boosh has long been a watchword for comedians and comedy fans in the know. Each episode of the series, which began as a stand-up act and then a radio series before making the leap to the small screen, follows the unlikely duo of Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) as they get themselves into a series of acid-trip misadventures. T

TV on DVD: "Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season"

I'm hopeful that in the years to come Bryan Fuller's gorgeously technicolored and bittersweet drama series Pushing Daisies will be remembered for not only its wacky and memorable characters but also for being one of the most original, compelling, and groundbreaking series to arrive on the small screen in quite a long time. Pushing Daisies was, rather sadly, also one of the most mistreated series in recent memory as well, having its first critically-acclaimed season cut short by the writers strike (only nine episodes were shot) and then its sophomore season even more cruelly cut short by ABC, which held on to the final three episodes of its run for several months and then unceremoniously dumped them on Saturday nights. Today, however, fans of Pushing Daisies have something to celebrate as Warner Home Video releases a four-disc box set of the series' sensational second season, complete with a plethora of bonus features, all in a honey-themed jewel case that deliciously

Playing with Matches: An Advance Review of the "Epitaph One" Episode of "Dollhouse"

"If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: 'It seemed a good idea at the time.'" - Rebecca West One of the more intriguing mysteries of this past season was the vaunted missing thirteenth episode of FOX's Dollhouse , entitled "Epitaph One," shot by studio 20th Century Fox Television outside of their license fee agreement with FOX. Written by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, "Epitaph One" takes place outside the continuity established by the first season of Dollhouse and is set in the distant future of 2019 Los Angeles. It has remained cloaked in mystery, though the episode will air internationally, will be offered on the Dollhouse: Season One DVD, and will also be screened later this week for fans at San Diego Comic-Con 2009. I managed to get my hands on a copy of "Epitaph One" this weekend and watched the enigmatic episode with a sense of wonder and terror as Whedon and Tancharoen p

TV on DVD: "Mad Men: Season Two"

"It looks good now, but it's going to get messy." The quote above is from a secretary about Sterling Cooper's new photocopy machine but it could be about the entire second season of Mad Men as a whole. AMC's sensational period drama Mad Men might not be returning to the small screen for another month or so (Season Three kicks off on August 16th, to be precise) but fans of the groundbreaking and stunning series can get another fix today as Lionsgate releases Mad Men: Season Two on DVD and Blu-ray. And what a release it is. The four-disc set, packaged in a stylish limited edition shirt box with a see-through window, contains all thirteen stirring episodes of Mad Men 's second season along with a slew of fascinating bonus materials that shed light on the series' 1960s setting and its production, including extensive commentaries from the cast and crew on every single installment and several behind-the-scenes documentaries. Season Two of Mad Men brings

Channel Surfing: Christian Slater Gets "Forgotten," Emerson Says No Happy Ending for "Lost," Piper Perabo Engages in "Covert Affairs," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Christian Slater ( My Own Worst Enemy ) is in talks to topline ABC drama series The Forgotten , from Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. If the deal closes, Slater would replace Rupert Penry-Jones, who appeared in the original pilot episode as a former cop whose daughter was kidnapped and went missing. Another role--that played in the pilot by Reiko Aylesworth--is also being recast. The series is set to launch Tuesday, September 22nd at 10 pm. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Don't look for the series finale of Lost to feature a happy ending, according to series regular Michael Emerson. "I don't think Lost will have a happy ending," Emerson told Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. "It's the end and I think we are going to start seeing more casualties. I would put money on major characters being killed. I believe it will be a sad ending to the show -- or at least bittersweet

TV on DVD: "Secret Diary of a Call Girl Season Two"

Fans of Showtime's imported British drama series Secret Diary of a Call Girl might want to check out the second season on DVD, which is being released today. After all, Season Two of Secret Diary of a Call Girl finds Hannah, a.k.a. high class call girl Belle ( Doctor Who 's Billie Piper), branching out onto her own while juggling all matter of problems, not least of which is her confused relationship with best friend Ben (Iddo Goldberg), a flighty protege named Bambi ( The Beautiful Life 's Ashley Madekwe), and the prospect of genuine happiness with boyfriend Alex ( Dead Like Me 's Callum Blue). The only problem is that Hannah hasn't quite gotten around to telling Alex, a dashing doctor recently relocated to London, what she does for a living. (Or who she does, really.) Season Two of the witty and provocative series finds Hannah living a double-life once again, lying to Alex even as she falls for him and trying to work up the courage to reveal to him who she rea