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I am – Hercules!!

Some thoughts on Lost: The Complete Series: * I judge “Lost” a great series, just not as great a series as I thought it was a year ago. * I found the finale entertaining. It was fun seeing Jin and Sun get their English back. And James and Juliet get their memories back. And Jack deal his final beatdown on Fake Locke. And Jack getting his final kiss on Kate. And Jack getting one last hug from Christian Shephard. * And yes, I believe the finale did not “stick” the series’ landing. There was too much “We’ll figure it out later” and too much ultimately figured out rather unsatisfactorily. * To those who say series finales are always disappointing, I say: “Angel,” “The Prisoner” and “The Sopranos.” Even “Twin Peaks,” abused in scheduling and cancelled prematurely, enjoyed a corker of a Lynch-masterminded small-screen send-off. * I thought the two-track reality introduced in season six fascinating. I hated that the alternate track ultimately turned out to be essentially a crib of the “Sixth Sense” ending (surely one of the most famous twists in the history of screen entertainment), but found the “sideways” journey for the most part more compelling than all the silliness with Jacob back on the island. * Especially disappointing to me were the sideways-free season-six flashback episodes dealing with Richard and Jacob’s arrivals on the island. (It was certainly a smart move not saving those stories for the finale.) * Before Dharma built the Swan Station, what kept all that island energy from destroying everything? And why not automate the Swan’s button-pushing? And why not install a big Office Depot “Easy” button instead of making two tired guys type in a complex series of numbers every 108 minutes? Also, why did Jacob have such a bug up his hinder about Widmore fathering a daughter with an outsider? With so many “hostiles” lurking about, why was it so easy for James, Juliet, Daniel and Jin to infiltrate the Dharma Initiative? When James calmed Richard down with a mysterious private conversation in 1974, didn’t it occur to anybody that James Ford might be an Other? Did no one think to run a background check on this LeFleur character before they appointed him sheriff? Why did Jack, Kate, Walt and Hurley suddenly start referring to John Locke as Jeremy Bentham, that flimsy alias Widmore gave Locke? Wouldn’t it have been easier for Fake Locke to lower Desmond toward the Cosmic Cork if Fake Locke just turned into Smokezilla? (I have other questions, but my fingers grow fatigued.) * When one compares “Lost” to the last Cuse-Lindelof collaboration -- namely “Nash Bridges” -- “Lost” feels like an enormous overachiever. * And while I bailed on two other J.J. Abrams-created series -- namely “Felicity” and “Alias,” which like “Lost” launched in spectacular fashion -- I never gave up on “Lost.” There’s a lot to be said for that. * Would I recommend this series to someone who’d never seen it? Without question. It’s so much better than, say, “JAG” or “Brothers & Sisters” or “Law & Order: SVU.” I’d be even more inclined to give “Lost” as a gift. I would warn the recipient of rough patches aplenty, but I would also know that the first two hours of “Lost” remain two of the best hours of anything ever. Season-Six Extras COMMENTARIES: * 6.1 “LA X (Part One).” Series showrunners Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. * 6.7 “Dr. Linus.” Michael Emerson and writers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz. * 6.9 “Ab Aeterno.” Nestor Carbonell and writers Melinda Hsu Taylor & Greggory Nations. * 6.15 “Across The Sea.” Lindelof & Cuse. (Curiously, though Cuse and Lindelof indicate in both the 6.1 and 6.15 commentaries that they intend to record a commentary for the series finale, the series finale is commentary-free.) DELETED SCENES: * “On Guard” (:37) Ilana is advised to wait outside the temple. * “Bearing Fruit” (:42) Frank and Sun make Ben feel unwelcome. * “Maternal Instincts” (1:03) Kate and Jin discuss Claire’s mental state. * “Parched” (:25) A captive Richard demonstrates how thirsty he is. * “A Helping Hand” (:27) Richard exits the Black Rock with the help of Jacob’s brother. * “Fatalities” (2:34) Fake Locke explains to Claire the rules regarding his ability to leave the island. Hurley tells James that Jin, Sun, Sayid and Frank perished on the sub. * “The Lab & The Well” (:31) Vincent visits Desmond. * “Epiphany” (1:19) Ben asks the captured Desmond why he seems to be in such a good mood. * “Desmond’s Task” (:41) Desmond tells Eloise what he’s up to. OTHER SEASON-SIX EXTRAS: * “The New Man In Charge” (11:55) The straight-to-video Linus-centric final installment answers a handful of questions, only to generate more in the proud and angry “Lost” tradition. * “Lost In 8:15 – A Crash Course” (8:26) Another efficient primer, this time on the first five seasons of the complex series. It is narrated by the hilariously deadpan Mary O'Brien, the Met|Hodder senior writer/producer for who previously narrated similar recaps on the season-four and season-five sets. * “Crafting A Final Season” (38:33) Cast and crew yammer on about wrapping up the show. Learn Evangeline Lilly feared that producers would again force her to have sex in a cage. See Jorge Garcia retrieve the final script from his special locking mailbox and cry as he reads what’s in it. Learn Garcia’s script ends right after Jack reinserts the Cosmic Cork and Hurley discovers he’s been hauling Desmond up to the surface. Stephen J. Cannell (“The Rockford Files”), Sean Ryan (“The Shield”), James Burrows (“Cheers”) and Rob Bowman (“The X-Files”) discuss what it’s like to end a series. * “A Hero’s Journey” (8:57) A look at the commonality “Lost” shares with “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Mad