TV on DVD releases dominate this week thanks to the debut of the gritty DC Comics-based Fox series Gotham, the reinvigorated fourth season of Homeland, the first half of the final season of Haven, which is based on Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, and the Cartoon Network’s first animated miniseries, Over the Garden Wall.


This week’s top release is the Fox Network series Gotham: The Complete 1st Season (Warner Bros., $59.98, BD $69.97).  Gotham is a dark neo-noir series that explores the fictional metropolis in the years immediately after the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents.  The young Bruce Wayne is a major character here along with the young Jim Gordon played by Ben McKenzie, who is the real central character for the series, which gets to tell the origin stories of a number of a number of Batman villains including Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Joker, Scarecrow, Two-Face Hugo Strange, and Mr. Freeze.  Certainly Robin Lord Taylor makes a wonderful Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin), who also gets major screen time in Season One, but it is Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney, who really steals the show in the first season of this ultra-violent primetime manifestation of the most “noirish” corner of the DC Universe.

Also of major interest to geek viewers is Haven: Season 5, Part 1 (eOne Ent., 585 min., $39.98, BD $49.98), which includes the first 13 episodes of the final 26-episode season of the Canadian/American science fiction series based on The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. The final 13 episodes debut on SyFy starting on October 8.

Another huge release due on Tuesday is Homeland: The Complete 4th Season (Fox, 500 min., $39.98, BD $49.98).  The ripped-from-the-headlines series about the secret war on terror experienced a bit of a revival in the 12 episodes of Season 4, which finds Carrie Mathison (Clare Danes) posted to Afghanistan and Pakistan in a complexly plotted story arc that explores the moral “gray” areas created by drone warfare and the shifting alliances among allies and adversaries in the apparently never-ending War on Terror.

The long-running CW fantasy/horror series Supernatural, which was created by Eric Kripke, has been renewed for an eleventh season that debuts in October, so it’s only natural that Supernatural: The Complete 10th Season (Warner Bros., $59.98, BD $69.97) drops on Tuesday.  Other contemporary shows of interest include the Andy Samberg-starring cop sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2 (Universal, 496 min., $39.98), the much more serious family police drama Blue Bloods: The 5th Season (Paramount, 880 min., $64.99), and the old school (meaning “not gross”) sitcom The Goldbergs: The Complete 2nd Season (Sony, 519 min., $45.99).

For fans of TV animation this week’s top release is the Over the Garden Wall Miniseries (Warner Bros., 110 min., $14.97), which collects the Cartoon Network’s first ever cartoon miniseries, a delightful musical dark fantasy comedy drama created by Patrick McHale, who was the creative director on the Adventure Time series.  Boom Studios published one-shot comic book based on this series last November, when it aired on the Cartoon Network. 

The only other animated release this week is the 5-episode, single-disc Transformers Prime: Ultimate Decepticons (Shout Factory, 110 min., $9.99).

Vintage TV releases this week are led by the excellent ensemble police drama Hill Street Blues: Season 6 (Shout Factory, 1050 min., $34.99), plus the Bob Uecker-starring sitcom Mr. Belvedere: Season 4 (Shout Factory, 465 min., $29.93), and the cornpone comedy-filled sampler disc, the Hee Haw Collection (Time Life, $12.98).

The only overseas offering this week is a good one, Vicious: Season 2 (PBS, 180 min., $29.98), which features round two in the brutal and barbed verbal sparring between two crotchety old life partners played with great relish and authority by Ian McKellen and Derek Jacoby.


This week’s top release is Ranma ½ : Set 7 (Viz Media, 575 min., $44.98, BD $54.98), which includes the final 23 episodes of the 161-episode 1989-1992 series from Studio Deen that is based on Rumiko Takahashi’s gender-bending martial arts comedy.  This concludes the release of the complete series in the high-def Blu-ray format.

Also due this week are Blu-ray editions of two classic anime movies, Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (Discotek Media, BD $19.98) from 2000, and Shinji Aramaki’s computer-animated 2004 movie Appleseed (Sentai Filmworks, DVD/BD Combo $19.98).

For those who like the dubbed Saturday morning anime titles they saw as kids there are Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds: Season 2 Collection (Cinedigm, $44.98) and Digimon Fusion, Vol. 1 (Cinedigm, $19.99).

Theatrical Movies

Perhaps it is because there are five releasing weeks in September, but this week there is only one movie, The Age of Adaline (Lionsgate, “PG-13,” 112 min., $29.98, BD $39.98), which stars Blake Lively as a sort of female Dorian Gray—left forever 29 after being struck by lightning in a strange snowstorm.  The quest for eternal youth, which provides the psychological underpinnings for numerous billion dollar industries (and sustenance for a sizeable swath of the medical profession), turns out to be not such a great thing when you have to experience seeing all your friends (and your children) grow old and die off.  Whereas Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray is more of a morality tale, The Age of Adaline invites audiences to identify with the predicament of its protagonist, who is the victim of special circumstances and not complicit (like Dorian) in her fate.  With its intriguing premise and a strong cast that also includes Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker, Michiel Huisman, and Ellend Burstyn, The Age of Adaline managed to get a 54% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not a bad mark for an epic fantasy romance like this, especially one that hearkens back to the florid melodrama’s of Hollywood’s past, which is why some movie buffs may really get off on the film.

The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff of