The cable series “Longmire” goes to Blu-ray, and several other shows, ranging from “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” to “Rizzoli & Isles” arrive on DVD.
“Longmire: The Complete First and Second Seasons”
(Warner Archive/Blu-ray, 2012-13, six discs, 23 episodes, extended episodes, introductions, featurettes). This cable series is a first-rate adaptation of the novels by Craig Johnson, a modern-day Western set in Wyoming, focusing on Sheriff Walt Longmire (Australian actor Robert Taylor) and his team (including Katie Sackhoff), as well as his friend and conscience, an American Indian tavern owner played by Lou Diamond Phillips. This set upgrades the show to Blu-ray for the first time. Season 3 is currently airing Mondays on A&E. (Available at warnerarchive.com.)
“Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: The Complete First Season”
(Warner Archive/DVD, 1992-93, six discs, 21 episodes). Sequel to the 1970s “Kung Fu” series, which was set in the Old West and focused on a wandering Shaolin monk (David Carradine) who was adept at martial arts. Here, Carradine plays the grandson of that character (with the same name, Caine), still wandering, settling disputes, solving mysteries and occasionally calling upon supernatural assistance. But now he’s doing it with his police officer son (Chris Potter) in a modern U.S. Chinatown setting. (Available at warnerarchive.com.)
“Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fourth Season”
(Warner/DVD, 2013-14, four discs, 16 episodes, featurettes). Wisecracking, sports-loving detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and prim, every-hair-in-place pathologist Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) continue to solve crimes in the Boston area while dealing with their complicated personal lives. Harmon and Alexander are a great team, the perfect embodiment of Tess Gerritsen’s novels in these smart and funny episodes. Co-stars Bruce McGill, Lorraine Bracco and Lee Thompson Young are great in support, and Sharon Lawrence, Jacqueline Bisset and Chazz Palminteri have recurring roles. (Season 5 begins June 17 on TNT.)
(Discovery/Cinedigm/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, two discs, three episodes, featurettes). The Discovery cable channel takes on its first scripted show, an engaging three-part miniseries allegedly based on “actual events,” set against the backdrop of the 1890s Gold Rush. Produced by Ridley Scott, the show stars Richard Madden and Augustus Prew as naïve New Yorkers who attempt to become prospectors in the Yukon. Abbie Cornish (in a scene-stealing role), Sam Shepard and Tim Roth co-star. Based on Charlotte Grey’s best-seller “Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike.”
(HBO/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, three discs, eight episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes). Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in this film noir miniseries set in the 1990s as police detectives in Louisiana tracking a serial killer. But the show focuses more directly on their characters: McConaughey as a loner whose view of the world is unrelentingly bleak, and Harrelson as a family man who can’t shed the job when he goes home. Because this is HBO, it’s relentlessly profane, contains disturbing violence, sex and nudity, and is very dark, all on an R-rated level.
“Major Crimes: The Complete Second Season”
(Warner/DVD, 2013-14, four discs, 19 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes). Spinoff of “The Closer” stars Mary McDonnell as a Los Angeles police captain heading up a major crimes unit. This season, a new prosecutor (Nadine Velazquez) comes aboard. (Season 3 started airing on TNT last week.)
“Resurrection: The Complete First Season”
(ABC/DVD, 2014, two discs, eight episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Fantasy about the dead suddenly reappearing, beginning with a young boy who drowned three decades earlier being found in China. He’s still 8 years old and is returned to his now middle-aged parents (Kurtwood Smith, Frances Fisher). (Season 2 will begin airing in the fall.)
“Perry Mason: Movie Collection Double Feature 1” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 1985-86, two movies).
“Perry Mason: Movie Collection Double Feature 2” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 1985-86, two movies).
“Perry Mason: Movie Collection Double Feature 3” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 1985-86, two movies).
Each of these three discs contains a pair of the TV-movie “specials” that followed the “Perry Mason” series some 20 years later. These are inexpensive double-feature releases of the titles that were in the “Perry Mason Movie Collection: Volume 1” box set, from “Perry Mason Returns” (1985) through “The Case of the Sinister Spirit” (1987).
“Brazil With Michael Palin”
(BBC/Blu-ray/DVD, 2012, four episodes). Best known as one of the Monty Python comic sextet, Palin has made a successful second career with travel documentaries. Here, he visits the fifth-largest country in the world, where he meets with remote tribes, vaqueros, soap stars and a prince, among others.
(Televisa/DVD, 2012, four discs, 13 episodes, in Spanish with English subtitles). Mexican soap opera set against the world of boxing as five fighters meet in a Mexico City gym, each training for an upcoming match they hope will promote their careers.
“Lo Mejor de la CQ” (Televisa/DVD, four discs, 28 episodes, in Spanish with English subtitles). Live-action kids’ show, a Mexico-Venezuela co-production loosely based on the American sitcom “Saved By the Bell.”
“The Adventures of Batman”
(Warner/DVD, 1968-69, two discs, 34 episodes). This is the complete Batman half of the 1960s animated series “The Batman/Superman Hour,” with Batman and Robin encountering their arch-nemeses the Joker, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, the Riddler and the Penguin, among others. (Casey Kasem provides the voice of Robin.)
“Sesame Street: Monster Manners”
(Sesame Street/DVD, 2014). Segments from “Sesame Street” and some new sequences teach children about courtesy, respect, empathy, patience and manners, including Cookie Monster trying to control his cookie passion long enough to be accepted into the Cookie Connoisseurs Club. Guests include David Hyde Pierce, Colbie Smulders and Zac Efron.
“The Wheels on the Bus: A Day at the Farm”
(eOne/DVD, 2014, three episodes.) Roger Daltrey provides the voice of Argon the Dragon in this video series that uses live action, animation and puppetry. Based on the children’s song. For kids ages 1-5.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and his email is email@example.com.