COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

By DNA Smith

John Simm stars in the BBC’s “Life on Mars”
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“The Middleman: The Complete Series” — This is one of those great shows you probably never watched — or heard of. It’s based on a series of graphic novels by “Lost” writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach about a young artist named Wendy Watson who is recruited to be the sidekick of The Middleman, a secret government agent/superhero. It reminded me a lot of “Men In Black.” The show is good clean fun (it ran on The Family Channel) and yet is smart, savvy, sophisticated and a true gem for fanboys and fangirls alike. Highly recommended.

“Life on Mars: Series One” (BBC Version) — Probably one of the coolest, quirkiest shows to come out of Britain in this decade, “Life on Mars” tells the story of Sam Tyler (played John Simm), a modern-day London police detective who is hit by a car and finds himself awaking in 1970s Manchester. Has he really traveled back in time? Is he in a coma and dreaming all this? Or is Sam just some delusional crackpot imagining all of this? That’s part of the mystery Sam needs to unravel — and the allure of the show, because you don’t know for sure until the series finale. Meanwhile, every week Sam tries to cope in a time where there are no cell phones, Internet, CSI-like forensics or politically correct codes of conduct, and yet still solve crimes and the mystery of who he is.

DOG OF THE WEEK
“Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series” — I haven’t chosen “BSG” as Dog of the Week because I have something against the series. To the contrary, I thought Seasons 1 and 2 were awesome (3 and 4 not so much). No sir. The reason this boxed set is Dog of the Week is due to its pricing. The set retails for $280. You heard right. Nearly 300 smackeroos — about twice as much as what you’d pay if you bought each season separately on Amazon.com. This boxed set doesn’t really come with much in the way of extra special features, so basically, if you want to pay an extra $150 for nifty packaging, knock yourself out, Cupcake. As for me, I’ll keep my copies of Seasons 1 and 2 and forget the other seasons didn’t happen.

TV SERIES
“Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead”
“Dollhouse: Season One”
“Torchwood: Children of Earth”
“Charles in Charge” Season 5
“Knight Rider” Season One
“Early Edition” The Second Season
“Doc Martin” Series 2
“A Touch of Frost” Season 14
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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