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New TV Season Means New TV Shows (and Catching Up With the Old Ones on DVD)

The fall TV season gets into full swing this week, but lots of TV fans are still getting their tube fixes with marathon catch-up sessions via DVDs.  Here, a few recent DVD releases to get viewers up-to-date on returning favorites:

Homeland: The Complete First Season (Fox Home Entertainment)
Surprise Emmy Best Drama winner Homeland is one of those rare shows that is so carefully and cleverly crafted that you’ll pick up new things even on your second or third viewing. Is Claire Danes‘ CIA agent Carrie crazy, or are her suspicions that returning war hero Brody (Emmy winner Damian Lewis) is actually a terrorist correct? Watch, and enjoy the twists, especially with season two just a week away (Sept. 30 on Showtime).
Bonus features: Deleted scenes; Under Surveillance, a making-of featurette; and The Visit, a preview of season two


Dexter: The Sixth Season (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Season six started off with one of the funniest storylines in Dexter history, as our favorite serial killer attended his high school reunion (picture it: Dexter dancing). Things were a little rocky after that, with some crazy storylines involving guest stars Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks, but the season ended with shocking Dexter/Deb happenings, and that’s where we pick up with season seven, which debuts on Showtime on Sept. 30.
Bonus features: Cast interviews and episodes of other Showtime series, like House of Lies, The Borgias and Californication.

Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season (Warner Home Video)
A sad loss for Sam and Dean meant the Winchester brothers were on their own just when they were faced with their toughest and most dangerous foes ever. And in further twists, the discovery of a demon facility to concoct a cure for cancer turned out to be a very bad thing, and Sam and Dean ultimately had to help destroy a friend to save him from himself. Season eight of the CW drama premieres on Oct. 3.
Bonus features: Unaired scenes, gag reel, episode commentaries, featurettes on show directors and composers and a fan-favorite video of star Jensen Ackles singing an Air Supply classic.


The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Third Season (Warner Home Video)
Elena made a couple of maaaajor choices in season three, one involving her love life and one involving the continuing existence of, well, her, as a human. And those choices will continue to play out in season four, which kicks off on Oct. 11 on The CW.
Bonus features: Bloopers, favorite scenes and featurettes on Stefan, the original vampires and the show’s writers.

Revenge: The Complete First Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Orphaned Emily’s plot for revenge against those who turned against her father took some surprising turns in this first-season drama, a delicious, guilty pleasure primetime soap. Catch up with all 22 episodes in time for the Sept. 30 season two premiere on ABC, during which Emily will try to locate her previously-resumed-dead mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Bonus features: Bloopers, deleted scenes, pilot episode commentary, music videos and featurettes like Roadmap to Revenge and Haute Hamptons: Femme Fatale Fashion.


The Mentalist: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner Home Video)
Yep, Patrick Jane is still trying to track down Red John, the serial killer who killed Jane’s family. And season four introduced him to Red John’s cohort, Lorelai (Entourage‘s Emmanuelle Chriqui), who just might become Jane’s new love interest in season five, which premieres Sept. 30 on CBS.
Bonus features: CBI: Behind the Badge featurette.

Suburgatory: The Complete First Season (Warner Home Video)
One of last season’s few new comedy hits, Suburgatory finds single dad George and his teen daughter Tessa leaving their hip Manhattan apartment behind for a house in the cookie cutter ‘burbs when George frets Tessa is growing up too quickly. Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines is a scene stealer as rich chic neighbor Dallas, who, in season two (premiering Oct. 17), will have her first date with George.
Bonus features: Gag reel, unaired scenes and the Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Life in Suburgatory featurette


Person of Interest: Season One (Warner Home Video)
High concept, yes, but fantastic performances by Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel sold the first season of this drama about a billionaire who uses access to U.S. intelligence agency data to team with a presumed dead CIA agent to try and prevent violent crimes. Season two begins Sept. 27 on CBS and we’ll learn what exactly Root has up her sleeve for the kidnapped Finch (Emerson).
Bonus features: Pilot episode audio commentary, gag reel, extended pilot episode and Living in the Age of Surveillance featurette.

Castle: The Complete Fourth Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
It’s the season that featured the season finale that answered the question: will they or won’t they? In case there’s still any doubt, the season five premiere, on Sept. 24 on ABC, will answer it definitively.
Bonus features: Audio commentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers and featurettes Nathan & Friends: Castle Goes Radio and Anatomy of a Stunt.



