The latest “Perry Mason” release leads the TV shows that have just arrived on DVD.
“Perry Mason: Season 8, Volume 2” (CBS/Paramount, 1965, b/w, four discs, $57.99, 15 episodes, promo). Raymond Burr is still getting witnesses to break down on the stand, confessing to crimes for which Mason’s clients are accused, but despite that nearly-every-episode cliché, the show remains highly entertaining.
This set completes DVD releases through the penultimate season of this venerable courtroom series, which is still shown in reruns on a variety of TV stations all over the country. One more season (over two DVD sets) to go. Guests here include Fay Wray, Gavin MacLeod, Victor Buono and former Utahn Parley Baer.
“Bill Moyers: Becoming American: The Chinese Experience” (Athena, 2003, two discs, $49.99, three episodes, bonus program: “Becoming American: Personal Journeys With Bill Moyers”; 16-page booklet). This episode of Moyers’ “Becoming American” PBS documentary specials focuses on Chinese immigrants, from the first wave in the 19th century, when many sought a new life but instead found themselves battling prejudice in addition to harsh conditions as laborers, taking the history up through the present as they find themselves an integral part of the American fabric.
“The Story of Math Collection” (Athena, 2009, five discs, $79.99, 10 episodes, three “Math Shorts”; 20-page booklet). Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy employs a sense of humor along with computer-animated visuals to break down mathematical problems into accessible models.
“Life’s Too Short: The Complete First Season” (HBO, 2011, two discs, $29.98, seven episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Warwick Davis, the little person that starred in “Willow” some 25 years ago, headlines this scripted, faux reality series that lampoons Hollywood with dry wit a la Ricky Gervais, who co-stars. Davis finds himself humiliated in a variety of ways, sometimes by celebrity guest stars also spoofing themselves, including Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson, Sting, Helena Bonham Carter and Steve Carell. (R-rated profanity)
“Joan Rivers: Don’t Start With Me” (eOne, 2012, $19.98). Rivers does her stand-up act in this Showtime cable special. (R-rated profanity)
“Anthony Jeselnik: Caligula” (Comedy Central/Paramount, 2012, $14.98, excerpts from roasts of Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen and Roseanne Barr). Uncensored version of the comic’s Comedy Central cable special. (R-rated profanity)
“Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai: A Team Divided, Volume 3” (Lionsgate, 2011, four episodes, $14.98, featurettes).
“Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai: Rise of the Bullzooka, Volume 3” (Lionsgate, 2012, four episodes, $14.98, featurettes). Episodes from the animated series on Nickelodeon.
“SpongeBob SquarePants: Extreme Kah-Rah-Tay” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2012, $14.99, eight episodes). Episodes from the animated series on Nickelodeon.
“Let’s Learn: 123s” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2012, $14.99, five episodes).
“Let’s Learn: ABCs” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2012, $14.99, six episodes). Episodes on the title subjects from various Nickelodeon series, including “Team Umizoomi,” “Dora the Explorer” and Blue’s Clues.”
“Littlest Pet Shop” (Shout! Kids, 2012, $14.97, five episodes, featurette). Episodes from the animated series on the Hub cable channel.
“Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Best of Widget!” (Anchor Bay, 2012, $14.98, six episodes, bonus episode). Episodes of the animated series on the Nick Jr. cable channel.
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