In A Big Country: The classic road series which ran on CBS from 1960 to 1964 has been collected in an amazing 24-disc set for Route 66: The Complete Series. Martin Milner plays Yale grad Tod Stiles, who teams with tough guy Buz Murdock (George Maharis) to take to the road in Tod’s Chevy Corvette so they can explore life and America. Towards the end of the third season, Lincoln “Linc” Case (Glenn Corbett) became Murdock’s partner, a move necessitated by an ailing Maharis. Their adventures along the way—shot throughout the USA–include great locations and a sensational list of guest parts provided by the likes of Ed Asner, Barbara Eden, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Walter Matthau, Lee Marvin, Cloris Leachman and many others. Extras include a 1990 panel discussion of the show, original commercials and a feature on Corvettes.
When You Wish Upon A Starman: John Carpenter’s 1984 science-fiction winner Starman was turned into a TV series for a one-season 1986 run on ABC. Picking up where the film left off, Airplane ace Robert Hays played the alien visitor who returns to earth in order to help his teenage son (Christopher Daniel Barnes) locate his mother. Meanwhile, the government is close on the extraterrestrial’s heels in this set that includes all 22 episodes.
He’s Been Working On The Railroad: With a nod to spaghetti westerns, Clint Eastwood’s award-winning Unforgiven and Robert Altman’s dreamy McCabe and Mrs. Miller, the AMC series Hell On Wheels: The Complete First Season delivers exciting sagebrush drama in its tale of former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount), who tries to find the people involved in the death of his wife during the Civil War. Bohannan takes a job working as a foreman on the Union Pacific Railroad, where he befriends a former slave (Common) and encounters an unscrupulous boss (Colm Meaney). Meanwhile, the lovely Dominique McElligot plays the bold British bride of a surveyor who shows her toughness after experiencing rough goings at the hands of an Indian tribe. The first season is presented on three discs on both DVD and Blu-ray.
Law Suits: The sharply witty Suits: Season One from USA Network concerns a partner (Gabriel Macht) at a top Manhattan corporate law firm who hires a brilliant new associate (Patrick J. Adams). The problem is that Adams might have a photographic memory, but he doesn’t have a law degree—and Macht has to keep that a secret as they face off against opposing lawyers in big-time cases. Featuring a supporting cast that includes Meghan Markle, Gina Torres and Sara Rafferty, the three-disc set includes audio commentary, deleted scenes and Q&A with its cast and others as extras.
Far-Out Farces: Zach Galifianakis has certainly come into his own over the last few years, bringing his distinctive brand of humor to The Hangover movies, Due Date and other projects. Back in 2006, he had a series on Comedy Central called Dog Bites Man, in which a fictional news team from Spokane, Washington—reporter Matt Walsh, director Galifianakis, intern A.D. Miles, and producer (and Walsh’s ex) Andrea Savage—covers a diverse range of stories while the cameras, in “mockumentary” style, allow us to see what’s really going on behind-the-scenes. The two-disc set from Olive includes all nine episodes of the show.
Also from Olive is another Comedy Central series. This one is animated and it’s called Freak Show: The Complete Series, and ran also in 2006. This subversive satire tells of a group of circus freaks with unusual powers who group together to pull off oddball missions for the government. Among them are Tuck and Bennie, Siamese twins who have the ability to separate; The Bearded Clam, who has the ability to shoot juice which can eat through metal and leave folks stunned and annoyed; and Log Cabin Republican, with the power to turn into Burly Bear, a fast-running, leather-clad gay guy who can decapitate opponents with his well-manicured hands. Hey, you asked! David Cross, Janeane Garofalo and Will Arnett are among the voice providers in this seven-episode disc.