Scott Green, NBC
TV series ranging from “Grimm,” “Strike Back” and “Parenthood” to such vintage favorites as “Gunsmoke” and “The Rookies” can be found among new Blu-ray and DVD releases this week.
“Grimm: Season One” (Universal/Blu-ray, 2011-12, five discs, $69.98, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). A Portland detective sees dead people, along with a variety of other monsters, which leads him to discover he’s descended from the Grimm family, “guardians” keeping balance between humans and creatures thought to be mythological.
Think “Supernatural” crossed with “Sanctuary” by way of any number of police procedurals as fairy tale creatures live among us in a stealth fashion. Dark, humorous and inventive for fans of horror driven by imagination instead of gore. (Also on DVD, $59.98.)
“Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season, Volume 1” (CBS/Paramount, 1960-61, b/w, three discs, $39.99, 19 episodes). Matt Dillon (James Arness), Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake), Chester (Dennis Weaver), Doc (Milburn Stone) and the citizens of Dodge City deal with cattle rustling, gunfighting, land-grabbing and all sorts of Old West shenanigans in this classic half-hour Western drama. Guests include Buddy Ebsen, George Kennedy, Gene Nelson, Warren Oates, Harry Carey Jr., Strother Martin and Denver Pyle.
“Strike Back: Season One” (HBO/Cinemax/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2011, six discs, $49.96, 10 episodes, audio commentaries). Gritty thriller, whose obvious comparison is “24,” has a British super agent teaming up with an American super agent to fend off weapons of mass destruction in this globetrotting thriller. This is actually the British series’ second season, which aired stateside as “Season One” on Cinemax, and if you know anything about that channel, you know to expect R-rated violence, sex, nudity and language. (Also on DVD, $49.98.)
“The Rookies: The Complete Second Season” (Shout! 1973-74, six discs, $44.99, 23 episodes, original series pilot). Pre-“Charlie’s Angels” star Kate Jackson has a supporting role as a nurse and wife to one of the three rookie cops that are this police procedural’s focus (played by Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Georg Stanford Brown and Sam Melville). Guests include Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Don Johnson, Nick Nolte, John Saxon, Annette O’Toole, Marty Ingels, Jim Nabors and Strother Martin.
“Parenthood: Season 3” (Universal/NBC, 2011-12, four discs, $59.98, 18 episodes, audio commentaries, deleted scenes, deleted storyline). The comedy-drama adapted from the 1989 Ron Howard film goes into its third season with more soap opera misbehavior both humorous and heartfelt. Stars include Bonnie Bedelia, Craig T. Nelson, Jason Ritter, Peter Krause, Dax Shepard and Lauren Graham.
“Dance Moms: Season One” (Lifetime, 2011, four discs, $29.95, 13 episodes, deleted scenes, bonus footage). This reality show focuses on dance instructor Abby Lee Miller’s Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh, where doting mothers push their children into dance while revealing their own worst sides to American TV watchers.
“Garrow’s Law: Series 3” (Acorn, 2011, two discs, $39.99, four episodes, featurette, photo gallery, text filmographies). This period courtroom drama about a barrister confronting 18th century injustices goes out in style in this final season, as Garrow (Andrew Buchan) defends a would-be assassin, exposes reprehensible working conditions, etc.
“Kathy Griffin: Pants Off/Tired Hooker” (Shout! 2011, $14.97, two episodes, deleted footage). The two title stand-up comedy specials were shown on the Bravo cable channel, and these are the uncensored versions, which, if you know Griffin, means lots of foul language, vulgar sexual gags, etc.
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