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TV on DVD: "Mistresses: Volume One"

Mistresses isn't quite a relationship drama, although it does focus on the romantic--and often illicit--entanglements affecting four female friends. Rather, it's something more akin to a thriller: sleek and seductive with a hint of menace. The first volume of British drama series Mistresses , which encapsulates the series' two season run earlier this year on BBC America, is available today for sale as a four-disc set. It tells the story of four very different women who find themselves dealing with complicated and complex relationships as they juggle the dual specters of career and personal fulfillment. But don't let the title put you off from enjoying this complex and provocative series. Yes, the twelve episodes contain more than a heaping dose of sex and scandal but there's also a perilous throughline that runs beneath the surface, giving Mistresses the feel of a noir thriller that asks questions about coincidence, fate, and manipulation. Brilliant physician K

TV on DVD: "True Blood: Season One"

Full disclosure: I wasn't crazy about Alan Ball's HBO vampire series, True Blood , based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, when I first saw the pilot early last year. After watching the first few episodes of True Blood , I gave up and moved on to other summer series and didn't really look back. I had a second chance to fall under True Blood 's seductive spell when HBO graciously sent me a copy of the True Blood Season One DVD a few weeks back. I put aside my prejudices against the series and watched it from the beginning... and ultimately ended up devouring the entire first season in about three days' time. While I still think that it takes way too long for the series to find its feet, finally settling into its tone and breathing a little somewhere about the sixth episode or so. The early episodes, particularly the first three (all scripted by Ball himself) are jarring and the characters somewhat unsympathetic and unlikable. However, by the time the half

TV on DVD: "Gavin & Stacey Season One"

Oh, what's occurrin '? If there's one word that comes to mind when thinking of British comedy series Gavin & Stacey it's bittersweet. Created by James Corden and Ruth Jones, Gavin & Stacey is a comedy series that's just as likely to make you laugh as it is to make you cry. It's a romantic comedy that never turns maudlin or melodramatic and finds humor in the awkwardness and beauty of young love, overbearing families, and national differences. The first season of Gavin & Stacey , now available on DVD after a run last year on BBC America, tells the story of the romance between Essex lad Gavin (Matthew Horne) and Welsh lass Stacey (Joanna Page), the most adorable duo to hit the small screen since... well, ever. These two lovebirds instantly hit it off over the phone and finally agree to meet face to face in London and bring along their respective best friends Smithy (James Corden ) and Nessa (Ruth Jones). Falling head over heels in love, Gavin and

Channel Surfing: Team Darlton Talk "Lost" Series Finale, Pasdar Says Quinto Not Going Anywhere, Shenkman Joins Cast of "Burn Notice," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. With the 100th episode of Lost set to air tonight on ABC, many are already looking to the series' next milestone: the all-important series finale, set for May, 2010, and viewers are bound to have high expectations when creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrap up the series. "We can't let those expectations terrify us," said Lindelof in an interview with Variety 's Shawn Malcom. "The reality is, we've known what the series finale is going to be for a while now." In fact, the real variable is how the series' characters wind up at the end point charted by Lindelof and Cuse. "The path that we take to the end still has some room for surprises and changes and discoveries along the way (in terms of) the characters' journeys and how their relationships evolve," said Cuse. While the duo wouldn't reveal any specifics about the finale, they did say that fans will be left wanting

TV on DVD: Sci Fi's "Caprica"

When Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica ended in March, many fans mourned the loss of one of television's most compelling and intelligent series. Fortunately, the folks at Sci Fi (soon to be renamed Syfy) are giving fans a bit of a belated Easter present today, as the network (via Universal Studios Home Video) releases the 90-minute pilot for Caprica on DVD. Caprica , the prequel to Battlestar Galactica , is set approximately 50-odd years prior to the events in the Battlestar Galactica mini-series and is slated to air as a new series on Syfy beginning next year. However, rather than force fans of Battlestar Galactica to wait at least eight months to see the next (or is it former?) chapter in the BSG saga, Syfy is giving fans the opportunity to watch the backdoor pilot for the series now. I've already offered my glowing review on the pilot episode of Caprica here , so I wanted today to take a look at the DVD's assorted extras and bonus features. In addition to the g

