The monster TV release this week is the sixth and final season of Lost, which is available both as a single season set and as a complete series collection on both DVD and Blu-ray. I review both in a separate post here and cover the rest of the week below.
NCIS: The Seventh Season (Paramount) – The seventh season of the top-rated drama on TV, the JAG spin-off from creator Donald P. Bellesario that become even more popular than it original show and a lively investigative procedural set in the military world opens with the squad’s search for Ziva (Cote de Pablo). The team’s Mossad contact went missing under suspicious circumstances at the end of the last season and the seventh season opener is showcases both the quirky character drama and the military sensibility of the show.
Mark Harmon anchors the show as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a tough maverick investigator who leads an elite team of special agents who work outside the military chain of command to investigate crimes connected to armed forces personnel, and the team is filled out by streetwise (and movie-mad) agent Michael Weatherly, somewhat more nerdy agent Sean S. Murray, forensics specialist Pauley Perrette and crotchety medical examiner David McCallum. The season follows Ziva’s personal story as she makes a major choice about her future when she rejoins the team and decides to become a U.S. citizen (which, of course, is more fodder for team banter) while flinty team leader Gibbs gets involved in a drug cartel case that turns personal (watch for the cliffhanger ending). Robert Wagner guest stars as Michael Weatherly’s dad in the 150th episode. The comic rapport between the actors gives the otherwise serious subject matter a light touch, and it’s frankly more fun to watch than the dark (visually and thematically) and self-serious CSI.
24 episodes on six discs in a box set of three thinpak cases, plus a generous selection of supplements: commentary on two episodes (including Wagner and Weatherly on episode 150), a 25-minute roundtable discussion with the entire featured case (on the set of Gibbs’ house) and seven featurettes.
Gossip Girl: The Complete Third Season (Warner) – “Oh please. I know what you did this summer. And who.” The East Side preppies go to college and discover that all the status from high school has no meaning in the real world in the third season of shenanigans featuring the spoiled offspring of the fabulously wealthy of Manhattan’s elite. Otherwise it’s another season of self-absorbed, status-conscious tormented teens: Serena (Blake Lively) has become a tabloid celebrity, Blair (Leighton Meester) is appalled that they don’t play by her rules at NYU and Nate (Chace Crawford) tries to find his identity outside of the family, while Kristin Bell provides running commentary as the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-texting and tweeting Gossip Girl. 22 episodes on five discs in a standard case with hinged trays, along with a “Gossip Girl Mode” interactive function for one episode, a featurette, deleted scenes, a gag reel and two music videos.
Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection (HBO) – The HBO comedy series about the New Zealand folk duo Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, aka “Flight of the Conchords” (the “4th Most Popular Folk Parody Duo” in New Zealand), trying to make it in Manhattan with a fan base of one, only ran two short season. But the offbeat humor, hilarious songs and superb tongue-in-cheek music videos earned the show a small but dedicated following. This box set collects all 22 episodes plus featurettes and other supplements previously released on DVD, as well as something new. Exclusive to this set is a bonus disc with their 30-minute “One Night Stand” concert special from 2005, where Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie perform their loopy acoustic set of self-consciously awkward songs.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever (Paramount) – It’s Turtles in Time once again in this 2009 made-for-TV animated feature, and this time they meet themselves. The wisecracking, pizza-scarfing quartet from the eighties animated series are propelled into the 21st century and meet the sleeker, darker, more serious 2003 animated incarnations of themselves and join forces as friends and enemies from both shows come together. No supplements.
Also new this week: the British documentary series The Incredible Human Journey (BBC), 90210: The Second Season (Paramount), The Patty Duke Show: Season Three (Shout! Factory) and Pawn Stars: Season Two (A&E).