It’s a good week for mutants and figure skaters. In terms of quantity, there are quite a few titles being released today, very few of which will make even a ripple against the juggernaut that is Blades of Glory and Heroes: Season One.
Still, the release of Friday Night Lights: The First Season may prove to be the sleeper hit on DVD that NBC and critics alike hoped it would be during its prime time run. At a suggested retail of $29.95, this series, revolving around a Texas high school football team, might find the audience it deserved, but never quite found, during its first season. It narrowly escaped cancellation last season, and it’s fairly obvious NBC-Universal is hoping this bargain-priced release might serve as a catalyst for second season viewership. Regardless of how it fares next season, this five-disc set remains an example of what television drama can achieve.
While the high hopes for Friday Night Lights have yet to materialize into a hit series, another NBC series, Heroes, became an unlikely phenomenon last season. Heroes: Season One shows why. This lavish seven-disc collection includes all 23 episodes of the first season and the obligatory bonus features, as well as the never before seen pilot. Allegedly, the original pilot was so convoluted that NBC execs ordered a complete retooling of the premise before it was green lighted. The rest, as they say, is history.
The success of Will Ferrell and John Heder mystifies me at times. Ferrell’s lampoons come across as extended SNL skits and I can’t look at Heder without thinking of Napoleon Dynamite. Still, both strike a chord in the comedic zeitgeist. In Blades of Glory, the two are paired as rival figure skaters who team up to compete in paired figure skating. What I think of the premise is irrelevant — you’re gonna buy it anyway. And you’re most likely going to laugh.
As I said, there quite a few other releases this week — some readily recognizable, and some so obscure that only the most diehard of aficionados will seek them out. Pick and choose as you weave carefully through this week’s long list. Treasure abounds in the listings.
A Dance to the Music of Time
An East Side Story
Friday Night lights: The First Season
Great African Films, Vol. 2
Guyana Tragedy: Jim Jones Story
The Hurricane (HD DVD)
Julie Walking Home