Private Practice: The Complete Fifth Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
The fifth season ended with Kate Walsh‘s Addison “forced” to choose between two love interests, played by Taye Diggs and Benjamin Bratt. So, you know she had quite a season leading up to that. Her choice, by the way, will be revealed in the season six finale on ABC on Sept. 25.
Bonus features: Blooper reel and The Practice of Parenthood featurette.

The Office: Season Eight (Universal Home Entertainment)
James Spader
made his exit as Robert California, Darryl finally got his dream girl, Andy got his shot at running the office and Jim and Pam’s marriage was just fine, despite that plotting co-worker who set her eyes on Mr. Halpert. That was the show’s penultimate season, and here’s hoping things end up on even happier notes for the Dunder Mifflin gang in its ninth and final season, which began last Thursday.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes, webisodes and extended episodes.


The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Home Video)
Howard got married, Leonard and Penny got back together (again) and that clever — and very patient — Amy Farrah Fowler finally got Sheldon to make her his girlfriend. As the new season debuts on Sept. 27 on CBS, AFF tried to push her relationship with her reluctant even further along.
Bonus features: A gag reel, a behind-the-scenes feature on the various departments that bring the show to life very week, a cast reflection on season five and The Big Bang Theory @ 100 feature on the show’s 100th episode.

2 Broke Girls: The Complete First Season (warner Home Video)
Roommate waitresses and aspiring cupcake shop owners Max and Caroline met up with Martha Stewart in season one, so, when the show kicks off season two on Sept. 24, they’re even more jazzed to launch their bakery. But first, Steven Weber will pop in as Caroline’s estranged, Bernie Madoff-y dad.
Bonus features: Unaired scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette called 2 Girls Going 4 Broke with cast and crew interviews


Parks and Recreation: Season Four (Universal Home Entertainment)
Leslie Knope finally got her guy and her dream city council seat, and we got to see the funniest collection of supporting actors on TV: Rob Lowe‘s Chris (“lit-trally”), Chris Pratt‘s Andy, Aziz Ansari‘s Tom, Aubrey Plaza‘s April and, of course, Nick Offerman‘s Ron Swanson.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes, extended scenes, alternate scenes, webisodes, gag reel and The Swanson Zone, a series of mini features on Offerman and his scene-stealing Ron.

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season (HBO Home Entertainment)
If you’re following the show, you probably already know about Jimmy, even if you haven’t actually seen the episode yet. But the who/what/how/why/when backstory of how he got there — along with the continuing Emmy-worthy performance of star Steve Buscemi — is the reason to catch up with season two, so you can jump in on season three, which is already in progress.
Bonus features: Audio commentaries, promos, recaps and featurettes on the show’s new characters and changes to the season two landscape.


Grimm: Season One (Universal Home Entertainment)
Season two debuted in August, but it’s not too late to catch up with this drama about homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), who finds out he is a Grimm, a group of people who keep others safe from supernatural creatures.
Bonus features: Gag reel, audition tapes, highlight reel and multiple featurettes.

Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Eighth Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
A plane crashed, someone died and not all of the survivors are doing so well themselves. And that’s where season nine begins on Sept. 27 on ABC.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes, outtakes, an extended episode and a trip to Scotland with star Kevin McKidd.



The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment)
Shane … oh, Shane. The zombie drama that even non-zombie fans love just got better in season two, with fresh gruesome-ness (poor well-dwelling dude), fresh friction among the survivors and at least two shocking deaths. Catch up for season three, which premieres on AMC on Oct. 14 and promises to unfold the stories of the Governor, Michonne and life at the prison for Rick and company.
Bonus features: Audio commentary, deleted scenes and more than 10 featurettes.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – February 2, 2012


8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– Chris is bummed that he’s – lit-rally – alone on Valentine’s Day, while Leslie arranges a cool Valentine scavenger hunt for Ben, who needs Ron’s help to figure it out.

30 Rock
– Liz and Jack wrangle over her new contract, while Kenneth looks for a new page assignment after getting the feeling his TGS cohorts are giving him the cold shoulder.

American Idol
– Auditions move to St. Louis, home of the Gateway Arch, which you have to take the world’s scariest, most claustrophobia-inducing diagonal elevators to ascend.

The Office
– Angela spawns.

Project Runway All-Stars
– The designers have to approach strangers on the streets of New York City, ask them for their clothing and then make new outfits out of them. The clothes, not the strangers, silly.

