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Published at: Aug. 7, 2013, 11 p.m. CST

Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry


Mystery Science Theatre 3000 XXVI, $45.85 last week, just plummeted to its lowest price ever: $24.49!! (59% Off!!) CHEAPER THAN USED!!


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New This Week

 

The latest political drama from Greg Berlanti (“Jack & Bobby,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “No Ordinary Family”), “Political Animals” follows a female U.S. secretary of state (Sigourney Weaver) who was also the the wife of the 42nd president of the United States and once ran for POTUS against the guy who gave her her current job.

But her name is not Hilary Rodham Clinton. Her name is Elaine Barrish Hammond.

Weaver is supported by a host of great actors, including Carlo Gugino (“Karen Sisco”), Ciaran Hinds (“Rome”), and Ellen Burnstyn (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”) -- all struggling under the Berlanti’s lazy, trite, undercooked teleplay.

If you’re expecting “The West Wing,” only written by the longtime showrunner of “Dawson’s Creek” (rather than “West Wing” mastermind Aaron Sorkin, the guy who wrote the excellent political dramedies “An American President” and "Charlie Wilson's War"), you expected right.

The “Political Animals” pilot is abominable. It’s packed solid with wretched dialogue, absurd behavior and predictable plotting. A series sequel to this miniseries could run on USA for decades.

Oh, and don’t watch “Political Animals” while playing a drinking game tied to the word “bitch.” You will die.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... what Animals is trying to do is take The West Wing and turn it into Dallas. And if you don’t like Dallas, that can be a real letdown.…

Variety says:

... initially more preoccupied with what transpires between the sheets than within the halls of power. As such, the super-sized opener contains promise, but primarily feels like someone's idea of an edgy concept -- not so much wild as the hollow product of a skilled taxidermist. …

HitFix says:

... Because "Political Animals" is still being assembled, I've only seen that first two installments so far. The second one is more interested in family squabbles and other soap operatics than the first one is, and it's possible that this is the direction Berlanti wants to take things in for the rest of the run. But with a cast this good, and with so many potentially juicy conflicts already in play, I'm going to take a more optimistic point of view than Elaine Barrish might.

HuffPost TV says:

... both mildly subversive and very enjoyable …

The New York Times says:

... This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... more "Dallas" than "The West Wing," a high-class, relatively naturalistic, behind-closed-doors soap opera that plays in fairly obvious yet also fairly affecting ways with the space between public face and private pain and is made highly watchable by an excellent cast that finds the human among the hokum. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... The problem is not the concept, it's the execution. … ignores the sound advice given to all writers: show, don't tell. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... an unsavory and silly miniseries … The basic story line could have been workable, if only it had been handled with thought and creativity. … Berlanti isn't interested in depth. Wanting soap and dirt - a lot of dirt - he has fashioned something that's watchable only if you completely divorce it from the realm of credibility. Real-life politics may be a soap opera, but at least it's better written.

The Washington Post says:

... verges right up to the edge of ludicrous with the right combination of salty-sweet and silly-smart. In just two episodes, it exhibits better writing, stronger acting, cleaner momentum and more confidence than most new shows ever find. If the secretary of state’s dysfunctional family and bizzaro politics become too much to bear, then, happily, it’s over after six episodes. ...

The Boston Herald says:

... boorish … Here’s a series begging to be impeached from prime time. Vote with your remote.

The Boston Globe says:

... flawed but addictive … soaps are almost by definition built on types, right? What distinguishes the good ones are colorful performances, scandalous twists, and the age-old reminder that money and power can’t buy love – all of which “Political Animals” has. …

Time says:

... an inconsistent, sometimes ludicrous, but also juicily fun political soap .…

USA Today says:

... seems designed to call the Clintons to mind. Which would be fine if the pair were as interesting as their real-life counterparts … goes down relatively painlessly but that is nowhere near as sharp or as on-point as it needs to be. …

 

 

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week
The Angry Beavers: The Complete Series
Banshee 1.x
Banshee 1.x (Blu-ray)
Hunted 1.x
Kendra On Top 1.x
Midsomer Murders 1.x-5.x
Power Rangers 4.x-7.x
Samurai Pizza Cats: The Complete Series
Star Trek The Next Generation 4.x (Blu-ray)
Star Trek The Next Generation: Redemption (Blu-ray)
Touched By An Angel 8.x

This Week


Battlestar Galactica: The Motion Picture (Blu-ray)


