DVD Debrief: 'Chuck' Season 5 and 'Flashpoint' Season 4 Reviewed!
DVD Debrief: 'Chuck' Season 5 and 'Flashpoint' Season 4 Reviewed!
As fall shows end and you're waiting for summer ones to begin, it's the perfect time to dig into some TV on DVD titles. Two recent releases worth checking out: the fifth and final season of NBC's Chuck and the fourth season of Canadian import Flashpoint. What's inside the boxes?

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Chuck: The Fifth and Final Season (DVD; Warner Home Video)

NBC's spy comedy Chuck was never a ratings winner, but the people that did watch it loved it like I love dessert (which is a lot). Here's a show that was more connected to its fans than any other I can think of - both in terms of its fate, as they saved it from cancellation more than once, and because its cast and crew were as committed to the fans as the fans were devoted to the show. That alone makes this series commendable.

While this is obviously not the best set for those curious about the show to start with, it's one that does well by that devoted fan base. This is one of the biggest hauls of special features I've ever seen on a final season set, including a tribute to the fans (10 minutes), a peek behind the scenes of the series finale (14 minutes), an extended version of the finale with nine bonus minutes, commentaries on the final two episodes, and a featurette that actually looks back at the beginnings of the show (albeit a relatively brief 5 minutes). It's obvious that great care has been taken in putting this set together.

The season itself is hit and miss, with some good episodes, some not-so-great ones, and a series finale that some loved and some hated - but even if you didn't love the episodes, if you're a Chuck fan, this set is worth owning just to have the bevy of extras.

For those curious about accessibility, the episodes are subtitled in English, French and Spanish, but that doesn't extend to the bonus features. Presentation on the DVD version is serviceable; while there is a Blu-Ray version, there are no Blu exclusives this season, and the video isn't much of an improvement, so you shouldn't feel any obligation to upgrade. Regardless, this is still a great farewell gift to fans of the little spy show that could. You can pick up your own copy here.

Flashpoint: The Fourth Season (DVD; CBS Home Video)

Flashpoint is one of those shows where I found myself saying, "Why didn't I watch this earlier?" After debuting on CBS, the show found a second home on the ION cable channel, where its originals have shared space with reruns of other CBS shows and somewhat sat in obscurity. It has a solid cast, including Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars), Hugh Dillon (Durham County), and Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), who all do reliable work as members of Canada's Strategic Response Unit, defusing a variety of unique hostage situations.

That's a subject that could easily get repetitive or melodramatic, but on Flashpoint, neither of those things happen. The show is high-stakes, but it also digs into what's going on with the people: not just the team, but the hostages and hostage-takers as well. In that sense, I liken it to the early seasons of Without A Trace, or Cold Case without the flashbacks but more high-powered weapons.

There's one weird thing about the set: if you go by this list of episodes, it begins with episode eight of season three ("Collateral Damage") and ends with episode seven of season four ("Shockwave"). But the episodes are pretty consistently great, including guest appearances from Victor Garber (Alias), the exit of a series regular, and the introduction of that person's replacement - and this is one of those shows that you can watch at any time without needing to have seen it before.

The set comes with a fairly small amount of special features: three featurettes ("The Music of Flashpoint," "On the Set of Flashpoint," and a study of Enrico Colantoni's character, Sgt. Greg Parker); these are all interesting, but nothing completely groundbreaking. Presentation is comparable to what was broadcast. While there are English subtitles, there's no support for foreign languages.

Yet at $19.99, this is a relatively cheap pickup for an underrated series, regardless of the lack of bonuses. It's a show that should be seen by more people. You can pick up a copy of the set here.

For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my BuddyTV writer page, and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.


Image courtesy of Warner Home Video


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