As TV shows and movies become ever more available as downloads and streaming video, the question of whether you really need to buy them on DVD or Blu-ray becomes more nagging.
In many cases, distributors assume that fans don't even long for a high-definition Blu-ray of their favorites. But for some fans, especially those enamored of telecasts they have seen a few zillion times, video extras might be the reason to snap up a set.
The extras, however, can vary considerably, as sets being released this week demonstrate.
DVD sets with a strong commitment to extras include The Good Wife: The Fourth Season ($64.99) and NCIS: The 10th Season ($64.99). The Good Wife includes deleted scenes, an enlightening piece about the fashions on the show, and, most interesting, a look at how the show does its sex scenes.
As a network show, The Good Wife operates under greater restrictions than non-broadcast programs. Even so, its content has run afoul of network censors, and the segment includes scenes as presented to the censors and the way they finally aired. Even more amusing, Paramount put an adult-content warning on the segment in the DVD menu.
NCIS, meanwhile, offers audio commentaries, deleted scenes, items such as a detailed look at the home of DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), a "10 items or less" piece of odd facts and moments, and a discussion of the decision to kill off two significant supporting characters.
Some offer minimal about extras, figuring the shows stand on their own. Mike & Molly: The Complete Third Season ($44.98 standard DVD) seems to have that attitude, offering only a brief bloopers segment. Several reality-show repackagings also are minimalist, including The Best of Pawn Stars: The Greatest Stories Ever Told ($14.98); The Best of American Pickers: Mike & Frank's Picks ($14.98); and the 13-episode Best of Storage Wars: Life in the Locker ($14.98).
These DVDs were released this week:
Films: Amour; Epic; Scary Movie V; Hitting the Cycle; Shadow Dancer; Rapture-Palooza; Highland Park; The Life of Muhammad; No Place on Earth; The Dragon Pearl (2011); Free Angela and All Political Prisoners; The Big City (1963, Criterion Collection); Charulata (1964, Criterion Collection); Post Tenebras Lux; Evidence; Spooks, Hoods & JFK: The Shocking Truth; Stag; Vampire; Floating City; Starzinger: The Movie Collection (1978, Japanese animated films known as Spaceketeers in the United States); Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright (animated); British filmmaker Simon Rumley's trilogy of Strong Language (2000), The Truth Game (2001) and Club Le Monde (2002).
TV series: Mike & Molly: The Complete Third Season; Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Third Season (five-disc set); Parenthood: Season 4; Being Human: Season 5 (BBC); The Best of American Pickers: Mike and Frank's Picks; The Best of Pawn Stars: The Greatest Stories Ever Sold; The Best of Storage Wars: Life in the Locker; Chuggington: Chug Patrol — Ready to Rescue.
THE WASHINGTON POST