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Chris Hicks: Both seasons of bizarre 'Twin Peaks' on DVD

Vintage Spike Jones set is also among the new releases

Comic band leader Spike Jones in one of his trademark plaid suits.
Comic band leader Spike Jones in one of his trademark plaid suits.
Deseret Morning News archives

The entire "Twin Peaks" series in one set, a collection of vintage Spike Jones shows and Claire Danes' first starring role lead off this look at new DVDs, due in stores on Tuesday.

TV series

"Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition" (CBS/Paramount, 1990-91, 10 discs, $108.99). When the second season of this cult favorite finally came out last April, it pleased fans who had the two-hour pilot and the first eight episodes, which had been released separately on DVD some years before. But those sets had long been out of print, and the second season alone was merely frustrating.

Here's a box set to solve that problem, with all 29 episodes, loads of bonus features — and even the classic "Twin Peaks" spoof from "Saturday Night Live" (along with Kyle MacLachlan's opening monologue as host of that show).

"Twin Peaks" is the ultimate in bizarre prime-time network television — yes, even more bizarre than "Desperate Housewives." Murder, apparitions, a dancing dwarf, scads of in-jokes, "damn fine coffee" and that unforgettable cherry pie are all part of FBI agent Dale Cooper's quest to solve the murder of Laura Palmer.

Of course, the show still ends with a cliffhanging final episode, thanks to ABC's too-early cancellation.

Extras: Full frame, 29 episodes, Log Lady introductions, featurettes, "Saturday Night Live" spoofs, interactive map, music video, faux commercials, photo galleries, TV ad spots

"Spike Jones: The Legend" (Infinity, 1951-52, b/w, four discs, $49.98). Spike Jones was the wackiest comic band leader ever, rising to stardom during World War II and still making us laugh through the early 1960s. Wearing his trademark plaid suits, Jones played percussion on anything he could reach with his sticks (except a drum), and his talented musicians (the City Slickers) were also talented comics. This collection is a must-have for fans.

Extras: Full frame, two episodes of "Colgate Comedy Hour," two episodes of "All Star Revue," audio commentaries, "Person to Person" episode (1960), excerpt from "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1961), featurettes; audio disc: two pilots for NBC radio shows (1945)

"My So-Called Life" (Shout! 1994-95, six discs, $69.99). As 15-year-old Angela Chase, Claire Danes' embodiment of a high school sophomore in the mid-1990s laid the groundwork for many shows to follow, including "The Gilmore Girls" and "Dawson's Creek." Sadly it lasted only 19 episodes, but they're all here, with tributes from many people who were involved — including Danes.

Extras: Full frame, 19 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, photo gallery; 40-page book

"Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season" (Touchstone, 2006-07, three discs, $39.99). This off-the-wall sitcom with Zach Braff and company continues its lampooning of medical shows and pop culture.

Extras: Full frame, 22 episodes, deleted/alternate scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes

"The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard" (Acorn, 2007, two discs, $39.99). Jane Horrocks is a middle-class wife and mother who runs for Parliament and eventually becomes prime minister in this whimsical comedy-drama. Horrocks is great.

Extras: Widescreen, six episodes

"October Road: The Complete First Season" (Touchstone, 2007, two discs, $29.99). A writer who returns to his hometown is less than welcome by those he used as thinly disguised characters in his first best-selling novel.

Extras: Widescreen, six episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers, trailers

"Tales From the Crypt" (Warner, 1996, three discs, $39.98). More R-rated horror yarns. Guest stars include Elizabeth McGovern, Ewan McGregor and Daniel Craig (who is now James Bond).

Extras: Full frame, 13 episodes

"Miami Ink" (Genius/TLC, 2007, five discs, $34.95). Cable show about tattoo artists who are reunited in South Beach.

Extras: Full frame, 21 episodes

Concerts

"Maurice Jarre: A Tribute to David Lean" (Milan, 2007, two discs, $19.97). The French composer honors the filmmaker whose work he helped make immortal: "Lawrence of Arabia," "Dr. Zhivago," "Ryan's Daughter" and "A Passage to India." The live concert is enhanced by film clips and shots of Lean and Jarre at work. The second disc is an audio CD.

Extras: Full frame, audio commentary (in French with English subtitles), featurette, text discography/biographies/filmographies

Documentaries

"Cities of the Underworld: The Complete Season One" (History, 2006-07, four discs, $44.95). Ever wonder if there really are architectural landscapes beneath us? This series explores areas where such catacombs exist — Rome, Germany, Scotland, London, etc.

Extras: Widescreen, pilot episode: "Istanbul," featurette

"Married in America 2" (Docudrama, 2006, $26.95). Michael Apted ("49 Up") returns to nine couples he interviewed when they were on the verge of marriage five years earlier. Another enlightening and entertaining social experiment from the prolific filmmaker.

Extras: Widescreen, featurette, casting sessions, photo gallery, text biography, trailer

"No End in Sight" (Magnolia, 2007, $26.98). An examination of some of the problems that have bogged down the war in Iraq.

Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes, featurettes

"The Devil Came on Horseback" (Docurama, 2007, $26.95). A look at the barbaric genocide that has continued in Darfur.

Extras: Widescreen, short film: "Supporting Survivors," featurette

"Monarchy, With David Starkey: Set 2" (Acorn, 2007, two discs, $39.99). Epic overview of hundreds of years of monarchy in the United Kingdom.

Extras: Widescreen, five episodes

"Sherman's March" (History Channel, 2007, $24.95). Re-creations are used to tell the story of the infamous burning of Atlanta during the Civil War.

Extras: Widescreen, featurette, documentary: "Sherman's Total War Tactics"

"Barry Cooper's Never Get Busted Again, Vol. 1: Traffic Stops" (Disinformation, 2007, two discs, $24.98). If you're a pot smoker, here's now to avoid the law. Maybe.

Extras: Full, featurettes

Kids shows

"The Adventures of Aquaman: The Complete Collection" (DC/Warner, 1968, 36 cartoons, two discs, $26.98)

"The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians" (Warner, 1986, 10 episodes, two discs, $26.98)

"Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 3: Fire, Volume 1" (Nick/Paramount, 2007, $16.99)

"Knuffle Bunny ... and more great childhood adventure stories" (Scholastic, 2007, six stories, $14.95)

"Baby Einstein: Lullaby Time: Soothing Sounds for Baby" (Disney, 2007, $19.99)


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com