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TV on DVD: Firefly, Glee, Chuck and Philanthropist

In television on 01/08/2010 at 10:08 am

Hello chickens. What’s on your DVD wish list now that Christmas is over and none of the good-for-nothings who SAY they love you bought you a single season of the TV shows that were on your gift list? Bastids! Me? I’m still waiting for someone to decide to love me enough to buy the full series of The Twilight Zone and the first season of Thirtysomething. So far, not feeling it. I  did, however, treat myself over the two week holiday period to a rental of Firefly: The Complete Series. The 2002 space western from Joss Whedon and starring Nathan Fillion (Castle) appeared on so many best-of-the-decade lists I was finally shamed into catching up. Plus I have a fierce crush on Fillion, tweeter that he is (Adam Baldwin, now of Chuck fame, is also in this and also a fierce tweeter, though more political). Next up is Serenity, the movie which closed the franchise.

What did you watch over the holidays?

As for new stuff, I’m merrily bopping (yes, I bop; I no longer deny it) through what I hadn’t already seen of the first half season of Glee (Season 1, Vol. 1 — Road to Sectionals), on shelves since Dec. 29. It’s too much, yes, but just right, if you know what I mean, and I don’t even like musicals. But it’s a joyful, subversive mix of high-school melodrama and parody of same, with some sweet moments (the finale scene of the finale?) and, you must admit, outright toe-tappery. And Jane Lynch as the evil cheerleader leader? I had that teacher and she made me wear the short shorts! The show returns (what?) April 13, so there’s plenty of time to catch up.

I am glad to see The Philanthropist: The Complete Series out on disc this week and I hope that if you didn’t already watch the short-run series on NBC last summer that you consider it for at least a short nine-episode DVD binge this winter. Starring James Purefoy (Rome), it’s about rich guy Teddy Rist, who decides to start giving back and ends up fighting gunfire and outrunning other bad stuff as he travels the globe to do good (and lay his head on the pillows of a few lovelies along the way). Sounds sappy, right? And it had its over-the-top moments (especially every scene involving Jesse L. Martin and Neve Campbell, who played his humourless partners back in Manhattan). But the scenery is gorgeous (locations included Prague, Cape Town and Maputo, Mozambique) and the story telling — from the Tom Fontana/Barry Levinson house that brought us Homicide: Life on the Street — was at times brilliant. And Purefoy? I could watch that guy read the phone book with or without the sound turned on. It’s the emoting, of course.

Chuck! Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and Citytv marks the third-season return of the fun action/spy/comedy/drama series starring Zachary Levi as the nerd with a computer brain, Yvonne Strahovsky as the spy who loves him, Adam Baldwin as the bullet-head spy who loathes him but will eventually act to save him (again) and Joshua Gomez as the fellow geek who also saves him as often as he trips him up. Season 2, out this week on DVD and Bluray had the series on the cancellation bubble, but fan support saved it and the season ended very nicely with Chevy Chase bringing some evil, Scott Bakula playing spy dad, Matthew Bomer (White Collar) playing villain and “the cube” playing havoc with Chuck’s brain several times over. If you’ve seen Season 2, you already know you’d love to see it again. If you haven’t seen Season 2, I suspect there will be enough plot lifelines thrown out Sunday night to make it easy to slide into the Season 3 story, but you’ll want to check out at least the last disc. And the extras look pretty scrumptious. There’s a list after the video box.

  • Truth, Spies and Regular Guys: Exploring the Mythology of Chuck
  • Dude in Distress: explore some of this season’s best action sequences
  • Chuck Versus the Webisodes: web originated minifeaturettes
  • Chuck: A Real Life Captain Awesome’s Tips for Being Awesome
  • John Casey Presents: So You Want to be a Deadly Spy?
  • Declassified scenes
  • Gag reel

See ya next week.

— Denise Duguay

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