TV on DVD: "Skins: Volume Two"

Even monosyllabic cynic Effy would agree: the provocative and daring Skins is really unlike anything on American television today. I've waxed ecstatic enough about the British teen drama since it launched Stateside last year, but I have to say that I enjoyed the series' sensational sophomore season even more the second time around. Skins: Volume Two , which contains all ten episodes of the series' second season (along with a host of extras), is available for purchase on DVD starting tomorrow and, thanks to the kind folks at Warner Home Video, I was able to get an early look at the DVD box set. Season Two finds the gang in Bristol reeling from the bus accident at the end of the first season that has left Tony alive but not exactly the same person he was before. Nicholas Hoult turns in an astonishing performance as Tony Stonem as he's forced to relearn everyday activities like tying his shoes or speaking after his accident while remaining staunchly independent; in wat

Paley Center to Offer "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Reunion DVD

Buffy fans looking to add one more DVD collectible to their burgeoning collection are in luck. The Paley Center for Media has announced today that it has released a DVD of PaleyFest: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reunion , which captures last year's Paley Festival event that reunited creator Joss Whedon and the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer a decade after it launched. (Missed the event last year? You can read all about it here .) The panel, shot last March at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood, featured cast members Sarah Michelle Geller, Seth Green, Amber Benson, Nicholas Brendon, Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield, James Marsters, and Michelle Trachtenberg along with creator Joss Whedon and producers David Greenwalt and Marti Noxon. (Sadly, no Anthony Stewart Head, I'm afraid.) The single-disc DVD will feature an introduction by Whedon, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, the full video of the PaleyFest08 Buffy Reunion panel, and backstage photos and videos.

Press Release: Sci Fi Releases Details on "Caprica" DVD and Digital Download

THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FEATURE-LENGTH PREQUEL TO THE SERIES PHENOMENON, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA PREMIERING EXCLUSIVELY ON DVD AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD Universal City, Calif. - Caprica , the highly anticipated prequel to Battlestar Galactica , will enjoy its world premiere exclusively on DVD on April 21, 2009 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. In a groundbreaking move sure to delight fans of the long-running television phenomenon, the feature-length prequel will be available on DVD as a limited-edition uncut and unrated version before the series’ broadcast premiere on the SCI FI Channel in 2010. Caprica is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick ( Battlestar Galactica ) and Remi Aubuchon ( 24 ). Exclusive bonus features that take viewers behind the scenes of the creation of Caprica make this DVD a landmark event for any fan of Battlestar Galactica . The film will also be available at selected online destinations for digital download transactions. As Battlestar Galact

TV on DVD: "Skins: Volume One"

Every once in a while a series comes along that completely manages to alter your expectations and perceptions of a particular genre. The last time a teen drama managed to defy its pigeonholing was FOX's The O.C. , which offered a series that offered a wink and nudge to the classic tropes of the genre, which is gently tweaked, while also offering engaging storylines for its adult characters, a trend that the CW's Gossip Girl has continued to in its stead. So when UK digital network E4 launched teen drama Skins , created by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, in 2007 (US digital cabler BBC America aired it Stateside last year), I was once again blown away by how this series imploded stereotypes about teen dramas and transformed my views on what the genre was capable of. Paradoxically offering both a heightened sense of reality and a grounded look at teen culture today, Skins managed to capture not only an age-appropriate audience who quickly fell under the spell of its characters,

TV on DVD: "Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series"

I'll admit it. Initially, I was a little concerned with the idea of comedian Catherine Tate's Donna Noble joining the Doctor for the entirety of the series' fourth season... but Tate's winning performance as spunky and headstrong Donna quickly won me over and, if I'm being honest, I have to say that Donna is perhaps my favorite companion now. While Tate's turn in Season Three's "The Runaway Bride" pegged Donna as a comedic foil for the Doctor, Season Four quickly gives her some much needed character development and transforms the uppity Cockney girl into a tragic figure of pathos. (If that's not a head-turning surprise, I don't know what is.) If you missed Doctor Who 's superlative fourth season (or want the opportunity to relive it all over again, from "Voyage of the Damned" to "Journey's End), fret not as BBC Video releases Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series on DVD today in a glorious six-disc set. (Also avai

