SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - While history has yet to be written, there's a good chance that this era of television series, mini-series and feature-length events will be viewed as a golden era of creativity and genre busting.
Here's a look at some of the notable television releases to recently come out on DVD and Blu-ray.
Adventure Time: The Final Seasons: "Adventure Time" was an animated series that ran for ten seasons on Cartoon Network that follows the misadventures of Finn, a human boy, and his brother Jake, a shape-shifting dog in a post-apocalyptic world. Intended for a child audience, the series became popular with older crowds due to the quality of its world building and its general strangeness.
The Affair: Season Four: "The Affair" is a somewhat experimental series that explores the impact of an affair between Noah (Dominic West), a family man with four children and a seemingly happy marriage, and Alison (Ruth Wilson), a wife struggling with the loss of her four-year-old son. The story is told from multiple perspectives and incorporates flashforward sequences in its most recent seasons.
The Americans: The Complete Final Season: Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, "The Americans" was a spy thriller that centered on two KGB agents (played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) posing as husband and wife in Virginia. The series, which wrapped after six seasons, was universally hailed as one of the best programs on television.
Billions: Season Three: Loosely based on the rivalry between Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Chuck, and Steven Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager, "Billions" explores the power dynamic between the government and the ruthlessly wealthy in the shadow of the September 11 attacks. Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis lead a cast that also includes Mike Birbiglia and John Malkovich.
The Good Fight: Season Two: As the first scripted series for the CBS All Access streaming service, "The Good Fight" is a spin-off from "The Good Wife" series finds Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) trying to rebuild her career after a financial scam wipes out her savings. The second season sees a shock wave spread throughout Chicago as a lawyer at a competing firm murdered by a client .
Instinct: Season One: Based on the James Patterson novel, "Instinct" stars Alan Cumming as Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a former CIA operative now working as a university professor who teaches about psychopathic behavior. Reinhart is pulled from his quiet life when the NYPD asks him to help track down a serial killer.
Rick and Morty: Season Three: Adult Swim's animated series "Rick and Morty" is centered on Rick who lives in his daughter Beth's garage where he performs bizarre experiments in the name of science. He might have a drinking problem. Rick also goes on galactic adventures with his grandchildren, Morty and Summer. The experiments and adventures aren't particularly popular with Jerry, Rick's son-in-law. Season Three sees Rick turn himself into a pickle to get out of having to attend family therapy. It's a little weird.
Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons: A four-part limited series from IDW that mashes up the insane adventures of a mad scientist Rick and his grandson Morty as they find themselves in a world obsessed with playing "Dungeons and Dragons." Morty, feeling out of step with the world, asks Rick to help him master the complexities of tabletop gaming. Things get weird, as you might have expected. The first three issues are currently available with the fourth issue due in December.
SEAL Team: Season One: David Boreanaz stars in this military drama about the personal and professional lives of a team of Navy SEALS as they try to keep America safe.
Soul Food: The Complete Series: A follow up to George Tillman, Jr.'s 1997 film, "Soul Food" ran for five seasons on Showtime and gave audiences a view into the inner workings of an African American family living in Chicago.
Who is America?: Sacha Baron Cohen knows how to push people's buttons. With "Who is America?" Cohen interviewed various public figures while disguised as a far-right conspiracy theorist, a far-left lecturer, an anti-terrorism expert, an Italian billionaire and a Finish YouTube personality.
Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection: Ash (Bruce Campbell), hero of the beloved cult Evil Dead franchise, continues his endless battle with evil forces over 30 episodes mixing wit and comedy within a bloody horror frame. It was the sort of television series that a decade ago would have been impossible to produce. Fantasy, comedy, horror and the kitchen sink.
Community: The Complete Collection: All six seasons (110 episodes) from Dan Harmon's tale of Jeff Winger, a disbarred lawyer who forced to finish his bachelor's degree when it is learned that he didn't really didn't graduate from Columbia University. The series was something of a cult phenomena and had its share of behind-the-scenes controversies, but the off-screen drama didn't overshadow the on-screen talent that included Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong and Chevy Chase as community college students and administration.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Collector's Edition: Broadcast in early 1981, the BBC's television adaptation of Douglas Adams's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" followed up on the success of Adams's radio series. Originally thought "unfilmable," the six-part series became something of a touchstone for British pop culture as it followed the antics of Arthur Dent, Earth's last remaining man after the planet is demolished by an alien race to make room for an intergalactic highway. This newly released version brings the program to Blu-ray with optional stereo or 5.1 surround sound, upscaled visuals and 5 hours of bonus materials.
Rescue Me: The Complete Series: All seven seasons of the FX comedy-drama about a group of New York City firefighters. Denis Leary leads the cast as Tommy Gavin, a veteran firefighter with personal and professional issues including post-9/11 trauma. This is the first time that six of the seven seasons have been released on Blu-ray (season three being the lone exception). The box set features a ridiculous amount of bonus features including numerous deleted scenes, gag reels and vintage interviews with the cast.
