he rampup to the new fall television season continues this week as current series’ 2005 seasons are released onto DVD. Studios do this in an effort to get new viewers to check in on the upcoming season and to get buzz for the shows as they debut.
‘BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SEASON 2.5’
In December 2005, the first half of the second season of one of the best shows on television, "Battlestar Galactica," debuted on DVD. It contained the first 10 episodes of the season and little else. The move to release only half the season was one of the worst mistakes in DVD history, as it cut the special features on the disc to a minimum and only provided half the show.
Since the first half was already released, the second half, dubbed "Season 2.5," had to be released and it is out Tuesday on DVD. While it is understandable to release the second half of the second season this way, hopefully they won’t do it again as it cheats fans of the amount of special features they’ve grown accustomed to from the first season release.
Extras: While the show is still groundbreaking and an achievement in science fiction, it’s hard to endorse a DVD that treats its fans in such a deplorable way — forcing them to leave two spots on the shelves for two different DVDs at a cost well over the price of a single-season DVD. "Season 2.5" collects the remaining 10 episodes of the show’s second season with only one audio commentary and a handful of other content that was already available on the show’s Web site. It’s another slap in the face to the fans who are so dedicated to this excellent show. Price: $49.98. Rent or buy: Rent.
"Hard Candy" is not your average thriller. From the start, you feel dirty, almost to the point where you need ashower. The story is unconventional — an Internet conversation between Hayley, a 14-year-old student played brilliantly by Ellen Page, and much older Jeff, played convincingly by Patrick Wilson, turns into a face-to-face meeting that quickly progresses to a visit to the man’s house.
What begins as a possible child molestation/missing person film takes a brutal turn as Hayley is not a victim and indeed the wolf in sheep’s clothing, drugging Jeff and subjecting him to a variety of mental and physical tortures. It is an intriguing film that should be viewed by anyone who even thinks about chatting online.
Extras: The DVD includes an audio commentary with the director, David Slade, and writer, Brian Nelson, as well as a making-of documentary that is simple at best, given the film is primary a dialogue between the two main characters. There are also a handful of deleted scenes worth checking out on the disc. Price: $27.98. Rent or buy: Rent.
‘THE UNIT: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON’
More and more, midseason television shows are making it past the initial half-season of episodes they are scheduled for. "Grey’s Anatomy" is one of the most popular shows on television after being a midseason replacement, and "The Unit" is another series that made strides with viewers by offering an intense show based on a secret government organization that routinely thwarts terrorist plots.
Extras: "The Unit: The Complete First Season" collects the 13 episodes from the first season and includes only one audio commentary, which is too bad, and one featurette on the making of the show. The lack of special features makes this DVD a good rental. Price: $49.98. Rent or buy: Rent.