TV on DVD: "The 4400: The Complete Series"

There are a few series over the years who have gotten an unfair shakedown by their respective networks, canceled prematurely while still having a significant story potential in their bones. One such series is USA's The 4400 , beloved by its small coterie of fans yet largely ignored by the general populace. CBS Paramount Home Entertainment today releases The 4400: The Complete Series , which wrapped its run last summer on USA, in a handsome box set with a host of extras. I'm hoping that its sheer weight and heft (it's about the size of the last Harry Potter book) will entice some people who missed this smart and sophisticated series when it was on the air. Conceived by Scott Peters and René Echevarria, The 4400 told the story of a group of people pulled from the timestream at various points in the 20th century who were then returned to the present day in a great ball of light that seemed to fall from the sky. Returned to 2003, these people (4400 in number) began to disp

TV on DVD: "Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest"

Since the end of Doctor Who 's fourth season, I've been going through a bit of Who withdrawal. I like having the Doctor on my television set each week and the long breaks between seasons (especially since the next batch of episodes will be four feature-length specials rather than a thirteen-episode season) seems especially harsh. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there IS a new episode of Doctor Who available to watch. Sort of, anyway. Next month, BBC Video will release the animated special Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest , which presents a brand-new story for the Doctor and Martha Jones. Originally broadcast in thirteen segments of three and a half minutes during children's series Totally Doctor Who , The Infinite Quest is a sort of flashback to the days of the Doctor traveling with Martha Jones and if you're a fan of that particular pairing, the special is a rare treat. David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, and Anthony Head lend their voices to this animated t

TV on DVD: "30 Rock" Season Two

There are few things guaranteed in this world: death, taxes, and the fact that NBC's 30 Rock will consistently make me laugh more than any other series on television right now, with its winning combination of absurdist humor, off-kilter characters, and brainy throwaway lines. (What other series would have jokes about H. R. Halderman, Bernie Goetz, and Mystic Pizza , I ask you?) Universal Home Video releases 30 Rock 's Emmy Award-winning second season on DVD today and it's easy to see just why 30 Rock works when watching these 15 episodes (save for the shaky "Ludachristmas" and "Episode 210" episodes, filmed during the writers strike without rewrites; hell, the latter doesn't even have a name!), which comprise some of the very best comedy writing to be found on television. While at its center, 30 Rock appears to be about the deeply dysfunctional cast and crew of a fictional NBC sketch comedy series, it's actually also a delivery system for

TV on DVD: "Spaced: The Complete Series"

Today's the day. What's that, you're asking? The day for what exactly? After waiting and moaning and waiting some more, today is the day that loyal US viewers of the supremely hysterical and witty UK series Spaced --written by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson) and directed by Edgar Wright--finally is released on DVD in the States. For those of us who know and love Spaced with a zeal that knows no bounds, the DVD of Spaced: The Complete Series --which is released today with a suggested retail price of $59.99-- has been a long time coming. We've hoped, prayed, and made Faustian bargains to get those music rights cleared for use so that we can hold that box set in our hands. (Thanks to the good folks at BBC Video, I got mine early and have spent the last few days in Spaced heaven.) If you aren't familiar with Spaced , I feel for you, I really do. Spaced is the ultimate geek pleasure, a series so laden with pop culture riffs, comic book all

TV on DVD: "Mad Men: Season One"

I'll admit it: I joined the Mad Men party late. The reason? I was less than impressed by the original pilot episode I saw about two years ago and then, try though I might, just couldn't get into the series when it launched last year on AMC. Beautiful, yes, though I felt the first few episodes left me absolutely cold. But lest you think that I am a complete philistine, I'm beating myself up now because, having watched the DVD box set for Mad Men , I can see what I had missed out on all along. Created by Matthew Weiner, Mad Men ostensibly tells the story of ad man Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a brilliant creative director of ad agency Sterling Cooper in the year 1960; while Don may be the focus of much of the series' action, he is arguably the entry point to a complex cast of characters who reflect the era's shifting ideological, socioeconomic, and gender politics during the birth of modern, post-WWII consumerism. It dares ask the eternal question as to whether advertis