Max” and what have you. Learn there is a call, and the hero always refuses the call. Learn there are trials and sacrifice and ascension. * “See You In Another Life, Brotha” (8:36) A look at the “flashsideways” concept. Learn Garcia was confused by the script for 6.1. * “Lost on Location” (28:40) The sets of various episodes are visited. Learn the creation of the temple was a major undertaking. Learn Sayid may have died in the pool because somebody forgot to position monkeys around it. See the crane that fished Desmond’s car out of the water. Learn members of the cast and crew may have peed in the flooded submarine set. * “Lost Bloopers” (4:09) See Dogun hurt his knee trying to crack open the Ankh. See Kate struggle with a rope ladder. * “Lost University Masters Program.” Something for BD-Live-enabled players. Extras exclusive to The Complete Collection: DELETED SCENES: * “Handcuffs” (1:09) A tormented Kate goes to extremes in a bid to free herself. * “Surprise Inside” (:35) James is shocked by the pervasiveness of the Dharma logo. * “Would Theresa Know?” (:23) Desmond converses with the sister of Faraday’s girlfriend. * “Shallow Graves” (:59) James, Juliet, Miles, Jin and Faraday deal with Dharma dead. * “Window Talk (:52) Janitor Jack has a chat with Kate about Young Ben Linus. * “Hunting” (1:15) Locke secures dinner as Ben and Sun look on. * “Worth The Risk” (:42) Jin and Sayid appraise Jack’s Big Plan. OTHER EXTRAS: * “Letting Go: Reflections of a Six-Year Journey” (39:43) Cast and crew talk about leaving the show and the islands as sad music plays. See what the show’s first submarine looks like stored at the old “Hawaii Five-0” studios. Learn Hurley’s original first line, “Plane crashed,” was cut from the pilot. See Maggie Grace and Naveen Andrews revisit the site of Shannon’s death. Learn the Swan Station’s armory room grew in size as the second season wore on. * “Artifacts of the Island: Inside The Lost Prop House” (14:07) Rob Kyker, “Lost” propmaster, shows us a lot of stuff that probably got sold this weekend in Santa Monica. It conveniently explains that there were, in fact, many versions of “Mr. Sawyer” letter created. Learn that Josh Holloway was originally told the letter was a suicide note. * “Planet Lost” (11:55) See fans in Cardiff and Tokyo and Sao Paulo. See an actor in Italy dubbing over Hurley’s voice. See the cast and creators working the Comic Con crowd in San Diego. See Canadian Evangeline Lilly addressing the Jules Verne Film Festival in French. See an entire gallery of “Lost”-inspired artworks. See fans gather on a Hawaiian beach to learn a few days early what happened after Juliet hit the bomb with rock. * “Swan Song: Orchestrating the Final Moments of Lost” (13:18) See the scoring session for “The End.” Learn composer/conductor Michael Giacchino thinks the finale score feels more like the score for a movie than a TV show. * “Lost On Location: Cost of Living” (4:07) Much wirework is employed to engineer the “death of Eko” sequence. * “Lost On Location: Enter 77” (4:39) A look at the creation and destruction of Dharma’s communication station. * “Lost On Location: D.O.C.” (4:03) A look at the making of the scene in which Juliet captures Sun and gives her an ultrasound. * “Lost On Location: Eggtown” (2:11) Evangeline Lilly discusses how her celebrity status helped her understand Kate’s. * “Lost On Location: This Place Is Death” (5:05) A look behind the scene in which Jin and a young, pregnant Danielle Rousseau meet Smokezilla. * “Lost On Location: 316” (5:23) A look at how the huge Ajira airport terminal and the 316 plane interior were created far from LAX. Also, learn the elaborate floor of Dharma’s Lamp Post station was still being hand-painted three hours before the scene was shot. * “The Lost Slapdowns” (45:06) Comedian Paul Scheer, Rebecca Mader, ballplayer C.J. Wilson, Nestor Carbonell, Michael Emerson and a number of Muppets ask questions of Cuse and Lindelof. * “More From The Series: Regina’s Jump” (1:39) A look at the making of the Zoe Bell character’s big exit. * “More From The Series: Rat Maze” (1:39) A look at the rodent being trained in Faraday’s lab. * “More From The Series: Ben’s Door” (1:20) A look at the Egyptian hieroglyphics on the door Ben enters to summon the smoke monster. * “More From The Series: Hurling Hurley” (1:41) Jorge Garcia learns how to throw an ottoman through a window. * “More From The Series: Building The Bomb” (1:21) An enormous number of fake C4 brinks are forged from Styrofoam and wood. * “More From The Series: Ben Vs. Desmond” (3:20) Behind the scenes of the watery confrontation as a vengeful Linus sets out to kill Widmore’s daughter. * “More From The Series: Locke’s Leg” (1:50) Terry O’Quinn holds guitar as as Locke’s grotesque shin injury is created. * “More From The Series: Rose & Bernard’s Retirement” (2:12) A look at the creation of the couple’s cameo in the series finale. * “More From The Series: Jeep Escape” (1:16) Evangeline Lilly does a bit of stunt driving. * “More From The Series: Others’ Secrets” (2:03) The creation of the 1977 Others Camp is examined. Crew members wonder why Richard is so much better dressed than the other Others. * “More From The Series: Radsinsky at the Flame” (2:09) A look at the lair of the Dharma head of research (and Kelvin’s future button-pressing partner). * “More From The Series: Sun and Jin’s Wedding” (1:04) An actual Buddist shrine is prepped for a fifth-season flashback. * “The Best of the Lost Podcasts.” ABC’s official audio podcasts featuring the show’s writers. There are six from season two, five from season three, four from season four, five from season five and five from season six. Most seem to run about 15 to 30 minutes. Today you can buy both the season-six and complete-series sets in both DVD and Blu-ray:

