“Psych” has come to an end, but it lives on in DVD form as the final season arrives on home video this week along with a slew of other TV shows.
“Psych: The Eighth and Final Season” (Universal/USA, 2013-14, three discs, $59.98, 10 episodes, bonus episode: “Psych: The Musical,” deleted/extended scenes, featurettes, montages, music video, podcasts, bloopers). The interplay between Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) gets even wackier and sillier (if that’s possible) as the show winds down in this final season of the comedy-mystery series about a slacker with Sherlock Holmes-level skills pretending to be a psychic. But in the end, it takes a poignant turn as Shawn must decide if he loves Jules (Maggie Lawson) enough to make radical changes in his life.
A nice farewell to a beloved series that made enough pop-culture references over eight seasons to fill 100 other shows. Funny, sweet and filled with memorable, perfectly cast characters. (Guests include Mira Sorvino, Bruce Campbell, Loretta Devine and Tom Arnold.)
“George Gently: Series 6” (Acorn/Blu-ray, 2014, two discs, $59.99, four episodes, featurettes, text interviews, photo gallery). Thoughtful mystery-thriller series set in rural England during the 1960s that fans worried about when both principles were shot at the end of Series 5. The episode ended with their fates unknown, and the show had not yet been renewed for another season. But here we are.
The title police officer (perfectly played by Martin Shaw) is a seasoned homicide detective with integrity (which has gotten him in trouble), as well as wisdom and compassion, while his younger partner (Lee Ingleby), a jaded punk who is ready to quit as this season begins, is decidedly harder to like. All four feature-length mysteries here are solid, although one about the military doing secretive LSD experiments is particularly moving.
Trivia note: Although the title is merely “George Gently” on the box, each episode’s opening title is “Inspector George Gently.” A small thing, but nitpicking is my life.
“Broadchurch: The Complete First Season” (BBC, 2013, three discs, $39.98, eight episodes). Exceptional British murder-mystery series about two police detectives (David Tennant and Olivia Colman, both excellent) attempting to find the killer of an 11-year-old boy whose body is found on a stretch of beach in the titular town on the Dorset coast. The detectives have an adversarial relationship and the small town of Broadchurch is torn apart by the investigation. With a show such as this, characters and ambience are as crucial as plotting, and this show percolates on every level.
“Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series” (MPI, 1968-74, 24 discs, $159.98, 144 episodes, introductions, featurettes, home movies, guest appearances, slide shows, production files, promos, sponsor billboards). If you’re a fan of Lucille Ball, her third sitcom (after “I Love Lucy” and “The Lucy Show”) is a real treat, co-starring Gale Gordon; her real-life daughter and son, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr.; and Mary Jane Croft. Lots of laughs and guest stars galore, including Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Andy Griffith, Joan Rivers, Jack Benny, Don Knotts, Eva Gabor, Liberace, Donny Osmond, Ann-Margret, Flip Wilson and many more.
“Medical Center: The Complete Fourth Series” (Warner Archive, 1972-73, six discs, $49.95, 24 episodes). Chad Everett and James Daly return as, respectively, a younger, more impetuous doctor and an older, wiser surgeon, in a Los Angeles university hospital in this long-running dramatic series. Guests include John Ritter, Stefanie Powers, Larry Hagman, Geraldine Page, Dean Jagger, Barbara Feldon, Jessica Walter, Bill Bixby, George Chakiris, Diana Muldaur, Gilbert Roland, William Devane, Lola Albright, Susan Oliver, Ruth Buzzi and Tom Bosley. (Available at warnerarchive.com)
“Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Fully Roasted” (StarVista, 1973-78, six discs, $59.95, 17 episodes, comedy skits from Martin’s variety series, featurettes). Another volume of Martin’s “roast” episodes, each featuring a beloved celebrity subjected to scripted insult comedy from other celebs (though going off-script is a common occurrence). It’s mostly comics, of course, but also actors adept at delivering one-liners, and many of the zingers are fall-down funny. Roastees include Betty White, Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Angie Dickinson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Suzanne Somers, George Burns, etc., and roasters include Jack Benny, Bob Newhart, Henry Fonda, Jonathan Winters, Billy Crystal, Orson Welles, etc.
“The Story of Medicine: Pain, Pus & Poison” (Athena, 2013, two discs, $39.99, three episodes, short documentaries; 16-page booklet). British documentary miniseries explores how drugs have revolutionized medicine over the past 200 years and reveals that luck has had as much to do with it as genius.
“Green Lantern: The Animated Series” (Warner Archive/Blu-ray, 2011, two discs, $25.95, 26 episodes). This DC Comics superhero TV show aired on the Cartoon Network cable channel for one season, with the title character heading into space to help fellow Green Lanterns battle the evil Red Lanterns. (Available at warnerarchive.com)
“Power Rangers: Seasons 13-17” (Shout!, 2005-09, 22 discs, $129.99, 166 episodes, featurettes). Fans of this live-action series will be salivating over this heavy-duty box set, which includes the seasons titled “S.P.D.,” “Mystic Force,” “Operation Overdrive,” “Jungle Fury” and “RPM,” as our heroes take on the Troobian Empire, sorceress Udonna and the computer virus Venjix, among other challenges.
“Saban’s Power Rangers Turbo: Volume One” (Shout!, 1997, three discs, $19.93, 23 episodes). Live-action kids' series about five Turbo Rangers using their powers, weapons and vehicles at supercharged hyperspeeds.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." Website: hicksflicks.com
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