As the fall television season kicks into high gear, collections of last season’s episodes arrive on DVD and Blu-ray to tempt fans of particular shows.
“Haven: The Complete Second Season” (eOne/Syfy, 2011, four discs, $44.98, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). This chilling and sometimes comical monster-of-the-week series is one of Syfy’s best, based on Stephen King’s novel “The Colorado Kid.” As the season kicks off, FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) confronts another agent who showed up at the end of Season 1 — claiming to be Audrey Parker.
Everyone in Haven, Maine, has a secret, some scarier than others, and the series cleverly deals with some new bizarre situation each week, anchored by Rose, who is perfect as the law official trained in logic and detection but finds her skills at odds with the illogical supernatural goings-on known as “The Troubles.” This season even has a Christmas episode. (Also on Blu-ray, $49.98.)
“Person of Interest: The Complete First Season” (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2011-12, 10 discs, $69.97, 23 episodes, original pilot/extended pilot, featurette, bloopers). A supercomputer leads ex-CIA agent Jim Caviezel to crimes before they are committed in this thriller/action series tinged with science fiction. Co-stars Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Chapman. (Also on DVD, $59.98.)
“Parks and Recreation: Season Four” (Universal/NBC, 2011-12, four discs, $39.98, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, extended episodes, webisodes, featurettes, music video, bloopers). Leslie (Amy Poehler) running for office is the crux of this season. Funny show with a great supporting cast, with this season's guests including Paul Rudd, Megan Mullally and Louis C.K.
“The Office: Season Eight” (Universal/NBC/Blu-ray + DVD, 2011-12, five discs, $59.98, 24 episodes, deleted scenes, extended episodes, webisodes, bloopers, promos). Season 8 is the first without Steve Carell, and the show suffers from his absence. James Spader is on board as CEO, Ed Helms becomes manager with Rainn Wilson as his second, and chaos ensues. Season 9 has been announced as the series’ last. (Also on DVD, $34.99.)
“The Good Wife: The Third Season” (CBS/Paramount, 2011-12, six discs, $55.98, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes). Julianna Margulies is the title character, of course, and she gets tougher in the law firm this season, as Alan Cumming comes aboard and drives everyone crazy, along with other soap opera machinations in this gritty, involving show.
“Grey’s Anatomy: Complete Eighth Season” (ABC, 2011-12, six discs, $45.99, 24 episodes, deleted scenes, extended episode, featurette, bloopers). The doctors of Seattle Grace mix it up with more soap opera stories in this medical perennial.
“Criminal Minds: Season 7” (CBS/Paramount, 2011-12, six discs, $64.99, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna and friends track more serial killers in this sometimes gruesome police procedural.
“Cloudstreet” (Acorn, 2012, three discs, $49.99, six episodes, featurettes). This Australian miniseries stars Kerry Fox and Essie Davis in the story of two disparate rural families motivated by failed enterprises to move into a huge suburban home together, forming an up-and-down relationship over several years.
“Young James Herriot” (Acorn, 2011, $29.99, three episodes, featurette, photo gallery, text biography). Iain De Caestecker stars in the title role of this British miniseries as the beloved veterinarian who authored “All Creatures Great and Small.”
“Holy Flying Circus” (Acorn, 2011, $34.99, deleted scenes, featurette, photo gallery, bloopers). British TV movie comically dramatizing the events surrounding the Monty Python sextet’s 1979 release of their most controversial film, the biblical spoof “Life of Brian.” Probably most interesting to Python fans for the actors chosen to play each of the comedy troupe’s members. (With foul language, nudity.)
“Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season” (HBO, 2011, two discs, $39.98, eight episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurette, bloopers). Jason Schwartzman stars in this dark comic update of private-eye mysteries, with Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis in support. With the usual HBO language, sex, nudity, pot-smoking. Guests in this final season of the show include Isla Fisher, Bebe Neuwirth, Patton Oswalt, Oliver Platt, Dick Cavett, Mary Steenburgen and many others.(Also on Blu-ray, $49.99.)
“How to Make it In America: The Complete Second Season” (HBO, 2011, two discs, $39.98, eight episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). This is also the final season of this HBO show, with Ben (Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (Victor Rasuk) still pursuing their dream of becoming New York fashionistas. Guests include Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano and Isaac Mizrahi. (Also on Blu-ray, $49.99.)
“The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Monster Rally” (Shout! Kids, 2012, $12.99). Animated kids show about Tonka Chuck, a dump truck with dreams.
“The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series” (Scholastic, 1994-97, eight discs, $79.95, 52 episodes). The PBS series for children with Mrs. Fizzle taking her students on tours of the world, the human body, the universe, modern innovations, etc. Previously released episodes, plus 30 that are new to DVD.