After much clamoring from fans, the animated “Beetlejuice” TV series, adapted from Tim Burton’s 1988 movie, has finally arrived on DVD.
“Beetlejuice: The Complete Series” (Shout!, 1989-91, 12 discs, $99.99, 94 episodes). Burton himself adapted the movie for this cartoon incarnation, altering the story so that Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton’s character in the movie), a sort of zombie prankster, and goth teen Lydia (Winona Ryder’s character) are best pals and together have a variety of adventures both in the “real world” and the “Netherworld.”
Neither Keaton, Ryder nor any of the other film actors participated in this series but the voice cast is well suited to the characters. And although the show has been softened a bit from the movie version to appeal to a younger audience, there are still plenty of witty one-liners and inventive shenanigans, along with sight gags and pop-culture references. (Available exclusively at Amazon.com)
“George Gently: Series 5” (Acorn, 2012, two discs, $59.99, four episodes, featurette). These feature-length episodes set during the 1960s feature the former Scotland Yard detective (Martin Shaw) investigating the usual murders, but also trying to find an adopted baby that has disappeared. And he winds up the season by defending himself against accusations of fabricating evidence, an episode that ends with a cliffhanger. (Not to worry; Series 6 is on the way.) (Also on Blu-ray, same price)
"George Gently Collection: Series 1-4” (Acorn, 2008-11, six discs, $99.99, 11 episodes, featurette, text interviews/production notes/biography; six-page booklet. Nicely packaged set with the usual high standard of quality expected of Acorn, collecting the excellent pilot that sets things up and the first four seasons of this top-flight police procedural set in Northumberland in the 1960s. (Also on Blu-ray, same price)
“Red Widow: The Complete First Season” (ABC, 2013, two discs, $29.99, eight episodes, deleted scenes, featurette, bloopers). Radha Mitchell stars in this mid-season replacement series as a soccer mom who reverts to her family’s Russian mobster ties when her husband is assassinated. If there wasn’t already a series called “Revenge,” that title would suit this show. And as “Red Widow” has now been canceled, this set qualifies as the complete series.
“Suits: Season Two” (Universal/USA, four discs, $44.98, 16 episodes, DVD and digital versions, deleted/extended scenes, audio commentary, webisodes, featurettes, bloopers). This likable show about a college dropout without a law degree who is hired by a jaded lawyer to be his associate continues with clever cases and smart banter. Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams make an appealing team.
“The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents” (History/Lionsgate, 2013, three discs, $24.98, eight episodes, deleted scenes). Ambitious documentary series about U.S. presidents, beginning at the formation of the office, manages to straddle the line between academic and entertaining very well, covering a lot of territory.
“Sommore: Chandelier Status” (eOne, 2013, $14.98, featurette). Sommore’s Showtime cable comedy special is amusing stand-up but, as you might expect, it’s also quite naughty.
“Roger Day: Marsh Mud Madness” (Savannah Music Festival, 2013, $15, 12 songs). Day sings environmental songs for children and hosts informational segments about ecology presented in a kid-friendly manner. (Available at Bigkids.com, CDBaby.com and Rogerday.com)
“The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange, Vol. 2, Get Juiced!” (Vivendi, 2012, $14.93, 10 episodes). Live-action/animation time-traveling Cartoon Network series by Toby Turner features guest appearances by Alice Cooper, Bret Michaels, Tim Curry, Leah Remini and Jane Lynch, among others.
“Bubble Guppies: Sunny Days!” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2013, $16.99, six episodes). Fun-in-the-sun-themed episodes of the animated series for children.
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