Digital Breakdown: Get your summer TV on DVD 

Catch up on classics, try something new, or prepare for upcoming seasons.

SEINFELD — SEASON EIGHT

A new season of "Seinfeld" is coming out on DVD, and it’s still a good idea to pick it up — despite the fact that almost all "Seinfeld" shows are constantly replayed in syndication. Still, how can you miss out on the episode "The Yada Yada" in high definition? The eighth season also has "The Little Kicks" and "The Bizarro Jerry" in addition to 19 other great episodes.

What really seals the deal in favor of this set, though, are 13 hours of bonus material. Commentaries from the crew and cast, animation, tons of deleted footage and featurettes covering just about everything you ever wanted to know about the show are among the excellent extras.

It’s a must-have.

Price: $49.95.

Rent or buy: Buy.

ROBIN HOOD — SEASON 1

This interesting, fresh take on the classic tale about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor comes from the BBC. Beautifully filmed and thoroughly entertaining, "Robin Hood" is gritty, brutal and mature.

It’s filled with evil characters, but also is fun. You don’t quite feel as though you’re watching "Deadwood" in Sherwood Forest.

Extras include four commentaries accompanying 13 episodes and five in-depth featurettes on the making of the series. Topics range from costumes to set design to script writing.

Price: $79.98.

Rent or buy: Buy.

RESCUE ME — THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

While Denis Leary’s character, Tommy, on "Rescue Me" isn’t anyone you’d probably find yourself hanging out with (for one, everyone around him seems to be miserable or dies), you can’t help but cheer for him. "

Rescue Me" is a wacky, often emotional, series about New York firefighters after 9/11.

The third season veers somewhat from the show’s original premise, but it’s still good. One hopes, though, that season four returns to the show’s early glory.

Price: $49.95.

Rent or buy: Buy.

HEX: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

If you’ve finished watching multiple seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Charmed," "Hex" is a great way to continue your fantasy fix. The show’s about a school that is haunted by a demon and the cursed students whom he makes suffer.

Filmed brilliantly at a boarding school in England, "Hex" wonderfully mixes comedy, drama and the supernatural. From the BBC, the show is filled with twists and revelations that keep the series flowing in an excellent direction; the second season airs now on BBC America.

The DVD includes a nice handful of deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.

Price: $49.95.

Rent or buy: Buy.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE — THE SECOND TV SEASON

Peter Graves shines as the leader of a group of government agents who used their brains — not their brawn or guns (as in the movies of the same name) — to get the job done. The TV show is an awesome classic from the 1960s, worthy of anyone who loves great spy cat-and-mouse thrillers.

There aren’t a lot of extras on the set; unless you’re a fanatic, this is probably a rental for most people.

Price: $49.99.

Rent or buy: Rent for most; buy if you’re a fan.

THE DEAD ZONE — THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON

USA, the cable concern, is producing some great dramas that probably could do better than some of the instantly canceled programs presented on the major networks.

"The Dead Zone" season five continues the action, psychological and science fiction elements that follow the adventures of Johnny Smith — who just happens to have remarkable powers that help him solve crime and soon-to-be crimes.

For those who want to start watching the upcoming season six, this set would make great summer viewing.

Price: $24.98.

Rent or buy: Rent.

Other DVDs coming out Tuesday: "Meatballs Special Edition," "Wait Until Your Father Gets Home: The Complete First Season," "Secrets of the Code," "Highlander: Search for Vengeance," "Norbit," "Hogan’s Heroes: Season Six," "Sergio Leone Anthology," "Best of Chappelle’s Show," "CHiPs: The Complete First Season," "Highlander: Search for Vengeance," "Henry Rollins Show: Season 1," "Prehistoric Park" and "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib."

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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