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The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

by Ethan Alter August 27, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

That scene from Sons of Anarchy's fifth season sure set tongues wagging.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Five
New alliances were made, a bunch of people were killed (RIP) and tongues were bitten off in the fifth year of Kurt Sutter's biker melodrama, which finds Charlie Hunnam's Jax struggling to maintain his tenuous grasp on leadership of SAMCRO amidst various homefront and motorcycle-front troubles. For starters, his mom Gemma (the great Katey Segal) has made herself a new bedmate (Jimmy Smits), while his surrogate dad and deposed SAMCRO boss Clay (Ron Perlman) is still making his presence felt behind the scenes. And if that's not bad enough, his lady love and baby mama Tara gets in a major spot of trouble, which hints at a problematic sixth year for the Teller household. The gang is roaring back onto FX on September 10; don't even think of missing it.
Extras: A Sutter-led commentary track on the season premiere, a second commentary on the penultimate episode, deleted scenes, a gag reel, two featurettes and footage from a fan concert.

Click here to read our full Sons of Anarchy recaps

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season
Although a significant improvement over Year 2, the junior season of AMC's hit zombie serial still suffered from some of the problems that have plagued the series throughout its run, namely piss-poor characterizations and momentum-less midseason arcs. On the plus side, Season 3 did get rid of a lot of dead weight, including T-Dog, Andrea and, best of all, Lori, who was killed by her own son no less. And the introduction of the Governor and the gated community of Woodbury that he oversaw was at least well-handled, even if the place eventually became the site of too many ridiculous plot contrivances. On the other hand, the arrival of Michonne proved mostly a letdown after so much build-up and too much time was devoted to the so-boring-nobody-cares love story between Glenn and Maggie. We'll see if incoming showrunner Scott Gimple will be the creative force that finally gives these zombies a kick in their deteriorating pants or if The Walking Dead is doomed to be one of those shows that never realizes its full potential.
Click here to read our full Walking Dead recaps
Click here to see what other shows can learn from The Walking Dead

Elementary: The Complete First Season
One of the lone success stories from the 2012-2013 TV season, CBS's procedural-ized riff on Sherlock Holmes manage to distinguish itself from the excellent BBC edition via solid mysteries and a charismatic central duo in the form of Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock and Lucy Liu's Watson. Transporting the characters from London to New York, the show's writers draw on certain aspects of Holmes mythology -- most notably the detective's addictive personality, his nemesis Moriarty and his love interest Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones) -- but wisely make the cases the focal point of every episode. At the end of the day, Elementary is still a procedural, but it's a procedural with more brains than brawn, unlike, say, NCIS: Los Angeles.
Extras: Four featurettes, a six-part web series and a bonus disc (available exclusively at Target) with a photo montage and cast biographies.
Click here to read our full Elementary recaps

Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Ninth Season
Scandal has pretty much deposed Grey's as Shonda Rhimes' most buzz-worthy primetime soap, but Seattle Grace's staff is still soldiering on through the usual mix of medical emergencies and off-hours bed-hopping. With two longtime cast members (Chyler Leigh and Eric Dane) departing as the season begins courtesy of a plane crash, the series welcomes in a batch of new characters while giving its established docs fresh drama in the form of damaged hands, pregnancies and legal woes. And make sure to soak up as much Cristina as you can -- Sandra Oh is taking her stethoscope and going home after Season 10, which kicks off September 26.
Extras: An extended cut of the season finale, deleted scenes, outtakes and two spotlights on specific characters, Richard Webber and Arizona Roberts.
Click here to see our full Grey's Anatomy recaps

Tales of the City: 20th Anniversary Edition
The groundbreaking, award-winning PBS miniseries turns twenty years young and, we're happy to say, still holds up in the present day. Adapted from Armistead Maupin's terrific first installment in his six-part (now eight) book series, Tales opens with Ohio native Mary Ann Singleton (a baby-faced Laura Linney) deciding to extend her trip to '70s-era San Francisco… permanently. Taking up residence in a ramshackle building on 28 Barbary Lane, Mary Ann is introduced to a varied cross-section of the city's population. Controversial at the time of its premiere due to its frank depictions of sexuality (specifically in regard to gay relationships) and drug use, Tales now looks like a harbinger of the profound changes that have occurred in pop culture in the two decades since. Like the book it's based on, it's also still extremely entertaining, packed with memorable characters, hilarious observations and genuinely touching moments. Time for a new generation to enjoy the tale of this particular city.
Extas: Commentary tracks on three episodes anchored by Maupin, Linney and other cast and crew members, a half-hour's worth of vintage behind the scenes footage and an 8-page booklet with a new introduction by the author.

Also on DVD:
Long before Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna Lumley got her Doctor Who on in the '70s British sci-fi series Sapphire & Steel: The Complete Series about a pair of dimension-hopping agents who protect the timeline from all manner of malfeasance. Always wearing the best in interdimensional fashion, natch.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

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