Charmed: The Complete First Season: Back in 1998 producer Aaron Spelling brought Constance M. Burge's tale of the three Hallwell sisters Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano). In the first episode of the series, the three girls discover that they are powerful witches who together were tasked with protecting the innocent world from demonic evils. The series was recently retooled and rebooted by The CW, but this is the original on Blu-ray for the first time. There are some establishing shots that appear to be of lesser quality, but the bulk of the episodes look remarkably good.
The Crown: The Complete Second Season: The second season of "The Crown," Peter Morgan's historical drama about Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), focuses on the years 1956-1964. This includes the Suez Crisis, an invasion into Egypt by Israel, The United Kingdom and France, on through to the birth of Prince Edward.
Killing Eve: Season One: Adapted from Luke Jennings's Codename Villanelle novels, this BBC series follows MI-5 officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) as she tracks Villanelle (Jodie Comer), an assassin who becomes equally interested in Eve as Eve is obsessed with her.
MacGyver: The Complete First Season: From 1985 until 1994 Richard Dean Anderson was MacGyver, a man who could get out of the most impossible of situations with the most ordinary objects. CBS has released the first season on Blu-ray for the first time and, seeing as it was originally shot on film, it looks spectacular.
Preacher: Season Three: This series, based on the Vertigo comic imprint (yes, it should have been in my DC Comics guide, forgive me), stars Dominic Cooper as a rough-around-the-edges preacher with an extraordinary talent for getting people to do what he says (it has something to do with him being possessed). "Preacher" explore the wasteland of the west and populates it with all kinds of good and evil creatures.
Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection: Shout! Factory brings Bayside home with this complete collection that includes the "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" episodes, the entire run of "Saved By The Bell," "Saved By The Bell: The College Years" and the two television films "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style" and "Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas." Bonus features include numerous commentaries and two new documentaries, "Past Times At Bayside High: Making Saved By The Bell” and “Bayside's Greatest Hits: The Music Of Saved By The Bell.”
Sharp Objects: Reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls. Old wounds come to the surface as Camille is forced to deal with her overbearing mother, Adora Crellin (Patricia Clarkson). Based on Gillian Flynn's novel, this HBO psychological thriller has been praised for its performances and the relentless nature of its slow-burn narrative.
Longmire: The Complete Series: Based on the Walt Longmire Mysteries, a series of novels by Craig Johnson, "Longmire" ran for six seasons on the A&E network with Robert Taylor in the role of Sheriff Walt Longmire. Set in a fictional Wyoming, the series explores the relationship between Longmire and his friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), a member of the Cheyenne Nation.
Sherlock: Season One: The first season of the BBC's contemporary reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson gets a 4K upgrade with lossless audio options.
Star Trek: Discovery: Season One: Star Trek has been dormant on the television front since "Star Trek: Enterprise" went off the air in 2005, "Star Trek: Discovery" sees the franchise returning to its roots. Set ten years before the original television series, "Star Trek: Discovery" explore as a familiar, but unexplored era of the Federation as they wage war against the Klingon Empire. It's place on the timeline allows for numerous references to the original rejected series pilot "The Cage" (later incorporated into a two-part episode "The Menagerie").
The Looming Tower: Based on Lawrence Wright's non-fiction book, "The Looming Tower" examines the competitive rivalry between the FBI and the CIA that may have played a factor in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The acclaimed 10-episode series stars Jeff Daniels, Tahar Rahim and Wrenn Schmidt.
Doctor Who: The Christopher Eccleston & David Tennant Collection: This 12-disc set features the first four seasons of the revitalized British sci-fi series. This also includes Tennant’s four specials.
Doctor Who: The Matt Smith Collection: This 10-disc set includes all of Matt Smith’s episodes, including the 50th Anniversary Special.
Doctor Who: The Peter Capaldi Collection: This 9-disc set includes all of the Peter Capaldi’s episodes.
Thirteenth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver: Every Doctor in the Doctor Who universe comes equipped with their own unique sonic screwdriver. The Thirteenth Doctor’s just so happens to have a rotating crystal that glows red and orange.
Doctor Who Loungefly Chibi Purse: Adorned with cute characterizations of many of the classic and modern Doctor Who characters.
Robin Hood: The Complete Series: All three seasons of the classic tale of Robin Hood (and unlike the recent theatrical releases, this one sticks to the story you know and love).
Merlin: The Complete Series: All five seasons from the beloved BBC adaptation of the Arthurian legend.
The Originals: The Complete Series: A spin-off to the popular “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” is a prequel that explores the early days of the Mikaelson family, the first of the vampire race. The story continues in “Legacies,” a new series on The CW.
Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series – 35th Anniversary Collector’s Edition: Jim Henson’s “Fraggle Rock” is an ambitious five-season (plus one animated season) journey to a world populated by a variety of strange and wonderful magical creatures known as Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs. It might be the only series ever based on a shared love of radishes.
Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season: Brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) spend their days fighting off evil creatures in this contemporary western that incorporates science fiction and fantasy themes.
The Best of Agatha Christie Volumes 1-4: "The Best of Agatha Christie: Volume One" features television adaptations of "And Then There Were None" with Miranda Richardson, Sam Neill and Charles Dance; "Five Little Pigs" with Suchet and Aidan Gillen and "Death on the Nile" with Suchet and Emily Blunt. "The Best of Agatha Christie: Volume Two" features television adaptations of "The Witness for the Prosecution" with Kim Cattrall, Toby Jones and Andrea Riseborough; "Three Act Tragedy" with Suchet, and Martin Shaw and "Hallowe'en Party" with Zoe Wanamaker and Suchet. "The Best of Agatha Christie: Volume Three" features "Partners in Crime: The Secret Adversary" with Jessica Raine and David Williams; "Ordeal by Innocence" with Geraldine McEwan: and "The Hollow" with Suchet. "The Best of Agatha Christie: Volume Four" features "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" with Suchet and Hugh Fraser; "Dead Man’s Folly" with Wanamaker and Suchet; "The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side" with Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley and Lindsay Duncan; and "A Caribbean Mystery" with McKenzie.
Anna Karenna: Working from an adaptation by Allan Cubitt ("Prime Suspect II") and featuring Helen McCroy and Kevin McKidd, this four-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel aired in America as part of the PBS series Masterpiece Theater in 2001.
Detectorists: Complete Collection: All three seasons of the award-winning British comedy staring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones as a devoted members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club who use their unusual obsession with finding buried treasure to escape the dysfunctional aspects of their daily lives.
Good Karma Hospital: Series 2: This British medical drama is set in South India and stars Amrita Acharia as a junior doctor who leaves the UK looking for a fresh start and finds herself working at a a small hospital run by an English expat.
Jack Irish: Season 2: This Australian television drama stars Guy Pearce as a former lawyer who has reinvented himself as a private investigator. Inspired by the Jack Irish detective novels by Peter Temple. The television series was preceded by a trilogy of feature-length television films.
Keeping Faith: This Welsh thriller stars Eve Myles as a lawyer whose husband disappears following the birth of their third child. The eight-part series was a tremendous success in Wales where it became the most popular show on BBC Wales for over 25 years.
Picnic at Hanging Rock: Natalie Dormer stars in this new adaptation of Joan Lindsay's novel about a group of school girls that disappear while visiting Hanging Rock, a former volcano in Victoria, Australia. Peter Weir's 1975 adaptation is a masterpiece. This series, which originally ran on Amazon Video, stands on its own merits as the six-part structure allows for more backstory.
Single-Handed: The Complete Collection: All four seasons (13 episodes) of this Irish series about Garda Sergeant Jack Driscoll (Owen McDonnell), an honest police officer, who finds him at odds with the internal corruption of the local Garda Síochána (the police force in the Republic of Ireland) when he returns to his hometown.
Vera: Sets 1-7 Collection: This box set culls together the first seven series of the popular British crime drama "Vera." Starring Brenda Blethyn, "Vera" is based on the Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope novels by Ann Cleeves. Stanhope is a compelling character in that she is tremendously flawed, something of an outsider and haunted by her past. She's more akin to a Fox Mulder than Sherlock Holmes and that gives the series a distinct personality.
Fox's animated series "Bob's Burgers," the story of Bob and Linda, their children Tina, Gene and Louise and their barely-surviving hamburger restaurant has become something of a pop culture phenomenon. This holiday season sees the release of numerous books, games and toys including Kid Robot's collectible figures, a "Bob's Burgers" CLUE, a line of skateboards available at Zumiez and the "Official Bob's Burgers Sticker Book." The most recent "Bob's Burgers" DVD release is the sixth season, which was released in October. The series is currently airing its ninth season on Fox. A feature film is in the works for 2020.
"The X-Files" Barbie Collection: The eleventh season of Chris Carter's "The X-Files" might be the end of the Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) storyline (we've thought that before), but these "The X-Files" Barbie dolls revisit the duo in their mid-90s form. The disheveled hair on the Duchovny doll is priceless.
Joss Whedon fans have two uniquely different comic spin-offs worth tracking down in the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book" and BOOM! Studio's "Firefly: Big Damn Heroes Box Set." Buffy's picture book imagines what she, Willow and Xander might have been as children in an all-ages appropriate bedtime story. "Big Damn Heroes" is a new comic series that explores the Unification War. The box set includes all 8 of the "Firefly" #1 covers, an exclusive variant cover, copy of "Firefly: Legacy Edition Book One" and an exclusive print.