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A&E >  Entertainment

Classic TV comedy makes good viewing

Rick Bentley Tribune News Service

DVD sets featuring a full year or the entire run of a TV series can be entertaining. Here’s a couple that do work and one that is so-so.

• “Married With Children: The Complete Series” • • • 1/2 : The Fox Network owes its existence to this irreverent comedy that launched in 1987. The sitcom and “The Tracey Ullman Show” were the first primetime programs for the network.

“Married” was such a wild show, it spawned numerous protests. Instead of getting the show run off the air, more viewers came to see what was causing all of the commotion. What they found was a family very different than any on TV. Dad (Ed O’Neill) had no good advice, and mom (Katey Sagal) was not a perfect housekeeper.

The show’s comedy was raw (especially for the time) and very funny. It should be in your collection as both a good TV series and for its historical value.

• “Archie Bunker’s Place: Season 1” • • : “All in the Family” was a groundbreaking series in how it found comedy in some very sensitive areas. The spin-off series lost a lot of the edge and eventually just became a place for Carroll O’Connor to keep playing the title character.

It lasted four seasons. But despite a solid fan base from the original show, the series never came close to matching the brilliance of “All in the Family.”

• “Playing House: Season 1” • • • : The cable comedy works because of the two stars: Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair.

Parham plays the more stable of the two best friends, on the verge of having her first baby. St. Clair is the jet-setting business wiz who is on the verge of her first martini of the day.

The series tells the story of childhood best friends who end up living together to raise Maggie’s baby. The decision initially is tough on Emma, who leaves the international corporate world to move back to the hometown filled with all her secrets.

It’s a fun show about parenthood and strong women.

Also new on DVD

“House of Cards; Season 3”: Kevin Spacey stars in the 13-part political cable series.

“Masterpiece: Poldark”: Remake of the classic “Masterpiece” series that stars Aidan Turner.

“Monster High: City of Frights”: Clawdeen Wolf gets to apprentice with a legendary fashion designer.

“No Way Jose”: Adam Goldberg stars in this comedy about the life of a struggling musician.

“Barney Miller: The Final Season”: Eighth and final season of the comedy set in a New York police precinct.

“Irresistible Force”: Stacy Keach and Cynthia Rothrock star.

“The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 1”: Detective series filmed and set in New Zealand.

“Alien Outpost”: Story of the aftermath of the first Earth War.

“’71”: Young British soldier gets caught behind enemy lines in Northern Ireland.

“The Road Within”: Two friends go on a road trip to spread ashes.

“Absolution”: Steven Seagal plays a contract killer who helps a girl running from a mob boss.

“Awaken”: Group of young people wake up on a deserted island. Daryl Hannah stars.

“Yu-Gi-Oh Gx: Season 2”: includes 52 episodes of the anime series.

“The Town That Dreaded Sundown”: Killings begin in Texarkana, 65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the town.

“Maggie”: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the post-apocalyptic story.

“Touched by an Angel: Amazing Grace”: Monica is temporarily blinded during an assignment.

“The Drop Box”: Documentary about the value of a single child’s life.

“First Peoples”: The five-part program is a global detective story.

“A Death of Innocence”: Made-for-television movie starring Shelley Winters.

“Fight of the Living Dead”: Eight YouTube stars try to survive a zombie apocalypse.

“Belle and Sebastian”: Young boy and his dog face the Nazis.

“Slow West”: Teen goes in search of his fugitive girlfriend and her father. Michael Fassbender stars.

“Kill Me Three Times”: Crime thriller starring Simon Pegg .

“Clarence Darrow”: Film version of Henry Fonda’s one-page Broadway play.

“Bitten”: Elena Michaels (Laura Vandervoort) struggles with being the only female werewolf.

“Tooken”: Comedy based on the film “Taken.” Reno Wilson stars.

“Witches of East End: The Complete Season 2”: Beauchamps must find and destroy an evil presence.

“5 Flights Up”: Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton star in this tale of love, life and real estate.

“Underdog Kids”: MMA champion returns to his old neighborhood to help martial arts students.

“Nickelodeon Bunch of Play Dates”: Includes seven hours of educational and musical material.

“The Pact 2”: Woman believes a dead killer is after her.

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