Lost 6.x

Lost 6.x (Blu-ray)

Lost: The Complete Series

Lost: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
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TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week Batman: Brave and The Bold 1.x Vol. 1 Cougar Town 1.x Dark Oracle: The Complete Series Dexter 4.x Dexter 4.x (Blu-ray) Dexter 4-Season Pack Dexter 4-Season Pack (Blu-ray) Friday Night Lights 4.x Highway Patrol 1.x A History of Scotland: The Complete Miniseries Keeping Up With The Kardashians One Tree Hill 7.x Rocky & Bullwinkle 4.x Ugly Betty 4.x Wolverine and the X-Men Vol. 6
This Week

America: The Story of Us

America: The Story of Us (Blu-ray)

Ax Men 3.x

Ben 10: Alien Force Vol. 8

Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection

Gangland 5.x

Ghost Hunters International 1.x Vol. 2

Gossip Girl 3.x

The Great Rift: The Complete Series

The Great Rift: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

The Hard Times of RJ Berger 1.x

Kavanagh Q.C.: The Complete Collection

Lost 6.x

Lost 6.x (Blu-ray)

Lost: The Complete Series

Lost: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

NCIS 7.x

NCIS: 7-Season Pack

90210 2.x

The Patty Duke Show 3.x

Pawn Stars 2.x

Sandbaggers: The Complete Collection

The Simpsons 13.x

The Simpsons 13.x (Blu-ray)

The Sweeney 3.x

The Sweeney 4.x

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever

Top Chef 6.x

The Universe: Our Solar System (Blu-ray)
Next Week Brothers & Sisters 4.x Foyle's War Vol. 6 FlashForward: The Complete Series House 6.x House 6.x (Blu-ray) iCarly: iSpace Out Judy Garland Show Vol. 5 Lonesome Dove 1.x Marple 5.x The Middle 1.x NCIS Los Angeles 1.x NCIS Los Angeles 1.x (Blu-ray) Once An Eagle: The Complete Miniseries Parenthood 1.x Sons of Anarchy 2.x Sons of Anarchy 2.x (Blu-ray) Thriller: The Complete Series The Vampire Diaries 1.x The Vampire Diaries 1.x (Blu-ray)
September 7 American Chopper: 6.x Collection Boy Meets World 1.x ($13.99) Boy Meets World 2.x ($13.99) Boy Meets World 3.x ($13.99) Bugs Bunny Howl-oween

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (Blu-ray) <--- NEW!! Chuck 3.x Chuck 3.x (Blu-ray) Clatterford 3.x Criminal Minds 5.x Dirty Jobs Vol. 6 Doctor Who: The Creature from the Pit Doctor Who: The King's Demons Doctor Who: Planet Of Fire Ed Sullivan: The Beatles Goosebumps: The Blob That Ate Everyone Goosebumps: Go Eat Worms The Guardian 2.x It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Blu-ray) L.A. Ink 2.x Vol. 1 Last Of The Summer Wine 1985 Less Than Perfect 1.x Little People Big World 3.x Vol. 1 Meerkat Manor: Family Ties The Norm Show: The Complete Series The Office 6.x The Office 6.x (Blu-ray)
Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 28, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    "The Hard Times of RJ Berger"

    by jim

    Is this a show about a kid having a difficult time. Or is that title something of a pun? From the cover it seems like everyone is staring at, and a bit shocked by, the kids junk. Are his "hard times" not so much about difficulties as they are about perpetual erectness?