The Borgias 3.x


The Borgias 3.x (Blu-ray)


Community 4.x


Duck Dynasty 3.x


Fridays: Best Of


Gunsmoke 9.x


Midsomer Murders Vol. 22


Political Animals: The Complete Series


Ripcord 1.x


Ripcord 2.x


Smash 2.x


Smiley's People: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)


Strike Back: Cinemax 2.x


Strike Back: Cinemax 2.x (Blu-ray)
The Super 6: The Complete Series


Taz-Mania 1.x Vol. 2


The Thick Of It 1.x-4.x


Top Gear 3.x

Next Week
Amazing World of Gumball Vol. 3


The Captains Close Up
Casper's Scare School 2.x
Combat 5.x
Doctor Who: The Green Death Special Edition
Doctor Who: Spearhead From Space (Blu-ray)


Enlightened 2.x
Family Ties 7.x
Girls 2.x


Girls 2.x (Blu-ray)
The L.A. Complex: The Complete Series


The Mindy Project 1.x
Once Upon A Time 2.x


Once Upon A Time 2.x (Blu-ray)
Perry Mason 9.x Vol. 2
Perry Mason: The Complete Series


Southland 5.x
Totally Spies 1.x


Ultra Q: The Complete Series

August 20
Being Human 5.x
Being Human 5.x (Blu-ray)
Boardwalk Empire 3.x


Boardwalk Empire 3.x (Blu-ray)
CatDog 4.x
Donkey Kong Country
Ghost Hunters International 3.x


The Good Wife 4.x
Mike & Molly 3.x
NCIS 10.x
NCIS Los Angeles 4.x


Parenthood 4.x


Revenge 2.x


Star Trek: Enterprise 2.x (Blu-ray)

August 27
Call Me Fitz 3.x


DC Comics Collection


Elementary 1.x
Ghost Hunters International : The Final Season
Grey's Anatomy 9.x


Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
Sapphire & Steele: The Complete Series
Sons of Anarchy 5.x


Sons of Anarchy 5.x (Blu-ray)
The Walking Dead 3.x


The Walking Dead 3.x (Blu-ray)


The Walking Dead 3.x Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

September 3
Ancient Aliens 5.x Vol. 1
Criminal Minds 8.x
Ghost Hunters: Fan Favorites
The Haunting Hour Vol. 5
The Haunting Hour Vol. 6


Haven 3.x


Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (Blu-ray)
The Office 9.x


The Office 9.x (Blu-ray)


Parks and Recreation 5.x
Person of Interest 2.x


Person of Interest 2.x (Blu-ray)
Power Rangers Megaforce: Ultimate Team Power
Regular Show Vol. 4
Revolution 1.x


Revolution 1.x (Blu-ray)
Route 66 1.x
Scandal 2.x
The Shield: The Complete Series
Sinbad 1.x
Sinbad 1.x (Blu-ray)
Spartacus 3.x


Spartacus 3.x (Blu-ray)
Tom and Jerry's Halloween Hi-jinks
Touch of Frost: The Complete Series
The Vampire Diaries 4.x


The Vampire Diaries 4.x (Blu-ray)

September 10


Army Wives 7.x
The Big Bang Theory 6.x


The Big Bang Theory 6.x (Blu-ray)
Blue Bloods 3.x
Castle 5.x
Chicago Fire 1.x
Homeland 2.x


Homeland 2.x (Blu-ray)


Hullabaloo: Best Of Vol. 1
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia 8.x


It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia 8.x (Blu-ray)
The League 4.x


The League 4.x (Blu-ray)
Luther 3.x
Mama's Family 2.x
The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis 1.x
Parade's End: The Complete Miniseries


Parade's End: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Run for Your Rife


Star Trek: Origins (Blu-ray)
Supernatural 8.x


Supernatural 8.x (Blu-ray)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper: Myth Conceptions NEW!!


