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CBS DVD Round-Up

A new wave of CBS TV series DVDs have arrived for review with the complete series set of “NCIS: New Orleans”, season 3 of “Magnum P.I.” and season 4 of “Seal Team.”

After a 7 season run, “NCIS: New Orleans” has wrapped and, as such, Paramount/CBS have released a brand new box set housing all 153 episodes. The series revolves around the NCIS team in The Big Easy led by Scott Bakula’s SSA Dwayne Pride (the MVP of the series) and ASSA Hannah Khoury alongside team members/allies Loretta, Sonja, Christopher, Sebastian, Patton, Quentin, Meredith, Tammy and Rita (some of these characters appear in later seasons). Plots involve Naval murders, interpersonal relationships with the team, main character arcs, real world story integrations (ala COVID-19), collaborations with other agencies including “NCIS” crossovers, serial killers, corruption, terrorists, team members in peril, and real New Orleans events spilling over into the series ala Mardi Gras and Flat Week.

With “NCIS: New Orleans,” you know what you’re getting with this spin-off. It’s another NCIS series with new characters, the tried and true procedural format, and a new setting that gives the series its own vibe (in this case New Orleans obviously). It’s not serialized television, it’s formulaic material,and that’s perfectly fine. This is CBS’s bread and butter. It’s an ongoing franchise with a built-in audience who can’t get enough of these types of series. It’s basically like the CBS version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Although the violent murder case of the week format can feel grim, exploitive, and not exactly like feel good television (how many Naval centric murders can there possibly me), it’s still a program meant to entertain at the end of the day. Like Dwayne, the ensemble cast of characters are heroic individuals and you embark on the journey with them through seven seasons as they investigate cases. It may not be for everyone, but for those who live and breathe this genre of television, you’ll likely be on board for this show.

In terms of series highlights, Scott Bakula and the location shooting are where it’s at. As a fan of Bakula from “Quantum Leap” and “Star Trek: Enterprise” (check out those shows if you haven’t), it’s nice to see the versatile actor in a lead role again. As for the location shooting, again, New Orleans has its very own vibe and it’s interesting to see how the city is depicted and used within the show. It’s almost like a travelogue to a degree.

Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1 

Extras aplenty here with deleted scenes, commentaries, featurettes from each season, the 2 “NCIS” spin-off episodes, promos, fan questions and so forth.

2018’s version of “Magnum P.I.” returns with a 16 episode season 3. For those that might not be aware, the Hawaii set series revolves around Navy Seal turned P.I. Thomas Magnum, partner Juliet Higgins (a former MI6 agent) and their helpful allies Rick, Kumu, and T.C. In this season, viewers can expect plots about Higgins getting injured, someone following Magnum and Higgins in a white SUV, immigration, Higgins dating a new man (a Doctor named Ethan), a hurricane, Higgins being abducted, and cases involving missing persons, a plane, murders, thieves, and, yes, missing truffles. You might even see a few “Hawaii Five-O” characters pop up.

Let’s be real, this show doesn’t hold a candle to the Tom Selleck version. With that said, it’s still a watchable enough new incarnation of the beloved crime-drama/action franchise. It’s all very safe stuff with dramatic cases, character banter, drama, and a healthy dose of action thrown in. The show works primarily due to the chemistry between Jay Hernandez (Magnum) and Perdita Weeks (Higgins). They are charming leads and really elevate the series as a whole from being just another remake/reboot.

Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1 

Extras include deleted scenes from episodes 4, 8, 9, 12 and 16 and a gag reel.

Before “Seal Team” heads on over to Paramount+ for season 5, now is a good time to catch up on the 16 episode season 4 of the military drama that revolves around the elite group of NAVY Seals- the Bravo Team led Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Jason and comprised of team members Cerberus (canine member), Clay, Mandy, Ray, Lisa, and Sonny. Episode plots and arcs this season: A mission to capture terrorist leader Al-Hazred, Ray going missing, Jason on trial, promotions, hostage rescues, a mission with Alpha team, a character departure, and missions involving everything from retrieving military drones to a defector.

CBS may be known for procedurals, but “Seal Team” is something different. Sure, it may be a predictable network series, but it doesn’t play like your average CBS series. Not only are there multi-episode story arcs throughout the season, but the show is a cross between a mission based action military series and a character drama that deals with team member dynamics, the individuals, characters making life decisions, character family members, and character’s mental health (PTSD). Basically, this is a show with some substance and not something that merely glorifies the military.

You really have to hand it to David Boreanaz. It’s tough to star in 1 hit show but he’s now starred in 3 with “Angel,” “Bones,” and now “Seal Team.” Given how wildly different these 3 shows are, it’s fascinating to see the actor’s range here. He really commits to the role and does a fine job as the lead Jason.

Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Deleted scenes, commentary, and 3 featurettes.

September 27, 2021 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , ,

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