The Wallander novels of Henning Mankell are the basis for the fine British crime series Wallander. The four series (seasons) of the show contain fifteen ninety-minute episodes – nine adaptations of one of the nine novels – that follow Wallander through seven years of his life.
The stark, serene and occasionally eerie landscapes of Sweden (the series was shot in and around the city of Ystad – where the novels are set) are used as both connective tissue (Wallander drives some distances between work, home and visiting his daughter) and as an emotional undercurrent (ranging from mysterious to unexpected comic relief) to the various mysteries and character arcs of the show.
Shakespeare lovers will definitely want to add The BBC Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Gift Set to their collections.
The collection includes: Bill (Shakespeare’s lost years as a lute player – think Pythonesque farce), Hamlet (the Royal Shakespeare Company TV film starring Patrick Stewart and David Tennant), Shakespeare ReTold (exactly what it says on the tin), and An Age of Kings (a 15-part BBC mini-series based on Shakespeare’s history plays).
Into the Badlands is a solid drama with a great martial arts edge. It’s like nothing else on television – and that’s a Good Thing. We gave it an A based on the premiere and the remaining five episodes did nothing to cut into that initial score.
The DVD release of the first season – entitled Into the Badlands (not Into the Badlands Season One for some reason) – contains the show’s initial six episodes and a host of bonus material (much of it available on the show’s website).
When A&E canceled Longmire the outcry was sufficient for Netflix to pick up the series – where it got even better! Episodes are longer, even more nuanced and the characters even more fully explored over the course of some of the most interesting cases ever.
The fourth season DVD set has no featurettes – not even the token behind the scenes stuff that appeared on the previous three DVD sets. As such, the season stands on its own – and it stands tall!
The second season DVD set of CBS’ Scorpion shows it to be something other than a pure procedural – and combine’s its storytelling flexibility with character development in a way that keeps it fresh even after 23 episodes.
Scorpion: Season Two also has a number of solid bonus features and two of the worst commentary tracks I’ve ever heard.
The CBS procedural Limitless was the story of Brian Finch, the guy who followed the movie’s Eddie Morra into the land of complete mastery of the brain via the drug NZT.
NZT enabled Brian to do some amazing things, including: solving the murder for which he had been framed; save his father’s life; work with the FBI as a special consultant and even find a little romance.