News Column

TV Tidbits: 'Breaking Bad' released on disc in clever package

December 1, 2013

YellowBrix

Dec. 01--One of the biggest TV-to-home video titles of the year was released Tuesday, the 16-disc "Breaking Bad: The Complete Series." The 16-disc Blu-ray set is packaged in a replica of one of Walter White's famous barrels full of money, and the set has special features carried over from the previous DVD/Blu-ray releases plus a new, two-hour documentary, a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, a companion booklet and more.

With its clever packaging, this is a particularly eye-catching release. But it's only one of a slew of complete series collections coming to DVD and Blu-ray, giving you the chance to give the coach potato on your shopping list the gift of a whole TV series in one fell swoop. Here are some options:

"Dexter: The Complete Series Collection": All eight seasons of Showtime's hit about a serial killer who channels his dark tendencies for the greater good by targeting other killers, comes to DVD and Blu-ray in various configurations. There's one packaged as a slide box like the one Dexter used to catalog his kills, and a (much pricier) limited edition Blu-ray-only set packaged in a white mannequin bust.

"Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely All of It": All five seasons of the bawdy British comedy about two hedonistic women living lives of glorious excess, are included in this 10-disc set as well as specials, bonus features, new introductions, outtakes and interviews. It all comes packaged in a faux-iguana skin clutch bag, in keeping with Patsy and Edina's outrageous fashion sense.

"Doctor Who Limited Edition Blu-ray Set": With a show that's been on and off for 50 years, a full-series set would be nearly impossible. But this boxed set has the seven seasons and special episodes from the revival of the show, which started in 2005, and extras including a TV remote shaped like the Doctor's trusty Sonic Screwdriver.

"Duck Dynasty Collector's Set": This is the first three seasons of the hit reality show about a family of good ol' boys from Louisiana. The six-disc set, being released Tuesday on DVD or Blu-ray, has 41 episodes and extras including more than 30 minutes of new material, plus a limited-edition Duck-Camo Bandana.

"Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman": Norman Lear's droll, surreal 1970s parody of soap operas comes to DVD in a hefty 38-DVD set, out Tuesday. Louise Lasser starred as a suburban housewife whose life is a nonstop parade of absurdity, including kidnappings, murders, affairs and other crises. But her primary concern was making sure her kitchen floors were spotless. Extras include several documentaries and 10 episodes of the spinoff "Fernwood 2-Night," a brilliant spoof of local talk shows starring Martin Mull and Fred Willard.

"Power Rangers Legacy: The First 20 Seasons": This massive 98-DVD set will be sold online at powerrrangerslegacycollection.com. It has more than 760 episodes of the fast-paced, kid-friendly action show about a team of high-kicking heroes. It is packaged inside a replica of the helmet of one of the show's characters, the Red Ranger.

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Other shows that have recently been released -- or repackaged -- in complete-series DVD sets include "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Boy Meets World," "Combat!," "Diagnosis Murder," "Family Ties," "Keeping Up Appearances," "Kindred: The Embraced," "The Mod Squad," "Naked City," "Robotech," "Saved By the Bell," "Seinfeld" and "Weeds." And in the coming weeks, you can look for the original "Hawaii Five-O" on Tuesday; "The Gene Autry Show" on Dec. 10; and "Burn Notice" on Dec. 17.

tclodfelter@wsjournal.com

(336) 727-7371

Twitter: @tclodfelterwsj

Facebook: /tclodfelterwsj

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