10PM | FX
– Archer and the gang team up with Mounties to transport a Canadian terrorist on a train. Hilarity, of course, ensues.

Fat Chef
– In Cleveland an overweight chef and an overnight caterer try to deal with the issues that have plagued them partly because their jobs require being around food 24/7.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– The episode is described thusly: “Snooki deals with an uncomfortable condition.” Please don’t let it be something festering, requiring penicillin or both.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– A clothing designer attempting a comeback is murdered. That – pause, remove your sunglasses a la Caruso – is truly a fashion faux pas.

I Just Want My Pants Back
– It’s a comedy about twentysomething slackers living in Brooklyn. Despite that, it’s actually pretty good.

Watch What Happens: Live
– Because, really, how can you not watch when Andy Cohen hosts Snooki and JWoww?

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The friendship contract is in danger when Leonard finally tires of Sheldon’s, uh, Sheldon-ness on The Big Bang Theory (8PM, CBS);
– Klaus hosts a dinner party with an unexpected guest on The Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– New winter Wipeout on ABC (8PM);
– It’s the what-if/flashback-y episode of Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC) … proceed at your own risk;
– On Person of Interest (9PM, CBS), Zoe comes back and helps Reese with a case involving an unlucky person of interest;
B.o.B., Gym Class Heroes and the All-American Rejects perform at the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam (9PM, VH1);
– Pete sees Violet kiss Scott on Private Practice (10PM, ABC);
– Chris Rock is the interview subject on Inside Comedy (11PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): John Krasinski;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dr. David Agus;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Christiane Amanpour;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Woody Harrelson;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Drew Barrymore;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Gary Oldman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Adam Levine and Taylor Lautner;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Daniel Radcliffe;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Mario Batali.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 19, 2012


10PM | FX
– In one of the TV season’s funniest guest spots, Burt Reynolds, Archer’s hero, lends his voice for “The Man From Jupiter,” in which the Smokey and the Bandit star is dating Archer’s mama, much to Sterling’s chagrin.

30 Rock
Kelsey Grammer returns (as himself), to help Jenna and Kenneth with a little issue, while Jack disapproves of Liz’s new boyfriend (guest star James Marsden) and Liz is busy trying to deal with blowback when a Tracy rant hits the Internet. Once again, ripped from today’s headlines …

American Idol
– The second night of first-round auditions go to Pittsburgh.

The Big Bang Theory
– In the show’s 100th episode, Leonard invites Penny to a romantic dinner. As Chachi Arcola would say, “Wa-wa-wa.”

Parks and Recreation
– Leslie and Ben find out that campaigning and romance may not make good bedfellows, while Chris tries to become BFFs with Ron Swanson.

The Office
– No good can come of this: Erin wants to make Andy jealous, which she attempts to do by flirting with one Dwight K. Schrute.

Project Runway All Stars
– The designers have to create an elegant cocktail dress. For Miss Piggy. For reals.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– Even though he’s missing his partner in bromance, the recently departed (not dead … he just hightailed it back to Staten Island) Vinny, Pauly celebrates his 31st birthday. Yeah, I know, 31 … told old to be actin’ like such a fool.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Jane goes all Mystery Inc. on the murder of a mobster’s son.

– This new Beavis and Butt-head-ish ‘toon revolves around Gary and Joel (voiced by Justin Long and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia producer/actor David “Rickety Cricket” Hornsby), two teen dorks who live largely without the restraints (and supervision) of adults. The series, produced by the It’s Always Sunny gang, also includes voicework from Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Kristen Bell and Sunny‘s always awesome Kaitlin Olson.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Bonnie is reunited with her mom on The Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– A family edition of winter-themed Wipeout (8PM, ABC) includes “Pain in the Ice” and “Frosty Family Tree”;
– Richard performs his 10,000th surgery on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Carter meets Reese on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
Megan Mullally guests as a rival talk show host on Up All Night (9:30PM, NBC);
– Addison and Jake meet with potential surrogates on Private Practice (10PM, ABC);
Ralph Fiennes visits the clubhouse on Watch What Happens: Live (11PM, Bravo).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Owen Smith;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Elizabeth Banks;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Carrie Rebora Barratt;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Kathy Griffin;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Mark Cuban;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Tom Arnold;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ewan McGregor;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Steven Wright;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Cory Booker and Foster the People (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 12, 2012


30 Rock
– They’re back, and Jenna gets her wish for bigger fame when she becomes a judge on a reality talent show called Kidz Got Singing.

