"Gomer Pyle, USMC" (CBS/Paramount, 1964-65, b/w, five discs, $42.99). Jim Nabors played Gomer Pyle for 1 1/2 seasons on "The Andy Griffith Show" before spinning off the character into this military sitcom which, ironically, echoes Griffith's first big stage/movie hit, "No Time for Sergeants."
Nabors, of course, made the character a lovable goof, a naive rube who is forever frustrating his sergeant, played with ever-rising temperament by Frank Sutton. Guest players include Don Rickles, and future TV stars Wayne Rogers and Gavin McLeod.
"Law & Order: Criminal Intent: The Second Year 2002-2004 Season" (Universal, 2002-03, five discs, $59.98). This entry in the franchise, as with the other shows, concentrates on interesting police procedurals, but it really gets a lift from Vincent D'Onofrio's quirky style as a Sherlock Holmes-ish detective paired with more straight-forward Kathryn Erbe. One of the more entertaining "L&Os." Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance co-star.
"The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Final Season" (CBS/Paramount, 1967-68, five discs, $42.99). This is the eighth and last season of this beloved sitcom, with Opie (Ron Howard) discovering rock 'n' roll, Barney (Don Knotts) making one last return visit and the "Mayberry R.F.D." spinoff being introduced in the final episode. To be honest, things are a little tired in this final go-round, but it's still fun to see Griffith and friends in a gentle sitcom, the likes of which we'll never see again.
"Full House: The Complete Fifth Season" (Warner, 1991-92, four discs, $29.98). John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier are "parents" to a passel of kids, including the young Olsen twins (both playing one character), along with Lori Laughlin. The fifth season's highlight comes when Stamos and Laughlin have twins. Also, the Beach Boys show up at the end of the season.
"Stacked: The Complete Series" (Fox, 2005-06, three discs, $29.98). The title of this sitcom has a double-meaning that you'll understand when you know that the setting is a bookstore, and the star is Pamela Anderson. Actually this show is more amusing than you might expect. It's no great shakes, but having Christopher Lloyd among the players as, literally, a rocket scientist, was inspired casting.
"Masters of Horror: Fair Haired Child" (Anchor Bay, 2006, $16.98). Another gore-filled episode of the Showtime cable series (the last Season 1 show to come to home video), which means more gross-out violence than most of us care for. Lori Petty stars in this one, about a kidnapped girl slowly coming to grips with her fate.
"Garfield & Friends" (Fox, 1988-94, $14.98). The lasagna-eating feline in more episodes from the Saturday-morning cartoon series.
"Barnyard" (Paramount/Nickelodeon, 2006, PG, $29.99). So-so animated feature is bolstered by some clever gags and an all-star voice cast (Sam Elliott, Courteney Cox, Andie MacDowell, Wanda Sykes, Danny Glover), led by Kevin James ("King of Queens") as a cow ... um, bull ... um, steer ... who must grow up before he can protect the barnyard from coyotes. My indecision stems from James' character, clearly identified as male, having an udder.
"The Fox and the Hound 2" (Disney, 2006, G, $29.99). So-so straight-to-video sequel has the two title characters, Tod and Copper, off on another adventure, this time involving antics at the county fair, with voices provided by Reba McEntire, Patrick Swayze and Jeff Foxworthy, and songs by Trisha Yearwood, etc.
"The Year Without a Santa Claus" (Warner, 2006, not rated, $19.97). Made-for-TV remake of the classic animated show about Santa (John Goodman) being so upset that people have forgotten the meaning of Christmas that he vows to take the year off. Ethan Suplee (Randy on "My Name Is Earl"), Eddie Griffin and Chris Kattan co-star, with Delta Burke as Mrs. Claus.
"Air Buddies" (Disney, 2006, PG, $29.99). Another straight-to-video "Air Bud" sequel, this time with talking puppies. The late Don Knotts provides a voice.
E-mail: [email protected]