COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Dawn French stars in “Clatterford”

Dawn French stars in “Clatterford”

By DNA Smith

“Clatterford: The Complete Season Two” — “Clatterford” is one of those rare television gems that is so smartly scripted and beautifully acted that it transcends labels to become a genre in its own right. The show centers around the lives of the members of a women’s social club in a tiny English village. It stars Jennifer Saunders (“French & Saunders,” “Absolutely Fabulous”), Dawn French (“French & Saunders,” “The Vicar of Dibley”), Joanna Lumley (“Absolutely Fabulous”) and an ensemble cast of extremely talented actresses.

What makes “Clatterford” so special is that at the end of every episode you wonder how it was possible for you to laugh and cry so much in such a short time. It’s funny, but not quite a “Britcom.” It’s heartwarming and sometimes sad, but not maudlin. And although “Clatterford” is about — and marketed to — older women, as a man, I am enchanted by the program.

“Blacula”/“Scream Blacula Scream” — Finally, the classic blacksploitation horror series is out in this great double-feature DVD. William Marshall stars as Blacula, an African prince bitten by Dracula in 1872 who is resurrected 100 years later in America and wreaks havoc in the ’hood. The sequel, “Scream Blacula Scream,” co-stars the always delicious Pam Grier as a voodoo princess whom Blacula must save from some evil voodoo dudes.

“TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries” — Turner Classic Movies has packaged four awesome flicks in an affordable (around $20) two-disc collection: “The Maltese Falcon,” the classic Humphrey Bogart mystery; the film noir classic “The Big Sleep,” also starring Bogart along with Lauren Bacall; “Dial M for Murder,” the riveting Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Grace Kelly; and “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” starring the lovely Lana Turner.

TV SERIES
“C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation” The Complete Ninth Season
“Heroes” Season Three
“Desperate Housewives” The Complete Fifth Season
“Two and a Half Men” The Complete Sixth Season
“People Like Us” The Complete Series
“The Game” The First Season
“Rescue Me” Season 5, Vol. 1
“Supernatural” The Complete Fourth Season
“Brothers and Sisters” The Complete Third Season
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.