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Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry

The Blu-ray second season of “The Walking Dead,” $62.99 last year and $34.96 last month, just plummeted to its lowest price ever: $22.76!!

Tarantino/Rodriguez’ “Grindhouse” Blu-ray, $34.99 in 2010 and $20.78 last week, just plummeted to $13.49!!

The complete-series set for “The Addams Family,” $69.98 last year and $49.42 in July, just plummeted to $23.99!!

The complete-series “Thriller” set, $121.49 in 2011 and $95.92 in July, just plummeted to $53.99!!

The 10th anniversary edition of “The Office,” $29.99 in May and $29.48 last month, just plummeted to $6.98!! CHEAPER THAN USED!!

The fourth Blu-ray volume of “Masters of Horror” featuring Takashi Miike’s too-disturbing-for-Showtime “Imprint,” $21.49 in 2010 and $19.99 last year, has fallen to $5.29 (74% Off!!)


New This Week

Syfy’s post-apocalyptic pilot “Defiance,” set 35 years in the future, is about a “frontier boomtown” called Defiance built on the rubble of St. Louis -- which, like the rest of Earth, was invaded by extraterrestrials and devastated by a “universal war.”

The series was created by Michael Taylor (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Virtuality,” “Caprica,” “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome”), Rockne S. O’Bannon (“Seaquest,” “Farscape,” “The Triangle,” “V,” “Cult”) and Kevin Murphy (“Desperate Housewives,” “Caprica”).

It stars Mia Kirshner (“24,” “The L Word”), Fionnula Flanagan (“Brotherhood,” “Lost”), Julie Benz (“Angel,” “Dexter”), Graham Greene (“Dances With Wolves,” “Die Hard With A Vengeance”) and Grant Bowler (“Ugly Betty,” “True Blood”).

There’s obviously a lot of talented people working in collaboration, but what emerges feels more like terrible “Firefly” fan fiction than something I’d assign to a DVR.

There are at least a half-dozen sentient alien species now wandering the planet alongside humans. Some look like albinos. Others remind me of the Eric Stoltz character in “Mask.” All look like people in make-up, and they all seem to represent minor variations on various Earth cultures, past and present.

The series, a crime procedural at heart, focuses mostly on the scavenger ex-Marine played by Grant Bowler, who by the end of the two-hour pilot gets himself installed as the town’s new top lawman. The creators try to mask the central character’s blandness by having him spout a lot of wisecracks, but the wisecracks are substandard (even compared to those utilized in “SVU” or “CSI”) and quickly come to grate.

Given Taylor’s involvement, I confess I was expecting him to boster the project’s plotting and dialogue to something approaching “Galactica” levels; instead, “Defiance” seems to have dragged Taylor down onto a plane of diminished sophistication akin to too many other Syfy series. The plot twists are timid things and characters are clichés in facial appliances.

Having seen the first four of “Defiance” I have to say this is so far the least enjoyable thing Taylor’s worked on. He and his collaborators seem to think that transplanting clichés into a sci-fi setting makes them new again. If so, they are mistaken.

I warn you not to defy me!

The New York Times says:

... Everything in “Defiance” feels off-the-shelf, cribbed from the long line of westerns and space westerns that runs from John Ford through “Star Wars” to the more recent and far superior “Firefly.” …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... passably entertaining dramatic series about Earth's dystopian future that makes the best out of familiar plotlines and characters. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... OK but not exceptional … less gritty than Syfy's best series, "Battlestar Galactica," and the characters aren't as well drawn as on the superior "Farscape." …

The Boston Herald says:

... The show’s pacing, particularly in the first hour, could trigger a nap. You might roll your eyes when two characters start yapping about the search for a mysterious key. “Quite the party town you’ve got here,” Nolan cracks at one point. If only.

HuffPost TV says:

... it's admirable that the show wants to dive right in to Defiance's current problems, but more information about the various Votan races and what happened when they arrived wouldn't go amiss. Still, the fact that "Defiance's" opening salvos are so entertaining is cause for relief -- and a certain amount of apprehension. Will it continue to embrace the myriad possibilities of straight-up sci-fi, or will it join the ranks of evasive, half-committed, defanged genre programs? …

Variety says:

... this caters to (young) adults, mashing up sci-fi concepts into a nondescript TV program whose visual effects are infinitely more enterprising than its characters. For all but the subset willing to buy in and participate on multiple levels, think of the “Star Wars” cantina scene stretched into a series, then perhaps think about watching something else. …



TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series
Adventure Time Vol. 3
American Horror Story 2.x
American Horror Story 2.x (Blu-ray)
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
An Evening At The Improv: Best Of
Inspector Gadget 1.x
Inspector Gadget 2.x
Inspector Lewis 1.x-6.x
MacKenzie's Raiders: The Complete Series
The Middle 3.x
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: A Very Minty Christmas
90210 5.x
Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish
Psych 7.x
Robot Chicken 6.x
Robot Chicken 6.x (Blu-ray)
Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. 1.x
The Secret of Crickley Hall: The Complete Miniseries
The Six Million Dollar Man 4.x
Super Friends 6.x
Super Mario World: The Complete Series
Totally Spies 2.x
Totally Spies 1.x-3.x
Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising
Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising (Blu-ray)
White Collar 4.x

This Week

Anger Management: Episodes 11-32

Anger Management: Episodes 11-32 (Blu-ray)
Arrested Development: Three Original Seasons

Beverly Hills Teens Vol. 2

Bewitched: The Complete Series ($38.99)

Brickleberry 1.x

A Day In The Life 1.x/2.x

Defiance 1.x

Defiance 1.x (Blu-ray)

Don't Trust The Bitch: The Complete Series

The Fall 1.x
Gentle Ben 1.x

Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales

Hart of Dixie 2.x

Highway To Heaven 2.x

I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series ($31.99)

In Cold Blood: The Complete Miniseries The IT Crowd: The Complete Series
It's A Spongebob Squarepants Christmas (Blu-ray)

Kung Fu Panda Vol. 2

Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 2000

Monsters Vs. Aliens Vol. 1

The New Three Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection

The Partridge Family: The Complete Series ($31.99)

Raising Hope 3.x

Rocko's Modern Life 4.x

Smurftastic Journey

Space Rangers: Complete Collection

Star Wars: The Clone Wars 5.x

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

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

Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad Vol. 2

Vikings 1.x

Vikings 1.x (Blu-ray)


Next Week

Call The Midwife 1.x/2.x
The Doris Day Show: Best Of
Family Affair: Best Of
Kindred The Embraced: The Complete Series
The Mothers-In-Law: Best Of
Nikita 3.x

Nikita 3.x (Blu-ray)
Primeval The New World: Complete Series
Primeval The New World: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Silk Stalkings 6.x-8.x

The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson - The Vault Series Volume 1 NEW!!
Transformers Rescue Bots Vol. 3
The Young Riders 2.x

October 29

Burning Love 1.x
Cook's Country 6.x

Damages: The Complete Series

DeGrassi: The Next Generation 12.x
Family Tree 1.x
A Heartland Christmas
Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas
Spiral 2.x

November 5
Absolutely Fabulous: The Complete Series Special Edition
Bat Masterson 3.x
Ben 10 Omniverse Vol. 3
Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete Series
Boy Meets World: The Complete Collection
Classic TV Comedy Christmas
Dexter 8.x

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

Dexter: Complete Series (Blu-ray)

Dexter: Complete Series Gift Set (Blu-ray)

Doctor Who 1.x-7.x Gift Set (Blu-ray)
Duck Dynasty: I'm Dreaming Of A Redneck Christmas
Family Ties: The Complete Series

Ice Road Truckers 7.x
I Love Lucy: Colorized Christmas
Keeping Up Appearances: Collector's Edition
Law & Order 13.x
Mad Men 6.x

Mad Men 6.x (Blu-ray)
Magical Smurf Adventure 2

Naked City: The Complete Series
Perry Como's Christmas Show

Robotech: The Complete Set
Saved By The Bell: The Complete Collection

Seinfeld: The Complete Series ($134.99)
Under The Dome 1.x

Under The Dome 1.x (Blu-ray)

Under The Dome 1.x Limited Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)

Weeds: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)

November 12
The Carol Burnett Show: Christmas with Carol
Combat: The Complete Series
Dance Moms: Best Of
Grizzly Adams: The Capture Of
Mad TV 4.x
Merlin: The Complete Series Gift Set
The Paradise 1.x

The Paradise 1.x (Blu-ray)
Power Rangers 8.x-12.x
Power Rangers Zeo Vol. 1
Sesame Street: Best Of
Silk 1.x
Stan Lee's Superhumans 2.x

Super Friends 4.x

November 19

Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet
Here's Edie
Lost Girl 3.x

Lost Girl 3.x (Blu-ray)
Peter Gunn 3.x

Star Trek The Next Generation 5.x (Blu-ray)

Star Trek The Next Generation: Unification (Blu-ray)
Touched By An Angel 9.x
Treme 3.x

Treme 3.x (Blu-ray)

Twilight Zone: The Complete Series (No Extras)

November 26
Breaking Bad: The Final Season

Breaking Bad: The Final Season (Blu-ray)

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (Blu-Ray)
Impractical Jokers 1.x
Murdoch Mysteries 6.x

Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXVIII: 25th Anniversary Edition

December 3

Angry Birds Toons Vol. 1 NEW!!

Angry Birds Toons Vol. 1 (Blu-ray) NEW!!

Doctor Who: Doctors Revisited - Ninth to Eleventh
Duck Dynasty 1.x-3.x

Duck Dynasty 1.x-3.x (Blu-ray)
Hawaii Five-0: The Complete Series
Hot In Cleveland 4.x
Lilyhammer 1.x

Lilyhammer 1.x (Blu-ray)

Mary Hartman Mary Hartman: The Complete Series
Transformers Prime 3.x

The Simpsons 16.x

The Simpsons 16.x (Blu-ray)

Teen Wolf 3.x Vol. 1
Transformers Prime 3.x (Blu-ray)

December 10
Ancient Aliens: Best Of
Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray)

Futurama Vol. 8

Futurama: The Complete Series
The Game 6.x
The Gene Autry Show: The Complete Series

The Universe: Best Of

December 17

Burn Notice 7.x

Burn Notice: The Complete Series

Psych: The Musical NEW!!
Shameless 3.x

December 31
Californication 6.x

House of Lies 2.x NEW!!

January 7

Barney Miller 4.x
Copper 2.x
Copper 2.x (Blu-ray)
The Following 1.x

The Following 1.x (Blu-ray)
Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Love of Snack

January 14
Hazel 5.x NEW!!
The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis 2.x

January 21

Bullet In The Face: The Complete Series NEW!!
NYPD Blue 5.x
Peanuts: Touchdown Charlie Brown

January 28
Danny Phantom: The Complete Series
Downton Abbey 4.x

Downton Abbey 4.x (Blu-ray)

Pinky, Elmyra & The Brain: The Complete Series

February 18
Game Of Thrones 3.x

Game Of Thrones 3.x (Blu-ray)

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

March 18
The Honeymooners: The Classic 39 Episodes (Blu-ray)

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