Two sitcoms, one set in the 1980s and the other taking aim at an imagined afterlife, lead this week’s TV shows that are new to home video.
“Everybody Hates Chris: The Complete Series” (CBS/Paramount, 2005-09, 16 discs, 88 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, webisodes, bloopers). Chris Rock created and narrates this autobiographical sitcom with a social conscience. It’s set in the early 1980s during Rock’s teen years when he attended a mostly white school and used his wits to avoid bullies — a talent that would lead to his becoming a popular comedian. The result is a funny show that shines a serious spotlight on race relations.
“The Good Place” (Shout!, 2016-17, two discs, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Kristen Bell dies, wakes up in the afterlife and expects to be in “the bad place,” since she was a terrible person (attested to in flashbacks) but is instead in “the good place.” A heavenly mistake? Ted Danson co-stars in this clever sitcom, although, like everything today, it occasionally drifts into pointless vulgarity. (Season two is now airing on NBC.)
“Big Pacific” (PBS, 2017, two discs, five episodes). Stunning underwater photography highlights this PBS documentary miniseries that investigates the Pacific Ocean.
“Lewis Black: Black to the Future” (MVD, 2016, bonus program: “The Rant Is Due: Live From Napa”). The middle-aged ranting comic goes after last year’s presidential election cycle in this Comedy Central special. (There is adult language, the worst of it bleeped.)
“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Ninth Season” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2012-17, four discs, 26 episodes, five shorts). There’s a whole lotta SpongeBob goin’ on in this set of ninth season episodes (which aired over 4 ½ years) from the popular animated kids show.
“Shopkins: World Vacation” (Universal, 2017, sing-alongs, webisode; Biscuit Bandit toy). Kooky Cookie and friends win a trip to London in this made-for-video movie.
“Peppa Pig: Princess Peppa” (Fox, 2004-2012, 12 episodes). This is a British animated series for preschoolers about a young pig and her family and their fantasy adventures.
“Ancient Aliens: Season 10, Volume 1” (History/Lionsgate, 2015, two discs, eight episodes). This long-running series looks for evidence of extraterrestrial visits. (Seasons 11 and 12 have aired on the History Channel.)
“Reign: The Fourth and Final Season” (Warner, 2017, three discs, 16 episodes). Mary, Queen of Scots is the subject of this historical fiction, if that’s not an oxymoron.
“The Collection” (PBS, 2017, three discs, eight episodes, featurettes). This post-World War II soapy British miniseries follows the dysfunctional Sabine family’s attempts to rebuild its status in the world of couture.
“Marcella: Season One” (Acorn, 2016, two discs, eight episodes). Detective Sgt. Marcella Backland (Anna Friel) returns to the London police force after a leave of absence but suffers bouts of rage and blackouts. (A second season will soon debut in Great Britain.)
“Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago” (MVD, 2016). This edgy documentary is about the soft-rock band-with-a-brass-section, Chicago, which has been around since 1967, touring for all of its 50 years.
“Samurai Jack: The Complete Fifth Season” (Warner, 2017, one-disc Blu-ray/two-disc DVD, 10 episodes, featurettes). This is the final season for this adult animated show about the titular character, now looking to square off against the evil wizard that sent him into the future. (The full series is also available.)
“Drawn Together: The Complete Collection” (Comedy Central/Paramount, 2004-07, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, sing-along, 2010 movie: “The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!”). This adult animated series takes a page from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” as it lampoons “Big Brother” with parodies of familiar cartoon characters in a group home with cameras.
“(Impractical) Jokers: The Complete Fifth Season” (Warner, 2016, four discs, 26 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, “British Invasion Special”). Four comics play practical jokes on strangers in this vulgar variation on “Candid Camera.” (Season six is now on the cable channel truTV.)