"The Big C – The Complete Second Season" (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): As cancer-stricken Cathy, Golden Globe-winner Laura Linney earns her place among the great actresses of her generation with a performance that effortlessly balances comedy and tragedy, often at the same time. Surrounded by family and friends, we watch schoolteacher/swim coach/wife/mother/sister Cathy make her way through her personal war zone with as much grace as she can muster.
Over the course of the 13 episodes, spread out over three discs, Cathy and husband Paul (Oliver Platt) try to be the best parents they can be to son Adam (Gabriel Basso). They provide a temporary home for Cathy's student Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe), while her parents leave the country to be missionaries. Paul deals with Cathy's health insurance dramas, loses his job (and insurance benefits) and goes to work at an electronics superstore (for the benefits). Andrea is romanced by Paul's co-worker Mykail (Boyd Holbrook), while Adam is pursued by the much older Poppy (Parker Posey). Meanwhile, Cathy's mentally unbalanced brother Sean (out actor John Benjamin Hickey) teeters ever closer to the edge of the abyss.
But the high point of the season is the introduction of Lee (Hugh Dancey). Cathy meets Lee, a fellow cancer patient, as part of a clinical trial run by in-demand cancer doc Sherman (Alan Alda). Lee, a gay marathon runner and wine aficionado, proves to be a source of compassion and inspiration to Cathy. Their shared experience is played out with such authenticity that there is not a false note to be found. As you might expect, keep a box of tissues close at hand because tears are sure to flow. DVD special features include deleted scenes and outtakes.
"GCB: The Complete First Season" (ABC Studios): Campy as "Ugly Betty" with a Southern drawl and as silly as Texas is big, "GCB" (which stands for good Christian bitches!) is a goofy, crazy blast. Liberally making fun of the Lone Star state, the first season of this live-action cartoon begins with the return of recovering mean girl Amanda (Leslie Bibb). Newly widowed, with two teens, she returns to the sprawling Dallas home of her gun-toting mama Gigi (Annie Potts), following the sudden death of her philandering husband.
Before you can say "Texas toast," the gossip mill is spinning and Amanda comes face to face with four women whose lives she made a living holy hell in high school. The vengeful quartet, which include pint-sized powerhouse Carleen (the overly animated Kristin Chenoweth), tough as acrylic nails Cricket (Miriam Shor of "Hedwig... " fame), ditzy but determined Sharon (Jennifer Aspen) and real estate climber Heather (Marisol Nichols), whose combined wrath is greater than their God's. Their endless array of schemes to turn the tables on Amanda (as opposed to turning the other cheek), don't always go as planned and hilarity ensues.
The men in these women's lives are mostly buffoons (see Sharon's husband Zach), but one of them will be of particular interest to LGBT viewers. Cricket's husband Blake (the hot Mark Deklin) is gay, something of which his wife is aware and approves. Blake spends almost as much time with his ranch hands as he does strutting around shirtless. It's a nice touch, for both comedic and dramatic purposes, and also reminds viewers that not every metropolis is a welcoming place for the gay community. Bonus features on the three disc, 10 episode set include a variety of featurettes, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes and more.
"Pants Off and Tired Hooker" (Shout Factory): The single disc double feature "Pants Off and Tired Hooker" consists of two of both of the titular Kathy Griffin Bravo TV specials as well as unaired bonus footage described as "comedy unfit for TV." "Pants Off," which opens with Emmy-winning D-List diva Griffin's mother, the notorious 91 year old lush Maggie, introducing her to the Costa Mesa crowd is funnier and more focused than the distracting Atlantic City-shot "Tired Hooker." Fit and trim in black for both specials, Griffin shares her pop culture obsessions, including the Kardashians, Casey Anthony, Nancy Grace, Michele and Marcus Bachmann, the Real Housewives, the newly out Anderson Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Pajama Jeans, Lindsay Lohan, Grindr, and of course, her gays, with her devoted audience. Cher figures prominently in the bonus material.
"The Sarah Silverman Program – The Complete Series" (Shout Factory): You know her, you love her, you're shocked and appalled by her. Sarah Silverman might be the only female comedian who could make Kathy Griffin blush. Nothing is sacred or off limits in the irreverent world of her TV series "The Sarah Silverman Program," which ran for three seasons, from 2007-2010, on Comedy Central. Over the course of more than 30 episode, Silverman applies her unique perspective to a variety of subjects including gays and lesbians, racial stereotypes, abortion, homelessness, AIDS, pedophilia, the disabled, bedwetting, drug use, sibling relationships and rivalries, and many more, often handled in a manner that includes toilet and taboo humor. Not for the faint of heart, Silverman has a way of making people laugh at things that are often cringe-worthy and better avoided. The use of music in the series, featuring Silverman performing, is also a novelty. The multi-disc set also includes an abundance of bonus features.