Chris Hicks: 'Hardy Boys,' 'Dr. Who' and other vintage shows lead new DVD releases of television programs this week
“Family Matters: The Complete Third Season” (Warner, 1991-92, three discs, $29.98, 25 episodes). This sitcom about a middle-class black family living in the Chicago suburbs continues to shift its focus to nerdy supporting character Urkel (Jaleel White) with head of the family Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson) becoming his straight man, making the show more cartoon-like.
“Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job: The Play” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray, 2013, $24.99, featurette). Perry’s drag character is ordered by a judge to perform 20 hours of community service at a retirement home, which is, of course, completely upended by her antics. Broad comedy performed before a live audience by Perry and his cast of regulars. (Also on DVD, $19.98)
“Attenborough’s Life Stories” (BBC, 2013, $24.98, three episodes). David Attenborough has been chronicling natural history in books, audio programs and television shows for some 60 years. This documentary trilogy of 50-minute programs includes “Life on Camera,” “Understanding the Natural World” and “Our Fragile Planet.” (Also on Blu-ray, $29.98)
“Bible Stories From the Old Testament” (Lionsgate/History, 2013, three discs, $19.98, nine episodes“Bible Stories From the New Testament” (Lionsgate/History, 2013, three discs, $19.98, nine episodes). These sets collect A&E and History Channel hourlong documentaries on the title subjects, including episodes of “Mysteries of the Bible” and “Biography.” The Creation, Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah and the Flood, Herod, Mary, the life of Jesus and many more biblical subjects are covered, though none in any great depth.
“Nurse Jackie: Season Four” (Lionsgate, 2012, three discs, $39.98, 10 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). The title drug-addled nurse (Edie Falco) in a New York City hospital returns, going to rehab and watching co-workers suffer for helping her cover up her addiction. (Also on Blu-ray, $39.97)
“Storage Wars: Volume 4” (A&E, 2012, two discs, $19.98, 16 episodes, deleted scene). More episodes of the reality series about treasure hunters bidding at storage auctions and hoping to find valuable treasures.
“Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck” (Warner, 2003, two discs, $19.97, 13 episodes, original “Duck Dodgers” theatrical cartoon). Daffy Duck’s space-traveling alter ego had a three-season run on the Cartoon Network. These episodes comprise the complete first season.
“The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley: The Complete Series” (Warner Archive, 1988, $24.95, 13 episodes). Martin Short’s cartoonish character from “SCTV” and “Saturday Night Live” was a literal cartoon for this single-season, Saturday-morning show. In addition to Short, voices are provided by Jonathan Winters, and Short’s SCTV cohorts Joe Flaherty, Catherine O’Hara and Andrea Martin. (Available at www.WarnerArchive.com)
“Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Butterfly Ball” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2013, $14.99, three episodes; sticker sheet). Episodes from the current season of the animated series, including one about Father’s Day.
“SlugTerra: Return of the Shane Gang, Volume 1” (Shout! Kids, 2012, $14.97, five episodes, new introduction, three bonus episodes). First DVD release of the animated series that initially aired on the Disney XD cable channel has Eli Shane training an army of magical slugs to take on evil Dr. Blakk.
“Chuggington: Safari Adventures” (Anchor Bay, 2013, $16.98, six episodes, bonus “Badge Quest” episode, featurettes, activity sheets; collectible toy Mtambo train). British animated show with anthropomorphic trains. (Also available without the toy train, $14.98)
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