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Headsup: Corruption, Cartoons, and a Whole Lotta History

Ray Donovan Season Six“[In Ray Donovan: Season Six,] we find Ray (Liev Schreiber) rebuilding his life both personally and professionally in New York City.  After being rescued from a plummet into the East River, his savior, a cop named Mac (Domenick Lombardozzi), brings Ray into the fraternity that is the Staten Island Police Department. While exploring this new world of brotherhood and corruption, Ray finds himself once again working for media mogul Sam Winslow (Susan Sarandon). Sam has teamed up with New York City mayoral candidate Anita Novak (Lola Glaudini), a partnership that puts Ray at odds with his new friends out in Staten Island.” — from CBS

Ray Donovan: Season Six is now out on DVD, which includes all twelve episodes of the sixth season as well as two featurettes (“Ray Donovan: Inside New York City” and “Rise, Rebuild, Reclamation”). You can also get the season digitally on both Amazon and iTunes for $29.99, but unless you seriously need to save some space, it basically means spending $5 more for the same (or less) content since the DVD is only $24.99 on Amazon.

Steven Universe Season 2“[In Season Two,] Steven Universe is back with more action-packed, song-filled adventures!  Join Steven and the Crystal Gems as they face off against the dastardly Peridot, meet new gem fusions like Rainbow Quartz and Sardonyx, and uncover the mystery of the Cluster– a new threat to the entire Earth.  Lastly, find out how Garnet came to be “made of love” when her origin story is finally revealed!”  — from Cartoon Network

The second season of Cartoon Network’s award-winning series is now out on Blu-ray and DVD, featuring all twenty-two episodes of the sophomore season along with animatics from some episodes (including “The Answer,” “Sword to the Sword,” “We Need To Talk”, “Love Letters,” and others). You can get Steven Universe: Season Two digitally on Amazon for $24.99 or if hard copies are more your style you can grab the DVD (which includes an exclusive Garnet keychain) for a few cents more at $25.73 or the Blu-ray at $35.94.

Justice League vs. Fatal FiveJustice League vs. The Fatal Five finds the Earth’s future hanging in the balance when the Justice League faces a powerful new threat – the Fatal Five. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman seek answers as the time-traveling trio of Mano, Persuader and Tharok terrorize Metropolis in search of budding Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz – whom they need to free remaining Fatal Five members Emerald Empress and Validus in order to carry out their sinister plan. But the Justice League discover an ally from another time in the peculiar Star Boy – brimming with volatile power, could he be the key to thwarting the Fatal Five? An epic battle against ultimate evil awaits!” — from Warner Brothers

Fans will be happy to know that there are multiple extras on this one, including two featurettes (“Battling the Invisible Menace” and “Justice League vs. Fatal Five: Unity of Hero”), audio commentary from Bruce Timm, Sam Liu, Jim Krieg and Eric Carrasco, a sneak peek at Batman: Hush (the next DC Universe Movie), previews of Justice League Dark and Justice League vs. Teen Titans, and two episodes of shows from the DC Vault (“Far From Home” from Justice League Unlimited and “Man of Tomorrow” from Legion of Superheroes). Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is available now on Amazon with the Blu-ray version priced at $17.96 or the 4K Ultra HD version priced at $24.96.

Mrs. Wilson[“In Mrs. Wilson,] Alison embarks on a mission of discovery to try and find out who her husband really was, but from their wartime romance while working for the secret service, to a mysterious period in India, it soon becomes clear that Alec died holding his secrets close to his chest. Alison is left craving the truth as she makes discoveries that threaten her carefully crafted world apart.” — from PBS

This based-on-a-true-story miniseries features Ruth Wilson (of Luther fame) in the starring role AS HER OWN GRANDMOTHER. How cool is that? If you’re a fan of mysteries, spy stories, period films, or all of the above, this will almost certainly be in your wheelhouse. Bonus features are really light on this one (just a behind-the-scenes featurette), which is sad because there’s so much they could have done in the way of historical commentary, interviews with the family (including Wilson herself), etc., but the story itself is well worth it even without extras. If you have the PBS Channel via Amazon Prime or your cable provider, you can watch the miniseries for free; otherwise you can grab the DVD on Amazon for $19.89.

Margaret The Rebel PrincessMargaret: The Rebel Princess focuses on Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s beautiful and rebellious younger sister. This program features rare footage and interviews with those who knew her best and offers unparalleled insight into Margaret’s turbulent life and times. Her unique position as the Queen’s younger sister in a changing Britain left her free to experiment and push boundaries, yet she was forever judged by the public and press beginning to question the very idea of a monarchy. While Margaret often followed the rigid rules under which she was raised, she also stepped outside those rules and into scandal.” — from PBS

There aren’t any bonus features to boast on this one and unlike the case with Mrs. Wilson, information on Princess Margaret is available for free all over the place due to her fame and longevity. However, if you’re a mega fan of the royals (or Princess Margaret in particular), this may be a good one to add to your collection—  if so, you can snag the DVD on Amazon for $16.59.

Joseph Pulitzer Voice of the People“[Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People is] a groundbreaking exploration of a newspaper magnate whose work is largely unknown to wide audiences, though ironically, the prize he endowed in his will has become recognizable around the world. Pulitzer’s personal story is a riveting variation on the American Dream narrative. Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) arrived in the United States during the Civil War as a penniless immigrant who spoke no English and proceeded to create two best-selling newspapers -and a major fortune. This immigrant was famous in his own time for the outsized financial success of his newspapers and his outspoken, cantankerous editorial voice. From the start of his career as a journalist, Pulitzer championed what he regarded as the sacred role of the free press in a democracy.” — from PBS

Bonus features on this program include featurettes covering Ferguson and Pulitzer prizes, Nicholson Baker going through the Duke Archive Warehouse, Stanford White’s design of Pulitzer’s home, and an interview with Oren Rudavsky.  Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People is available now for digital purchase on Amazon for $9.99 or on DVD from Barnes & Noble for $21.01.

Victoria Season ThreeVictoria: Season Three introduces fascinating new historical characters, including Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis) as the vainglorious Lord Palmerston, who crosses swords with the queen over British foreign policy. Also vexing the queen this season isKate Fleetwood (Harlots) as Victoria’s devoted but troubled half-sister, Princess Feodora, who seeks refuge at Buckingham Palace due to political unrest back home in Germany.” — from PBS

In addition to the eight episodes of Season Three, Victoria: The Complete Third Season features fifty-five minutes of bonus content, including six featurettes (“Feodora: A New Dynamic in the Palace”, “Lord Palmerston: The Foreign Secretary”, “Rosalind Ebbutt: Costume Designer”, “Boxing in the Park”, “Louisa & Laurie”, and “Showdown on Waterloo Bridge”) and interviews with Daisy Goodwin, Sabrina Bartlett, Lily Travers and David Burnett, Nell Hudson, and Anna Wilson-Jones.  You can get the season digitally for $19.99 on Amazon and iTunes (both of which include some but not all of the bonus features), which may actually be the best choice cost-wise since the DVD and Blu-ray (available on Amazon for $33.19 and $39.79, respectively) are at least 30% more.  Weigh the options and see what fits you best, then sit back and enjoy!