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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Drama > TV > Comedy > Sitcom > Science > Family > Police > Drugs > Narcotics > Wa > Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season (2016 - 2017/DC Comics)/Big Bang Theory: The Complete Tenth Season (2016 - 2017)/Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season (2016/all Warner Blu-ray Sets)/Narcos: Season

Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season (2016 - 2017/DC Comics)/Big Bang Theory: The Complete Tenth Season (2016 - 2017)/Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season (2016/all Warner Blu-ray Sets)/Narcos: Season Two (2016 - 2017/Netflix/Gaumont/Lionsgate Blu-ray Set)

Picture: B+/B/B+/B Sound: B+/B-/B+/B Extras: B/C+/C+/C+ Episodes: C+/C+/C/B-

Here's the latest releases of key TV series, including three big hits and a newcomer that is somewhat familiar....

Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season (2016 - 2017)

The DC TV Universe is a separate entity from the DC Cinematic Universe (where Ben Affleck's Batman dwells). In the TV-verse, Stephen Amell's Arrow is the heavy-hitter, whose success spawned other TV-verse shows The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow in which Episode 8 is this season even has a crossover episode. Now here in its Fifth Season, the moment hasn't slowed down yet the show's creators still seem to be secretly wishing they were making a Batman show instead (with the Green Arrow character acting a little too similar at times).

Arrow has a huge cast including Katie Cassidy (Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 redux), David Ramsey (Dexter), Willa Holland (The O.C.), Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn), Echo Kellum (Sean Saves The World), with Josh Segarra (Sirens, Chicago P.D.) and Paul Blackthorne (The River).

Still coping with the death of his dear Laurel (Cassidy), Mayor Oliver Queen (Amell) is living both a political life and one as a vigilante simultaneously. Encouraged by Felicity (Rickards) to find a new team of super friends after Diggle (David Ramsey) rejoins the Army and Thea (Holland) steps out of the Crime Fighting profession, she in turn is left running the Mayor's Office alone as Oliver is targeted by the evil Prometheus. She appoints Quentin (Blackthorne) deputy mayor as Oliver assembles a new team which includes Rene "Wild Dog" Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez), Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin), Rory "Ragman" Regan (Joe Dinicol) and Curtis (Echo Kellum). The new team struggles with trust issues and rookie mistakes, but with a final addition of Tina Boland (Juliana Harkavy) they find equal ground. Can this odd team of vigilantes defeat Prometheus before its too late?

Episodes include Legacy, The Recruits, A Matter of Trust, Penance, Human Target, So It Begins, Vigilante, Invasion!, What We Leave Behind, Who Are You?, Second Chances, Bratva, Spectre of the Gun, The Sin-Eater, Fighting Fire with Fire, Checkmate, Kapiushon, Disbanded, Dangerous Liaisons, Underneath, Honor Thy Fathers, Missing, and Lean Yu.

As the series continues to trudge along, it seems like more and more character's are joining 'Team Arrow', with some characters that sometimes even death can't keep down. But hey, it's a comic book show, right? The production value is strong, with impressive visual effects and costume design, but the formula tends to be at times predictable and the dialogue at times a little hammy.

Special Features...

Arrow: 2016 Comic-Con Panel

The New Team Arrow

Allied: The Invasion Complex (Arrow)

Returning to the Roots of Arrow: Prometheus

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

and Digital UV Copy

If you're a diehard fan of the show, or just want to binge it in high definition, then this set is definitely worth picking up. As with previous seasons (reviewed elsewhere on this site), there's plenty of supplemental material and a pleasing HD visual presentation to make it worth a purchase.

Big Bang Theory: The Complete Tenth Season (2016 - 2017)

Remarkably still the top sitcom on all of HDTV or nearly so, Big Bang Theory has now with us for over a decade, is now an insane money machine, and yet, many of its diehard fans are with it. I was one of those in the beginning and even like the addition of just about every new character and the actor cast. With the Young Sheldon spin-off ready to go, it is no coincidence that the show is introducing several more family characters to expand the extended family trend that began as the guys found women in their lives. With the show's credibility and budget they're landing more top acting talent for all this.

So outside of introducing new family that is well thought out on the part of the writers, what's the point of the show continuing as it goes into very slow decline? A surprise development that the core cast has hit an interesting, comfortable stride this time around actually not witnessed in previous seasons despite all their remarkable chemistry. Sure, the laughs are more canned than ever and jokes more miss than hit, but what I saw this time round rarely happens with any show, though if it was going to happen at this point with any series today, it would be this one. That is no surprise.

