Fond-farewell seasons of the quirky sitcom “30 Rock” and the spinoff medical series “Private Practice” have been released on DVD this week, as well as the final season of the vintage western “Have Gun — Will Travel.”
“30 Rock: Season 7: The Final Season” (Universal, 2012-13, two discs, $44.98, 13 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette, animated webisode). The Emmy-winning sitcom goes out with a whimper instead of a bang, with just 13 episodes instead of the usual 20-plus (the second season had 15 episodes but was abbreviated due to a writers' strike).
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and the gang wind down this offbeat inside-TV satire focusing on wrap-up stories for the slightly cracked characters, though the situations continue to be as eccentric as any out-there TV series, comedy or drama. And seven seasons is a good run for this kind of “cult show,” one that never really cultivated a ratings-valued following and was always more of a fan-favorite among show-biz professionals, critics and pop-culture geeks than with a general audience.
“Private Practice: The Complete Sixth and Final Season” (ABC, 2012-13, three discs, $39.99, 13 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers). The same writers strike that shortened the second season of “30 Rock” also, even more drastically, cut the first season of this medical drama to just nine episodes, so it’s hard to complain about the 13 here. Kate Walsh and friends sign off from this spinoff of “Grey’s Anatomy” with tragedy and joy, as death, a difficult pregnancy with triplets and a marriage lead various characters to new horizons.
“Flashpoint: The Fifth Season” (CBS/Paramount, 2012-13, three discs, $42.99, 11 episodes). Canada’s version of SWAT continues to defuse bombs, rescue hostages and in general diffuse all kinds of mayhem on the streets of Toronto in this action-filled police procedural. The most familiar actor for U.S. audiences is Enrico Colantoni (“Just Shoot Me,” “Veronica Mars”). (Because the episodes were packed differently for the United States, this is really part of the fourth season, with the Canadian fifth and final season yet to come.)
“Rookie Blue: The Complete Third Season” (eOne, 2012, four discs, $39.98, 13 episodes, featurettes). This Canadian series has taken some critical heat, but as with any multiple-character police procedural that delves into personal lives, it’s all in how you feel about the players. William Shatner makes a guest appearance in the season opener.
“Gunsmoke: The Eighth Season, Volume One” (CBS/Paramount, 1962-63, b/w, five discs, $44.99, 19 episodes, trailers, ads).
“Gunsmoke: The Eighth Season, Volume Two” (CBS/Paramount, 1963, b/w, five discs, $44.99, 19 episodes, trailers, ads). When this venerable western series expanded to an hour for the seventh season, the show suffered in the ratings but managed to hang in there, and these black-and-white, hour-long shows have been largely out of circulation for years (syndication favoring the color episodes that began in 1966). This season is notable for the arrival of Burt Reynolds as half-Comanche blacksmith Quint Asper, a recurring role he played on the show for three years. Guests include Leonard Nimoy and Mariette Hartley in “Volume One,” and in “Volume Two,” Adam West, Ben Johnson and, playing a different character, Nimoy again.
“Have Gun — Will Travel: The Final Season, Volume One” (CBS/Paramount, 1962, b/w, two discs, $29.99, 16 episodes).
- 5 underrated Disney movies
- What accounts for the cinematic generation gap?
- 'Unicorns are everywhere': Cartoonist Dana...
- Move over 'Phantom,' Coldplay getting air...
- Book review: 'Failsafe' is a page-turning...
- The 34 greatest Disneyland rides
- Book review: 'Whatever You Choose to Be' by...
- Doug's Take: 'Insurgent' is a compelling...