The Big Bang Theory
– Penny gives Sheldon advice on how to be a better boyfriend after he hurts Amy’s feelings.

The Vampire Diaries
– Caroline’s getting a surprise 18th birthday party! Oops, guess it’s not a surprise anymore.

8PM | VH1
17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
– The fact that Paul Scheer and Rob Heubel are hosting is reason enough to watch yet another movie awards show, methinks.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– April and Andy decide to get a pet. They kind of have their hands full trying to keep each other alive, no?

8:30PM | CBS
– I’m pretending this new Rob Schneider doesn’t exist. If you choose not to, warning: crapload of stereotypes and lame, lame jokes ahead.

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
– The documentary catches up with the West Memphis Three, who continued their efforts to overturn their 1993 conviction in the murder of a trio of elementary school children, using DNA evidence and witness testimony that wasn’t available at the time of the original trial. Spoiler alert, in case you missed it: The three were freed last summer. But don’t let that deter you from watching Paradise Lost – the filmmakers’ third documentary on the West Memphis Three – because the end result doesn’t begin to tell the compelling story of how 18 years of legal wrangling took a toll on all involved.

The Office
– Dwight heads off to Sabre HQ offices in search of a new job, while Andy tries to horn in on Oscar’s trivia hobby. Can anyone make an argument that this show should continue? Seriously, I’d like to hear it if so, because it increasingly feels like it may never be funny again. So why suggest it as a viewing pick? Eh, sometimes you have to stick with a show ’til the end (see also: Chuck).

Project Runway All Stars
Mark Badgley and James Mischka are guest judges for tonight’s challenge, in which the designers have to whip up elegant ball gowns for a night at the opera.

American Stuffers
– Yes indeed, this is a reality show about taxidermists. No avocation is unworthy of its own reality series. Or, if the first one becomes a hit, many, many reality series (see also: Pawn Stars, Cajun Pawn Stars, American Pickers, etc.)

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– Homesick Vinny considers leaving the house. Because there almost certainly must be tons of other ways he could make money as easily as he is on Jersey Shore.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– As Jane investigates the murder of a high-price divorce attorney, he also has to answer FBI questions about Red John’s involvement with Panzer’s death.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Brennan and Booth look for a new home on Bones (8PM, Fox);
– The Snow Boot and Avalanche Alley are among the challenges on Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– The Bones spin-off The Finder (9PM, Fox) premieres;
– Teddy questions Cristina about Henry’s surgery on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Reese and Finch pull Carter into a case on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
– On Up All Night (9:30PM, NBC), Kevin (guest star Jason Lee) worries Ava is ashamed of him;
– Sam and Pete have bachelors’ night out on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ricky Gervais;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dolly Parton;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Mike Allen;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Senator John McCain;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Betty White and Gerard Butler;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Meryl Streep;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Daniel Radcliffe;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Hugh Laurie;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Chris Hardwick (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – October 13, 2011


The Office
Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace guest star as Andy’s ‘rents, while Josh Groban guests as his brother, and their family reunion provides so much insight into why Andy is so … Andy.

Big Bang Theory
Wil Wheaton guest stars when Leonard and Shelton attend a soiree at his house.

– New roomies Troy and Abed host a housewarming, er, apartment warming, party.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– It’s dueling camping trips when Ron takes the Pawnee Rangers boys into the wild, while Leslie does the same with her all-girls troop of Pawnee Goddesses.

Project Runway
Zoe Saldana is the guest judge as we get close to the season finale and the remaining designers are challenged to create a mini collection.

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– It’s a family reunion when Frank’s brother shows up and reveals some family secrets, including the woman who came between the Reynolds brothers.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Jane thinks a dude at a political rally is about to commit a murder. And considering said dude has a gun, he might be onto something.

10:30PM | FX
The League
– Ruxin tries to get Geoffrey into a Jewish preschool.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW), Damon tries to get Jeremy to help take out the dangerous Klaus;
– The contestants pay home visits to the judges/mentors on The X Factor (8PM, Fox);
Debbie Allen guests as Jackson’s mommy on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– A young doctor is on the guys’ list on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
The Situation takes his pot stirring too far and the whole house turns against him on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– A woman with no uterus wants to have a baby on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Sarah Michelle Gellar;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Bill O’Reilly (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Ken Burns (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Bill O’Reilly;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Zachary Levi;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): John Goodman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Julianne Hough;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kathy Bates;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Chris  Hayes.

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