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Series-Set Roundup 2012

13 Dec, 2012 By: John Latchem

■ Friends
Seasons: 10; Episodes: 236
Original Air Dates: 1994-2004
Format: Blu-ray; Discs: 21; Price: $279.98
Stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer.

The episodes have been remastered from original 35mm film elements and expanded to widescreen, and it looks great in HD.
Exclusives: The bonus disc includes some spiffy retrospective documentaries. There’s also clips from the “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” a gag reel, a music video of the show’s theme song, and the original cut of “The One Where Rachel Tells Ross,” which had to be edited after 9/11.

■ The Dick Van Dyke Show
Seasons: 5; Episodes: 158
Original Air Dates: 1961-66
Format: Blu-ray; Discs: 15; Price: $349.98
Stars Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore.

The black-and-white cinematography looks sharp in HD. Some extras are carried over from previous DVDs.
Exclusives: Bonuses include TV Academy tributes, a 50th anniversary Q&A and other tidbits such as an anti-smoking PSA, show promos and sketches from “The Danny Kaye Show” involving the cast.

■ Cagney & Lacey: 30th Anniversary
Seasons: 6; Episodes: 119
Original Air Dates: 1982-88
Format: DVD; Discs: 32; Price: $139.99
Stars Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless.

The DVDs count the beginning of the series with what was season two, since that’s when Sharon Gless joined the show as Cagney, teamed with Tyne Daly’s Lacey. An online-exclusive 38-disc limited edition is available for $169.99 at . It contains the original pilot with Loretta Swit as Cagney and the six episodes from the true first season with Meg Foster as Cagney, as well as four reunion TV movies, a digital book and a photo of Cagney and Lacey signed by Gless and Daly.
Exclusives: The complete series is currently the only way to get the final four seasons.

■ Rescue Me
Sony Pictures
Seasons: 7; Episodes: 93
Original Air Dates: 2004-11
Format: DVD; Discs: 26; Price: $95.99
Stars Denis Leary.

This set, a comedy-drama hybrid focusing on the professional and personal lives of a group of New York City firefighters, comes in an attractive box with discs stacked on a peg in two slots.

■ Peter Gunn
Seasons: 3; Episodes: 114
Original Air Dates: 1958-1961
Format: DVD; Discs: 12; Price: $99.99
Stars Craig Stevens.

Blake Edwards created and produced this detective series, which became legendary for its music. This is the disc debut for seasons two and three, as well as the final six episodes of the first season.
Exclusives: The set includes a bonus CD with music from the show.

■ Entourage
Seasons: 8; Episodes: 96
Original Air Dates: 2004-11
18 Discs; $249.99 DVD, $299.99 Blu-ray
Stars Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin
Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven.

This testosterone-fueled answer to “Sex and the City” offers a scathing satire of the Hollywood lifestyle. The first few seasons are pretty great, even if the show bogged down by the end.
Exclusives: This set is the only way to get the first five seasons on Blu-ray.

■ All in the Family
Shout! Factory
Seasons: 9; Episodes: 208
Original Air Dates: 1971-79
Format: DVD; Discs: 28; Price: $199.99
Stars Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers.

Archie Bunker lives on in this set, which mostly repacks the earlier season releases.
Exclusives: A bonus disc contains a new interview with creator Norman Lear, two documentaries, the show’s two original pilot episodes, and the premiere episodes for spinoffs “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Gloria” and “704 Hauser.”

■ Power Rangers
Shout! Factory
Seasons: 7; Episodes: 338
Original Air Dates: 1993-99
Format: DVD; Discs: 40; Price: $219.95
Stars Amy Jo Johnson, Jason David Frank.

This is actually two separate boxed sets sold together via the Time Life website. The first box is dubbed Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series, containing three seasons in a 19-DVD set (including two exclusive bonus discs) at $199.99. This set is widely available at retail. The second box, which has yet to see a wide release, contains seasons four through seven.
Exclusives: The “Mighty Morphin” bonus discs include retrospective featurettes, fan reflections and more. The second set’s disc includes a lost episode, a visit to a Power Rangers convention, a profile of characters Bulk and Skull and more. Plus, Time Life offers an action figure with its sets.

■ RVBX: Ten Years of Red vs. Blue
New Video
Seasons: 10; Episodes: 222
Original Air Dates: 2003-12
Format: Blu-ray; Discs: 14; Price: $179.95

This hilarious sci-fi comedy web series dubs dialogue onto graphics from the “Halo” video games.
Exclusives: This is the first time these episodes are available on Blu-ray.

About the Author: John Latchem

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