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Along with a few big movie releases, one Academy Award winner included, this week is a big week for TV Blu-rays and DVDs. From some old classics to some new favorites, this edition of This Week in Home Entertainment offers some of mom and dad’s cable favorites and even a few subscription cable offerings. Read on to learn about some of this week’s best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar. If you’re keeping an eye out for our review of Lincoln, you’ll be able to find it later this week.

Veep Box Art
Veep: The Complete First Season
Originally conceived as an American spinoff of the BBC series The Thick of It, HBO’s Veep is a comedy about quick-witted, overly selfish individuals who work in Washington D.C. as part of the Vice President’s entourage. The team is led by the smart but neurotic Vice President, Selena Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and also stars My Girl’s Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Tony Hale, Timothy Simons, and Reid Scott.

Season 1 of the series opens with a pilot directed by Christopher Guest that introduces us to the world of the Veep. It becomes apparent rather quickly that Selena and her team spend their days bidding for power grabs and generally getting themselves into and out of sticky situations with the press. The day-to-day work is never monotonous but is often tedious; however, if you’re watching for the insight into the VP’s political life, this probably isn’t the best show to indulge in. Always witty and unabashedly full of f-bombs and off-color insults, Veep still manages to create episodes that are both tongue-in-cheek and deep enough to carry an emotional punch.

The picture looks great on Blu-ray and comes with a mini insert offering DVD and digital copies. Since HBO’s sets run kind of expensively, I will say that the Blu-ray picture is nice, but isn’t necessary for a comedy that follows around an entourage and, by nature, doesn't offer the best camera work. If you want to own a copy, you should be just as well off nabbing a DVD.

Fans can order Veep: The Complete First Season over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: If you are a huge fan of the show, there are actually 12 audio commentaries available with the set and in each of the audio commentaries a ton of the cast and crew are around to amuse one other and laugh at some of the more ridiculous moments, etc.. If you want to feel like one of the gang, these are great, but if you just want to laugh a little more than you probably did while watching the episodes, the deleted scenes and outtakes are pretty awesome.

The menu is a bit of a mess, honestly, but because deleted scenes and audio commentaries are available on the page leading into individual episodes, fans will be able to watch them in a huge chunk available in the “features” section or individually along with each episode. If you’re a fan of extra content like this, these deleted scenes in particular offer some inspiring comedy that was likely cut in the interest of time.

Other Special Features:
“The Making of Veep
Veep: Misspoke”
Veep: Obesity”
12 Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew
Borgias Season 2 Art
The Borgias: The Second Season
Coming into Showtime’s popular series The Borgias for the first time in its second season, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to jump right into the drama or if it would take some work to understand the characters and the various plotlines in the ensemble tale. Neil Jordan’s historical fiction narrative, about the Borgia family and the papacy in the late 15th Century, spends plenty of time dissecting elements of the past, from sumptuous clothing to detailed dialogue. However, despite there only being 9 episodes in the show's first season, Showtime seems to be aware of the various complications in The Borgias’ plotlines and offers fans a lengthy preview prior to the first episode of the Season 2 set.

As Pope Alexander VI, Jeremy Irons is a brilliantly drawn character. The man's a calculating member of the clergy who constantly breaks the rules and spends a lot of time protecting his person as well as his family, although he has a fondness for other women. Even if you didn’t catch his anti-hero character or the slew of storylines running parallel during Season 1, the first episode introduces all of the key players and their relationships, as well as sets up a slow narrative that gracefully draws audiences in for all of The Borgias’ sophomore season. Avid fans have mentioned the pacing being a little off in this narrative, but the pace gains momentum as Season 2 continues and by the end, I was so sucked in, if there’s was an oddness to the flow, I didn’t notice it at all.

You can order The Borgias: The Second Season over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: All of the bonus features available with The Borgias: The Second Season set are available via BD-Live only, which can be frustrating if your BD-Live access is as spotty as mine. The set does offer a few extras related to the series, but I actually really appreciated Showtime’s cross-marketing move a little more. Hoping to gain fans, the network makes available the first two episodes from Season 1 of House of Lies and Season 5 of Californications. It’s only enough of a sneak peak to really get a sampling of both shows, but even an episode is enough to know whether Californications or House of Lies is up a viewer's alley and worth continuing in the future. However, if you are already a faithful Showtime subscriber, there are a couple of other extras available with the set that are worth a watch.

Other Special Features:
“World of Borgias”
“Sho Original Interviews and Behind the Scenes”
Parental Guidance Art
Other March 26 Releases
Some big name actors and actresses are involved in this week’s theatrical releases. Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini populate the world in Killing Them Softly and Billy Crystal and Bette Midler ham it up in Parental Guidance, not to mention the huge cast supporting Steven Spielberg’s big Lincoln Blu-ray release. Take a look at some more of this week’s releases, below.

Lincoln
Parental Guidance
To the Arctic
Star Trek –Enterprise: Season One
Continuum: Season One
Killing Them Softly
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXVI
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries 1
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