The latest collection of “Midsomer Murders” and the complete “Mama’s Family” sitcom are on home video this week.
“Midsomer Murders: Series 19, Part 2” (Acorn, 2017, two episodes, featurette). Fans of this light but clever murder mystery series — set in a large rural English county whose villages are filled with nefarious residents — may feel a bit let down by this meager set, which contains just two episodes. (“Series 19, Part 1,” released last June, had four.)
On the upside, the two stories are witty and fun: “Death By Persuasion” has a woman killed with a quill during a Jane Austen re-creation, while “The Curse of the Ninth” finds the winner of a prestigious music award strangled with a violin string. Neil Dudgeon as DCI Barnaby and Nick Hendrix as his sergeant are still a terrific team. (Series 20 will air next year.)
“Mama’s Family: The Complete Collection” (Time Life, 1983-90, 22 discs, 130 episodes, 1982 TV movie: “Eunice,” excerpts from “The Carol Burnett Show,” featurettes). “The Family” skits from “The Carol Burnett Show” (some are included here) led to this popular sitcom spinoff, starring Vicki Lawrence as the irascible, wisecracking Mama Harper, with Burnett and Harvey Korman showing up occasionally to reprise their characters as Mama’s daughter and son-in-law. Betty White and Rue McClanahan (who would later do “Golden Girls”) are semi-regulars early on. The series is filled with lowbrow fun. (Available exclusively at Walmart.)
“Vera: Set 7” (Acorn, 2017, four discs, four episodes). Brenda Blethyn is back as abrasive DCI Vera Stanhope, investigating murders in rural Northumberland in North East England. This season’s victims include a park ranger that washes up on the shores of a remote wildlife preserve and a young journalism student. Parental warning: "Vera: Set 7" contains violence. (Season eight will air next year.)
“Humans 2.0” (Acorn, 2017, three discs, eight episodes, featurettes). As the android “synths” continue to become self-aware, a renowned AI scientist (Carrie-Anne Moss) joins the team of scientists readying a new product, and Laura and Joe Hawkins (Katherine Parkinson, Tom Goodman-Hill), now in counseling to save their marriage, are pulled back into the robotic world. The second season of this intelligent, often fascinating British sci-fi series for adults is even better than the first. Parental warning: The series includes coarse language, nudity, sex and violence. (Season three will air next year.)
“Halo: The Complete Video Collection” (Shout!, 2010-15, six discs, audio commentaries, feaurettes). This set includes four shows adapted from the popular futuristic-action video game “Halo”: the PG-13 theatrical film “Halo Legends,” comprised of seven animated shorts, and the animated TV miniseries “Halo: The Fall of Reach,” as well as two live-action TV series, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and “Halo: Nightfall.”
“Richard Simmons: Sweatin’ to the Oldies: The Complete Collection” (Time Life, 1988-2010, six discs, five featurettes; 20-page booklet). This 30th anniversary release of flamboyant aerobics guru Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” exercise videos includes five volumes and a bonus disc of interviews and testimonials. (Available exclusively at Amazon.com.)
“PAW Patrol: The Great Snow Rescue” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2015-17, seven episodes). The rescue dogs in this animated series for kids focus on snowbound events in these episodes.