Out now are multiple titles about those who hunt down criminals, all with their own particular style:
First up is Hawaii Five-0, a new spin on the vintage series about an elite task force charged with solving crimes that take place on the idyllic sunny islands. Former navy man Detective Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) leads the team, following only his own rules and operating with full authority to hunt down the islands’ worst criminals and bring them to justice. Working alongside McGarrett are Detective Danny (“Danno”) Williams, Chin Ho Kelly, coroner Dr. Max Bergman, beautiful Hawaiian native Kono Kalakaua, and former SWAT team leader Captain Lou Grover. In Season Seven, the team must deal with some of their most dangerous cases yet as they hunt down the chess-piece killer, attempt to protect a witness in a coma from being assassinated, rescue Chin’s niece from a cartel, breaking down a sex trafficking ring, and more. Guest stars on the season include Hawaii Five-0 veteran Jack Lord along with Claire Forlani, Darius Rucker, Julie Benz, Jimmy Buffett, and Christine Lahti. Out now is Hawaii Five-0: The Seventh Season, which includes all twenty-five episodes of Season Seven along with some bonus content. Featurettes on the set include “Shorelines: Season Seven” (action sequences and season highlights with the cast and crew), “The Chun Family Legacy” (actor Dennis Chun talks about continuing his father Kam Fong Chun’s Hawaii Five-o legacy), and “Tailor Grubbs Video Diary” (a peek at the video diary of youngest cast member Tailor Grubbs). Along with the featurettes are coverage of a magazine photo shoot with star Alex O’Louhlin, some deleted and extended scenes, and a gag reel. The complete season is available on Amazon on DVD for $29.99, or you can get the season digitally on Amazon or iTunes for $34.99. It’s important to note that not only do the streaming options cost $5 more, but bonus content on those is limited to one 2-minute featurette (“You Ask, They Tell: Grace Park”), so if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, getting the DVD is definitely the way to go on this one.
Next is Criminal Minds, the ever-creepy series centered around the Behavioral Analysis Unit, an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the minds of the country’s most disturbed criminals in order to anticipate (and hopefully prevent) their next move. In the twelfth season, outside threats cause unexpected changes to the team, including the addition of former army ranger and expert fugitive tracker Luke Alvez, new Unit Chief Emily Prentiss, and seasoned profiler Stephen Walker. Together the newly expanded BAU must learn to work with each other to stop a never ending stream of psychopaths, hackers, killers, and criminal masterminds before they strike again. Now out on DVD is Criminal Minds: Season Twelve, which presents all twenty-two episodes of the twelfth season along with over ninety minutes of bonus content. Special features include a behind-the-scenes feature about how each member of the BAU unit deals with the challenges of his / her career and personal life, a feature with episode directors about the visual artistry of the show, a talk with the production team about creating unique death scenes, and an examination of the Spencer Reid / prison story arc, and a behind-the-scenes discussion with Gia Mantegna about her return to the show. Extras also include episode commentaries, one with Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid) on the “Elliott’s Pond” episode and another with Kristen Vangsness (Penelope Garcia) and executive producer / showrunner Erica Messer on the “Spencer” episode. Rounding out bonus features are some deleted and extended scenes and a gag reel. Criminal Minds: Season Twelve is available on DVD (currently going on Amazon for $29.99), or you can get it digitally on Amazon or iTunes for $34.99 (with zero bonus content). Like on Hawaii Five-0, I’d say go for the DVD option that both costs $5 less and gets you ninety minutes more content.
If you’re impressed with the twelve season run of Criminal Minds, you’ll be even more so when you hear that NCIS has been on for fourteen, and is still going strong. With multiple spinoff series and a huge fanbase, NCIS is one of CBS’s staple shows and will probably be around as long as the actors want to keep doing it. The show follows the Major Case Response Team of the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) as they investigate crimes committed with U.S. Navy or Marine Corps ties. Also like Criminal Minds, Season Fourteen of NCIS sees new additions to the core team, including new agents Nicholas Torres and Alexandra Quinn in addition to MI6 Officer Clayton Reeves to help cover cases with international interests. While navigating a new group dynamic, the team must deal with terrorists, assassins, cyber threats, and anti-government militias, all while trying to protect classified information and the integrity of the Navy itself. Now out on DVD is NCIS: The Fourteenth Season, which includes all twenty four episodes from the season as well as over eighty minutes of bonus content. Special features include a table read of the episode “Nonstop”, a discussion of the season’s crossover episode with NCIS: New Orleans, a season overview with the cast and crew, a featurette on the casting process for the new NCIS agents, a tribute to Executive Producer and Showrunner Gary Glasberg, and a tour of the NCIS lot with Brian Dietzen (Dr. Jimmy Palmer). Select episodes also come with audio commentaries. NCIS: Season Fourteen is available on DVD on Amazon for $29.96. Streaming options are also available on both Amazon and iTunes for $39.99 (with the sole bonus feature on each being a five-minute “best moments” collection from the season). Even more strongly than the two titles above, the DVD is the obvious choice on this one as it’s $10+ cheaper than the streaming option and has eighty minutes more content.
Last but not least is Endeavour, the Inspector Morse prequel set in 1960s Oxford. Starring Shaun Evans (as DC Endeavour Morse) and Roger Allam (as DI Fred Thursday), the series follows a young Endeavour Morse as in the early days of his career as a Detective Constable with the Oxford City Police CID. After Season Three’s dramatic end, Season Four shows the characters trying to reconstruct their professional and personal lives, all while the Summer of Love is hitting Oxford. Along with it comes hints of the future, as computers, pop music, the National Health Movement, and nuclear power all begin to emerge. Along with this strange new world of progress come even more sophisticated criminals, whose ill intentions keep Endeavour and his colleagues busier than ever before. Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is Endeavour: The Complete Fourth Season, which has all three episodes (yes, only three, because the British are weird but awesome) plus a few bonus features. (It is also important to note that the episodes are around ninety minutes each, so it’s closer to a miniseries format than an American drama tv series setup). Special content includes a talk with Shaun Evans (Endeavour Morse) on the complicated makeup of his character and his motivations, an examination of Endeavour and Joan Thursday, Fred’s daughter (Sara Vickers), a featurette on filming Endeavour on location in Oxford, and an amusing special on Shaun Evans trying his hand at operationg a steadicam. The DVD and Blu-ray sets are available on Amazon (for $22.89 and $28.59, respectively). Amazon and iTunes both offer the season in digital format for $10.99 but include no bonus features. Unlike the titles above, the streaming option on this one might be the best unless the bonus content mean a lot to you— to get the series in disc format you’re paying twice the price, so it’s worth considering if this is one of those instances where you sacrifice a few extras in order to save some dollars for the next title on your list.