Hello, my name is Ms. Anthrope, and I’m a DVD-aholic. But I’m not addicted to just any ol’ DVD — sci-fi shows with kick-ass female leads are my crack. (You know you have a problem when you already own each individual season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and still couldn’t resist buying the pricey complete-series box set.) I’ve been clean since Christmas when I did some major Battlestar Galactica damage, but I’m about to fall off the wagon — big time. The reason for the relapse? Too many DVDs featuring supernaturally hot TV chicks are hitting shelves this summer! Take a peek at these upcoming cult favorites.
Birds of Prey: The Complete Series
A Plot Refresher: Based on the DC comic, the show centers on three crime-fighting superheroes who are — get this — all women. Even the main villain (Mia Sara) is female! (Uh, why didn’t this show last longer than a season? I blame the totally dull Dinah character; she’s way more culpable than, say, the lowly network.)
Anyway, the biggest bad-ass of the trio is Huntress, the lovechild of Batman and Catwoman. But more importantly, she’s played by a brooding, raven-haired Ashley Scott (think Angelina Jolie’s character from Foxfire, only with superpowers). Her mentor in lesbian subtext is the former Batgirl, who’s now known as the wheelchair-bound Oracle (Dina Meyer).
The DVD Lowdown:
BOP fans have been pushing for the release of the complete series ever since it was canceled way back in 2002. While the wait is finally over, don’t get your hopes up for a big production: The penny-pinching studio didn’t even bother to buy the rights to the original theme song. They did manage, however, to include all 13 episodes and two bonus features. The first one is the complete web series of Gotham Girls, which is probably great if you’re into animation (I’m not). But I did like watching the un-aired pilot extra, mainly because it’s interesting to see how Sherilyn Fenn played the recast role of Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
Witchblade: The Complete Series
Release Date: July 29
A Plot Refresher:
Sara’s a no-nonsense NYC homicide detective who’s focused on the here-and-now — well, until she discovers the Witchblade, a mystical weapon that’s been wielded by women (everyone from Joan of Arc to Sara’s grandmother) through the ages. I wish I could say I got into the show because it was inspired by a cool comic book or it had a good mix of mythology and episodic action. Not true — I’m just a sucker for anything that has Yancy Butler walking through a wall of flames with a sword attached to her arm.
The DVD Lowdown:
Not only does it include both seasons, but the set also comes with the TNT original movie that kicked the whole thing off and three behind-the-scenes features. If you’re a Witchblade purist, you’ll probably want to stick with the comics and the anime series. For everyone else who just likes a good sci-fi or cop show, the 23-plus episodes are worth the chunk of change.
Tru Calling: The Complete Series
Release Date: August 12
A Plot Refresher:
Tru Calling reminds me of Ghost Whisperer, except it has an edge — and Eliza Dushku. Instead of helping spirits cross over like in the aforementioned show, Tru has to relive the day to prevent the death from occurring in the first place. Here’s how it works: A body is brought into the morgue where she’s an intern and sometimes it will sit up and ask for help (yeah, it’s as creepy as it sounds). If that happens, she immediately wakes up the same morning and has to track down the soon-to-be-deceased person before it’s too late. The series was uneven at times, but it was starting to cover new ground in the second season (similar to Joan of Arcadia and Dark Angel) when it got the ax.
The DVD Lowdown:
If you already own the first and second seasons, don’t waste your money. Fox is basically repackaging the same extras from those DVDs here — no doubt to capitalize on all the hype Eliza will get for Dollhouse over the next couple months. But if you’re new to the series, this box set has everything you need to get caught up, including a decent amount of deleted scenes, commentaries, documentaries, and Easter Eggs.
More Supernatural Summer Releases
The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete First Season (August 19)
I haven’t been able to get my hands on this little pretty yet, but it’s going to have more bonus features than the above three combined, which I’m hoping is a sign of Fox’s ongoing commitment to the show. Then again, the network was behind Tru Calling and look what happened to that show in the second season. I’m just saying!
The X-Files: Revelations (out now)
I don’t know what’s more impressive about Scully: The fact that she survived cancer and an alien abduction, or that she ushered in the dyke hairdo equivalent of “The Rachel.” Read Malinda Lo’s full review.
Heroes: Season 2 (August 26)
Granted, the show was off its game this year, but it did do one thing right: It brought in Veronica Mars cutie Kristen Bell as the electric Elle. Bonus: The DVDs contain an alternate ending and story lines dropped due to the strike.
Gossip Girl: The Complete First Season (August 19)
OK, so technically this isn’t a sci-fi show — unless you count the supernatural chemistry between Blair and Serena. And that’s got to rank way up there with more traditional powers, like the ability to fly or talk to the dead, right?
Now that you know all about my DVD habit, it’s time for you to ‘fess up: Which TV-on-DVD releases are you going to run out and buy?