DVD Review: TV Season Sets Including ‘Entourage,’ ‘The Closer,’ ‘HawthoRNe’

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CHICAGO – The wave of TV on DVD sets that always comes crashing down upon us after the end of a traditional September-to-May season is still a few months off, but a few interesting releases have popped up recently and we thought they each deserved a mini-review for potential fans out there looking for something new now that their DVRs have gotten pretty empty. Take notes, there might be a test at the end.

The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season
The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

“The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season”

Kyra Sedgwick continued her stellar work on one of cable’s most successful shows with the most recent installment of TNT’s mega-hit. “The Closer” is arguably starting to get repetitive but Sedgwick continues to get better and better like so many leads on serial shows do as they settle into their roles. And she has a notable supporting cast that deserves mention as well particularly scene stealers like J.K. Simmons and G.W. Bailey. The show may air on Turner’s network but it’s produced by Warner Brothers and they’re one of the best companies a TV fan can hope for when it comes to their favorite shows. They should be releasing a show broadcast in such beautiful HD on Blu-ray but their DVD transfers are close enough that DVD will do for now.

The fifth season of “The Closer” is presented in a matted widescreen version with a Dolby Surround 5.1 audio track. Special features include “Police Files: Unaired Scenes,” “Seen at the Crime Location Map — Travel to Various Locales Where Memorable Series Moments Were Shot,” and Gag Reel. The show is not rated and the season runs 646 minutes on four discs.

“The Closer” stars Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, G.W. Bailery, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Philip P. Keene, and Jon Tenney. It was created by James Duff. The fifth season will be released on DVD on June 29th, 2010.

Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season
Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season
Photo credit: HBO Home Video

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0

“Entourage: The Complete Sixth Season”

“Entourage” continued its creative erosion in easily its worst season to date last summer, which will soon be available on DVD. This once-great show never spun its wheels quite so drastically as the producers and writers took a chance that simply didn’t pay off. It was a good idea to try and bring the boys out of Vince’s shadow, but why did they have to do it in such a repetitive way? Does anyone still care about Eric and Sloane? Of course not. Instead of pushing the characters we love so much down the path of life, season six just never found a forward rhythm. And any show that can take Gary Cole and make him so tragically boring deserves special criticism. Of course, there are still moments, especially for hardcore fans, and HBO shows have taken dips and found their rhythm again before they ended (“Sex and the City” sure did), so we hope “Entourage” returns to the creative spotlight that it once occupied so confidently with its upcoming season premiere. Before then, you should probably catch up.

The sixth season of “Entourage” is presented in 16:9 widescreen and accompanied by an English 5.1 audio track. Special features include “Life at the Top,” “A Day at the Speedway,” “ONEXONE PSA,” and three audio commentaries. The show is rated TV-MA and the season runs 326 minutes on three discs.

“Entourage” stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Perrey Reeves, Rex Lee, Gary Cole, Emannuelle Chriqui, and Jeremy Piven. It was created by Doug Ellin. The sixth season will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 22nd, 2010.

Everwood: The Complete Third Season
Everwood: The Complete Third Season
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

“Everwood: The Complete Third Season”

History has somewhat forgotten the very consistent WB program “Everwood,” which never grabbed the headlines of other pre-CW shows and has very slowly been released on DVD with the third season only now being issued on the format six years after it first aired. What’s taking so long? (The notation on the DVD that “Some music differs from original televised version” implies that perhaps there was some difficulty getting all necessary licensing rights for the show’s music). “Everwood” was one of the last WB/UPN/CW shows that took its characters seriously, keeping them believable within its soap opera elements. And, most importantly, it featured truly excellent performances, including a great turn from Treat Williams that was never once given the credit it deserves and strong young actor work from Gregory Smith and Emily Van Camp.

The third season of “Everwood” is presented in a matted widescreen version with a Dolby Surround 2.0 audio track. Special features include Selected Outtakes. The show is not rated and the season runs 951 minutes on five discs.

“Everwood” stars Treat Williams, Gregory Smith, Emily Van Camp, Debra Mooney, John Beasley, Vivien Cardone, Chris Pratt, Stephanie Niznik, Merrilyn Gann, and Tom Amandes. It was created by Greg Berlanti. The third season was released on DVD on June 15th, 2010.

HawthoRNe: The Complete First Season
HawthoRNe: The Complete First Season
Photo credit: Sony

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0

“HawthoRNe: The Complete First Season”

Overly earnest and deeply cliched, “HawthoRNe” still struck a strong enough emotional chord to return for a second season, starting June 22nd, 2010. The Jada Pinkett Smith vehicle improved after its premiere but never rose above the stereotypical beats of a hospital drama. This time the hospital is Richmond Trinity Hospital and Smith’s lead is a nurse fighting for her patient’s rights. For those of us who adore “Nurse Jackie,” it’s even harder to take “HawthoRNe” seriously but the show, like most TNT programs, is well-produced and well-paced enough that it’s not hard to see why it found a following. It’s dramatic enough to keep the viewer’s interest even if it doesn’t feel quite real and Smith is a more-than-capable lead. I wish the writing would improve but the ensemble is strong enough and the show old-fashioned enough that it could find a loyal audience for years especially on beloved TNT. Jump on board early.

The first season of “HawthoRNe” is presented in a 1.78:1 widescreen format with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Special features include “All in a Day’s Work,” “Inside Richmond Trinity,” “Get to Know the Cast of HawthoRNe,” “HawthoRNe Medical School,” “Male Nurses,” “Shooting a Scene - Visual Effects,” and “HawthoRNe’s Heroes.” The show is not rated and runs 430 minutes on three discs.

“HawthoRNe” stars Jada Pinkett Smith, David Julian Hirsh, Christina Moore, Suleka Mathew, Hannah Hudson, and Michael Vartan. The first season was released on DVD on June 15th, 2010.

Nip/Tuck: The Sixth and Final Season
Nip/Tuck: The Sixth and Final Season
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.0/5.0

“Nip/Tuck: The Sixth and Final Season”

It’s somewhat sad that Drs. Christian Troy and Sean McNamara went out with such little fanfare. It almost feels like Ryan Murphy found a new girlfriend in “Glee” and left his old one behind. As shows like “Lost” and “24” were being sent off with multiple feature articles, hardly anyone noticed that this once cult phenomenon was quietly drawing too a close. Well, as quietly as a show this ridiculous can end. “Nip/Tuck” turned into a soap opera after a couple season but it was once one of the most promising shows on television; a searing and clever indictment of our image-obsessed culture. The seams started to show after the third season and, by the end, few cared any more about the increasingly ridiculous clients and staff at McNamara/Troy. Still, if you’ve come even close to this far, finish it out. Don’t you have to see how it ends?

The sixth season of “Nip/Tuck” is presented in a matted widescreen version with a Dolby Surround 5.1 audio track. Special features include “Tell Me What You Don’t Like About Yourself — The Psychology Behind Plastic Surgery.” The show is not rated and runs 785 minutes on five discs.

“Nip/Tuck” stars Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, John Hensley, Roma Maffia, Kelly Carlson, and Joely Richardson. It was created by Ryan Murphy. The sixth season was released on June 8th, 2010.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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