Chris Hicks: Final seasons of ‘30 Rock,’ ‘Private Practice’ on DVD this week

Published: Friday, May 10 2013 5:30 p.m. MDT

“Have Gun — Will Travel: The Final Season, Volume One” (CBS/Paramount, 1963, b/w, two discs, $29.99, 16 episodes). The sixth and final season of this half-hour western series starring Richard Boone as a West Point-educated gun for hire (but only to help the downtrodden) is still great fun. Guests include William Conrad, Ben Johnson, Doodles Weaver, DeForest Kelley and Lee Van Cleef in “Volume One,” and in “Volume Two,” Charles Bronson, Lon Chaney Jr., George Kennedy, future “M*A*S*H” stars Wayne Rogers and Harry Morgan, and, as a different character, Van Cleef again.

“Felicity: Season Three” (Lionsgate, 2000-01, three discs, $19.98, 17 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes).

“Felicity: Season Four” (Lionsgate, 2001-02, three discs, $19.98, 22 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). These final two seasons of the popular series about a California girl (Keri Russell) attending a fictional New York university are set during her junior and senior years as Felicity Porter works toward graduating and entering post-college life.

“Doc Martin: Special Collection” (Acorn, 2001-11, 13 discs, $124.99, 38 episodes, two TV movies, featurettes, photo galleries, text trivia/filmographies). Here’s a treat for fans of the dark but hilarious British series about the misanthropic surgeon (played perfectly by Martin Clunes) who takes over a general practice clinic in a seaside village populated by eccentrics with all kinds of weird maladies — a set that pulls together all six seasons of the series, as well as the two made-for-TV movies that led to it. (And good news: a seventh season is on the way this fall.)

“A Fine Romance: Complete Collection” (Acorn, 1981-84, four discs, $49.99, 26 episodes, text production notes). Judi Dench and her late husband Michael Williams star in this quirky sitcom about a pair of social misfits who begin a tentative romance and squabble their way into each other’s lives. Some funny material, although some may not translate well to American audiences, depending on your taste for decidedly English humor.

“Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” (Athena, 2013, two discs, $39.99, narrated by Joel Grey, extended interviews/performances, text biography of Grey, 15-page booklet). The focus of this wonderfully entertaining PBS documentary is such Jewish composers and lyricists as Irving Berlin, the Gershwin brothers, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Kern, Lorenz Hart, etc., and is liberally laced with interviews and performances by Barbra Streisand, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Dick Van Dyke, Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth and many more.

“Citizen Hearst” (Bio/Lionsgate, 2012, $19.98, deleted scenes, “Hearst Castle” episode of “America’s Castles” series). Fascinating documentary on William Randolph Hearst, which goes beyond his years of running the empire himself to the legacy that continues today. Interviewees include Dan Rather, Oprah Winfrey, Leonard Maltin, Ralph Lauren, etc.

“The Great Gatsby: Midnight in Manhattan” (BBC, 2000, $14.98, 1975 TV episode: “A Dream of Living”). This documentary, an episode of “Omnibus,” is more about F. Scott Fitzgerald than his book of the title, and is obviously timed to coincide with the release of Baz Luhrmann’s new “Gatsby” movie. And it does hold interest, with comments from a number of writers, ranging from Hunter Thompson to George Plimpton. The running time is less than an hour, as is the length of the bonus feature “Dream of Living,” a 1975 portrayal of Fitzgerald by David Hemmings.

“WWII: From Space” (History/Lionsgate, 2012, $19.98). This 90-minute documentary relies on razzle-dazzle computer-graphic effects to offer up a new view of familiar material, and while some may complain that an overhead view of the action serves to further distance us from the mayhem, and it does, it’s still an interesting way to make the material seem fresh. (Also on Blu-ray, same price)

“Witness: A World in Conflict Through a Lens” (HBO, 2013, $19.98). Gritty, four-part documentary miniseries focusing on present-day areas of the world that are not at war but nonetheless in constant conflict, specifically Mexico, Libya, South Sudan and Brazil, following war photographers as they chronicle drug trafficking, poverty, gang violence, political corruption, etc.

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere