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‘Bones’ TV series is on DVD, along with some vintage reunion movies

POSTED: June 15, 2017 11:19 a.m.
Chris Hicks/

Don Knotts, left, and Andy Griffith star in the reunion TV movie "Return to Mayberry" (1986), now on DVD.

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Fans of “Bones” will be happy to see the entire series made available this week, and reunion movies of “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Wild Wild West” are also on DVD.

“Bones: The Flesh & Bones Collection” (Fox, 2005-17, 67 discs, 246 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Loosely based on real-life forensic anthropologist and crime novelist Kathy Reichs, and adapted from her book series, this police procedural has Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) teamed with FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to solve offbeat crimes.

Early on, they dance around their attraction to each other but eventually succumb to romance and marry late in the series. This is one of the better shows of this type, bolstered by a knowing sense of humor. And one of the more interesting occasional subplots has the religious Booth debating the skeptical Brennan. The “Flesh & Bones” title is a cutesy way of saying this is the complete TV series, released in a 12-season box set for the first time; for those who’ve been buying single-season sets, the 12th season is also available separately.

“Return to Mayberry” (CBS/Paramount, 1986). Sixteen cast members of “The Andy Griffith Show” (1960-68) and its sequel “Mayberry R.F.D.” (1968-71) reunite for this delightful, nostalgic TV-movie reunion. After years away, Andy Taylor (Griffith) returns to Mayberry to be with his son Opie (Ron Howard) as he is about to become a father. He also plans to run for sheriff again until he discovers that his former deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) is on the ballot.

“The Wild Wild West Double Feature” (CBS/Paramount, 1979/1980, promo spot). For four seasons (1965-69) Robert Conrad and Ross Martin starred in “Wild Wild West,” a sort of James Bond of the frontier spy series with sci-fi overtones and a sense of humor. Conrad was tough guy/womanizer James West and Martin was Artemus Gordon, a master of disguise and dialects. A decade after the show was canceled, the actors came together for two reunion TV-movies, “The Wild Wild West Revisited” and “More Wild Wild West,” going up against villains Paul Williams and Jonathan Winters, respectively.

“Stephen King’s Triple Feature” (CBS/Paramount, 1994/1995/1991, five discs, 7 episodes). Three ’90s TV miniseries are gathered in this reissued set, “The Stand” (four parts), “The Langoliers” (two parts edited as a three-hour feature) and “Golden Years” (edited down from seven parts to a pair of two-hour episodes). “The Stand,” based on King’s mammoth dystopian tale, is the best of these — a big-budget production with an all-star cast (Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald), and it was filmed in Utah. King has cameos in all three shows.

“Hee Haw: Pfft! You Was Gone” (Time Life, 1969-73, two discs, four episodes, featurette). Fan-favorite skits included in this edition of the cornpone comedy-and-music series include “Hey Grandpa, What’s for Supper?” and “Archie’s Barbershop,” along with the title routine. Roy Clark, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones and many others are on hand, along with musical guests Merle Haggard, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Marty Robbins and Tammy Wynette.

“The Young Pope” (HBO, 2016, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). Jude Law stars as the fictional title character, the first American pope, who takes the name Pius XIII and proves to be both a deeply flawed and extremely controversial choice. Diane Keaton co-stars as the nun who raised him, and becomes the pope’s secretary. And yes, there’s some of HBO’s patented offensive content here, so beware. (Though initially intended as a miniseries, the show has been renewed for a second season.)

“Wentworth: Season 3” (Acorn, 2015, four discs, 12 episodes, featurettes, photo gallery). Bea (Danielle Cormack) earns a life sentence without parole and becomes the prison’s top dog, which causes Franky (Nicole da Silva) to become even more vulnerable. The title refers to a fictional women’s prison, the setting for this brutal Australian drama, which is naturally compared to “Orange Is the New Black.” It contains violence, strong language, sex, nudity and drugs. (The fourth season aired in Australia last year and the fifth season is now showing there.)

“The Vampire Diaries: The Eighth and Final Season” (Warner, 2016-17, three discs, 16 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes). This plot-heavy supernatural, soap opera, bloodsucker series, based on the young adult books by L.J. Smith, wraps up with one of those try-to-guess-who-will-live-and-who-will-die finales. Fans seem to be onboard. (A complete series set is also available.)
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