Tales From The Cryptkeeper: Transylvania Express NEW!!
VR Troopers 2.x Vol. 2

September 17
Adventure Time Vol. 5
Annoying Orange Vol. 3
Arrow 1.x


Arrow 1.x (Blu-ray)
Bates Motel 1.x


Bates Motel 1.x (Blu-ray)
CSI 13.x
Dalziel & Pascoe 8.x
Doctor Who: Ice Warriors
Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Glee 4.x


Glee 4.x (Blu-ray)
Green Acres 3.x
Grimm 2.x


Grimm 2.x (Blu-ray)
Harbor Command: The Complete Series
Heartland 3.x
The Hollow Crown: The Complete Miniseries
Leverage 5.x
The Mentalist 5.x
Nashville 1.x
Sofia the First: Ready to Be a Princess
Top Gear: Worst Car in the History of the World


Vegas: The Complete Series
Waking The Dead 8.x
Wild Things: Creepy Crawlers
Wild Things: Deadliest Critters

September 24


American Dad Volume 8
American Horror Story 2.x


American Horror Story 2.x (Blu-ray)


DC Super Villains: Superman: Worlds at War
Doctor Who 7.x


Doctor Who 7.x (Blu-ray)


Family Guy Vol. 11
Foyle's War Vol. 7
Gene Simmons Family Jewels 7.x
Hannibal 1.x


Hannibal 1.x (Blu-ray)
Hawaii Five-0 3.x


Hawaii Five-0 3.x (Blu-ray)


In The Flesh 1.x
Law & Order SVU 14.x
Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers
Modern Family 4.x


Modern Family 4.x (Blu-ray)


The Neighbors 1.x
New Tricks 1.x-5.x
Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Ruh-Roh Robot
South Park 16.x


South Park 16.x (Blu-ray)


2 Broke Girls 2.x


Two and a Half Men 10.x

October 1


Awkward 1.x/2.x


Beauty and the Beast 1.x
Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular
The Big Bang Theory 1.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!
The Big Bang Theory 2.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving


Doctor Who: Doctors Revisited 5-8


How I Met Your Mother 8.x NEW!!
Littlest Pet Shop: Pet-acular Escapades
Magnum PI: The Complete Series


Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Series NEW!!


New Girl 2.x


Phineas & Ferb: Mission Marvel


The Six Million Dollar Man 4.x
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 3
Tom & Jerry's Winter Wackiness
Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising


Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising (Blu-ray)

October 8
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series
Adventure Time Vol. 3


Avengers Assemble: Assembly Required


The Avengers: The Complete Emma Peel Megaset
Bones 8.x


Bones 8.x (Blu-ray)


Centennial: The Complete Series


Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons
Inspector Gadget 1.x
Inspector Gadget 2.x
MacKenzie's Raiders: The Complete Series


The Middle 3.x
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: A Very Minty Christmas


90210 5.x
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish
Psych 7.x NEW!!
Robot Chicken 6.x


Robot Chicken 6.x (Blu-ray)
Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. 1.x
The Secret of Crickley Hall: The Complete Miniseries


Super Friends 6.x
Totally Spies 2.x
White Collar 4.x

October 15


Anger Management: Episodes 11-32 NEW!!


Anger Management: Episodes 11-32 (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Bewitched: The Complete Series
Defiance 1.x


Defiance 1.x (Blu-ray)
Gentle Ben 1.x
Hart of Dixie 2.x
The Honeymooners: The Classic 39 Episodes (Blu-ray)
I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series
The IT Crowd: The Complete Series
It's A Spongebob Squarepants Christmas (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 2000
The New Three Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection
The Partridge Family: The Complete Series
Rocko's Modern Life 4.x
Smurftastic Journey


Star Wars: The Clone Wars 5.x NEW!!


Star Wars: The Clone Wars 5.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!


Star Wars: The Clone Wars 1.x-5.x NEW!!


Star Wars: The Clone Wars 1.x-5.x (Blu-ray) NEW!!
Vikings 1.x


Vikings 1.x (Blu-ray)

October 22


Kindred The Embraced: The Complete Series
Nikita 3.x


Nikita 3.x (Blu-ray)
Transformers Rescue Bots Vol. 3

October 29
Damages: The Complete Series


Family Tree 1.x
Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas

November 5
Ben 10 Omniverse Vol. 3
Dexter 8.x


Dexter 8.x (Blu-ray)
Dexter: Complete Series


Dexter: Complete Series (Blu-ray)


Dexter: Complete Series Gift Set (Blu-ray)
Magical Smurf Adventure 2

November 12
Silk 1.x NEW!!

November 19
Lost Girl 3.x
Lost Girl 3.x (Blu-ray)

December 10
The Following 1.x
The Following 1.x (Blu-ray)

January 7
Copper 2.x
Copper 2.x (Blu-ray)

February 18


Game Of Thrones 3.x
Game Of Thrones 3.x (Blu-ray)

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Blu At Last Aug. 27!!


$9.99 Blu!!