At this point, we seem to have two seasons to go after this one (the equity in contract negotiations to see female cast members made as much as their male counterparts is landmark in itself) and by then, they'll have covered everything they could possibly do for all fans. Guess this is the beginning of their long goodbye and they seem to know it.

Extras this time around include...

#Just Ask BBT 2.0

The Ever-Expanding Universe of The Big Bang Theory

Mad Props

Who's the Baby Now

2016 Comic Con Panel

and another amusing Gag Reel

Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season (2016)

The new Lethal Weapon series is a hammy TV adaptation of the film series in which both of its stars, Damon Wayans (who does what he can with the material) and Clayne Crawford both try to imitate Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. It's so bad that Crawford's performance seems like one big long Mel Gibson impersonation. A procedural crime drama at its core, Lethal Weapon is just another CSI with throwbacks to the original films and predictable action sequences.

The show also stars Jordana Brewster (Fast and the Furious films), Keesha Sharp (Are We There Yet?), Kevin Rahm (Desperate Housewives), Chandler Kinney, Dante Brown (Mr. Robinson), Johnathan Fernandez (Girls) and Michelle Mitchenor (Chi-Raq).

Set in L.A., the show centers around two buddy cops with different personalities but on the job they are a successful team. Riggs (Crawford) is a volatile off the rails former Navy SEAL-turned-detective out of El Paso, Texas who struggles with the tragic deaths of his wife and unborn son (replacing the more volatile Gibson/Vietnam angle). Murtaugh (Wayans), is the opposite - a seasoned family man with money and success who is a by-the-book detective cautiously returning to the LAPD after surviving a heart attack. As this unlikely partnership takes to the streets, these bumbling cops get good at crime busting and doing damage to public property in the process.

18 Episodes make up season one and include the Pilot, Surf N' Turf, Best Buds, There Goes the Neighborhood, Spilt Milk, Ties That Bind, Fashion Police, Can I Get a Witness?, Jingle Bell Glock, Homebodies, Lawmen, Brotherly Love, The Seal is Broken, The Murtaugh File, As Good As It Getz, Unnecessary Roughness, A Problem Like Maria, and Commencement.

Special Features include...

Featurette - Reloading Lethal Weapon

Uncensored - Extended Pilot Episode

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

and Digital Copy

Narcos: Season Two (2016 - 2017)

Finally we have the sophomore season of Narcos, concluding the always-interesting Pablo Escobar storyline, which started off better than most post-Sopranos gangster genre works as discussed in our review of the debut season on Blu-ray here...


The good news is that they have moved away from too many visual 'influences' and cues from Scorsese's GoodFellas (1990), but the show has swapped that for some formula and being stuck in a bit of an unavoidable corner. Fortunately, this is almost as good as the previous season, enough so that a third season is already underway. Cheers to everyone in front of and behind the camera for making this all work and fit as well as it does. Definitely see it after completing the previous season.

On a sad note, as we went to post this coverage a location scout for this show (who also did the same for the recent Bond film SPECTRE) was actually shot to death scouting more places for this show. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Extras this time include an Audio Commentary with Director Andres Baiz, Producer Eric Newman, and Actor Wagner Moura on the concluding episode, ''Unredacted: Declassifying Narcos: Season Two'' featurette and Deleted Scenes.

Now for playback performance.

Season 5 of Arrow has 23 one hour episodes, which are all presented here in 1080p high definition and a widescreen 1.78:1 with a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 track. Looking far better than the original broadcast and free of pesky network watermarks and commercial breaks, this is the best way to see and appreciate the show as it was intended with more visual details than it had on TV. The sound mix is the biggest improvement, with a more cinematic surround feel.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Bang continue to be some of the best color-wise on all of HDTV, in line with the look of the whole show and just fine for humorous, pleasant viewing. However, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on the show are a but weak and lite, as well as to the center of the soundfield more than I would like. The recycled laugh tracks often sound monophonic.

Lethal is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, both of which are a large improvement on the original television broadcast. Warner continues their high standards for home entertainment with this new looking set that's ideal for fans.

And finally, Narcos once again offers a 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers the have solid new HD shooting with interesting doses of old analog TV video often showing the real-life versions of the real life people the exceptional cast has been pulling off playing. It is the shows signature approach and it works. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on all the shows are also well-recorded make great use of all kinds of music, kick in well for the action sequences and the equal of the previous season. Nice!

- James Lockhart (Arrow, Lethal) & Nicholas Sheffo



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