AlmostHumanAlmost Human: The Complete Series (Warner Archive, DVD), a mix of cop drama and science fiction thriller, is an odd couple buddy show set in future where technology gives criminals dangerous weapons and the police force is augmented with androids designed to take the brunt of violence.

Karl Urban (McCoy in the new Star Trek movies) is old school detective John Kennex, the maverick in the squad who prefers to go solo, and Michael Ealey is Dorian, an android designed to have emotions and learn human behavior. Previous models malfunctioned—emotions conflicted with the logic of programming—and the line was discontinued but Dorian impresses John with his loyalty, commitment, and sense of humor. Much banter ensues between the action scenes as the partners take on high-tech gangs, genetically enhanced criminals, assassins with science fiction weapons, illegal biotechnology, and deadly hackers. Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) plays a beautiful and brilliant colleague, Mackenzie Crook is the eccentric tech expert, and Lily Taylor is the chief who trusts John’s instincts, if not necessarily his decisions.

Created by Fringe producer J.H. Wyman for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, it’s an old fashioned cop drama in a science fiction universe and works largely because of the terrific chemistry of stars Urban and Ealey. It features an impressive futuristic design and expensive special effects but it was cancelled after the initial short season.

13 episodes on DVD, plus the 2013 Comic-Con panel with the creators and cast, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Search-Complete SeriesSearch: The Complete Series (Warner Archive, DVD) was a high-tech spy show created in 1972 by The Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens and featuring a rotating gallery of leading men, all agents of a private agency that takes on both government assignments and civilian clients. World Securities keeps in constant communication with its operatives (which they refer to as Probes) via dental and ear implants and button cameras from a secret control center run by Burgess Meredith, a sardonic tech genius who commands the computer and communication techs and spars with his agents. Hugh O’Brian is suave veteran Hugh Lockwood, a former astronaut and an entertaining cliché of the sardonic, hard-boiled, lone-wolf agents, like a 1950s private eye with a thoroughly seventies hair style blow-dried into place. Anthony Franciosa is swinging tough guy Nick Bianco, a street savvy ex-cop with a knack for underworld assignments and Doug McClure is Standby Probe C.R. Grover, a beach bum when he’s not on assignment. Lots of disdain for authority here, as the agents defy order and blow off directives to follow hunches.

This is American spy TV for the seventies, with huge banks of computers with flashing lights and CRT screens and toys that are more high-tech than Mission: Impossible but not nearly as cool. But it’s a fun series with colorful guest stars and it gives some new, otherwise nameless tech in the control room (which seems to rotate out its team with great frequency) a couple of scenes in every episode. Angel Tompkins gets the spotlight in the first episode and Cheryl Ladd gets that honor a couple of times later in the season.

23 episodes on six discs.

LongmireBDLongmire: The Complete First and Second Seasons (Warner Archive, Blu-ray) presents the initial seasons of the rural mystery series based on the novels by Craig Johnson and starring Australian actor Robert Taylor as laconic Sheriff Walt Longmire in rural Wyoming. Taylor seems born to the American frontier: short on talk, long on hunches, careful to keep confrontations from escalating but quick on the draw when necessary, and loping naturally through the forests and fields in boots with a cowboy hat perches naturally on his head. This is a culture of rugged individualists suspicious of any kind of authority coming on to their land, and the first episode makes the point clearly with the tension between the local law and the reservation cops, a situation that clearly has a very deep history. The setting lends itself to an austere style, with a few characters against a stark landscape or a small town barroom, and the show has a pace and tone to match.

Both seasons have been on DVD before but the canvas of this film, with its carved-in-the-landscape imagery, benefits beautifully from the high-definition presentation. 20 episodes on six discs. This one is released through the Warner Archive, but it is a traditionally pressed disc. The third season is also on DVD (but not yet on Blu-ray) and the series, which was cancelled by A&E despite its solid ratings, has been picked up by Netflix for at least one more season.

Graceland2Graceland: The Complete Season Two (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD), the USA original drama about agents from different agencies who share a beachside manor on Los Angeles, stylish and gritty and it packs a lot of action on its budget, and it has more in common with the gritty FX crime shows than the usual USA original, with its lighthearted tone and amiable characters. The first season ended with the hotshot rookie agent Mike (Aaron Tveit) completing his case and returning to Washington D.C. The second season brings him back to follow up a drug smuggling ring, an investigation that pulls the entire team under his command (and not without some resentment) and reveals an even bigger conspiracy involving human trafficking and a crooked agent with the bureau.

Daniel Sunjata is the veteran FBI agent Paul Briggs who serves as the house big brother and Vanessa Ferlito, Brandon Jay McLaren, Serinda Swan, and Manny Montana fill out the house as various FBI, DEA, and Customs agents. The motto of the house is “no secrets” but there’s even more suspicion and distrust between them this season, as some of them cross the line and start sleeping with each other while keeping secrets behind their backs. Mike becomes so obsessed with taking down a corrupt FBI agent that he covers up other crimes to keep it going and gets fatally sloppy: his quarry tracks Mike back to Graceland where he finds Mike’s gun and files and uncovers the identities of all the agents working the case. If that’s enough, his betrayal of one particular member of the clubhouse results in brutal blowback and a cliffhanger that will have you itching for the next season, which it’s getting despite low ratings.

13 episodes on three discs.

EnlistedEnlisted: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD), a sitcom set at a stateside Rear Detachment army camp manned by soldiers who are essentially unfit for active duty, got great reviews and lots of love from the critics but low ratings. Geoff Stults stars as super soldier Pete Hill, who decks a superior officer while serving in Afghanistan and gets demoted and shipped stateside to lead the most dysfunctional platoon in the service. It just so happens that his two younger brothers (wise-guy troublemaker Chris Lowell and enthusiastic idiot child-man Parker Young) are among the biggest screw-ups of his new squad.

This is misfit humor with Stults as the combat veteran bristling at the stateside assignment but eccentric enough to fit into the chaos of the base. He’s the kind of guy who commandeers a tank to even the odds in a war games exercise and takes his turn at oil-slick bowling (with people as the ball and empty oil drums as the pins) before shutting it down. It’s from Kevin Biegel, a co-creator of “Cougar Town,” and it’s funnier and cleverer than some of the sitcoms that survived their first season. Angelique Cabral is Pete’s rival turned buddy and possible soulmate, a fellow sergeant who shares his professionalism, and Keith David is the base commander and family friend who has a soft spot for the brothers. Even the screw-ups.

13 episodes on two discs.

More single seasons:

It turns out the MOD model is an efficient way to get short-lived shows on disc for the few fans and libraries interested enough to own them. Here are a few shows from the past couple of years that never got beyond the initial season.

Crisis1Dermot Mulroney and Gillian Anderson headline Crisis: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD), the 2014 NBC thriller built around the kidnapping of the children of America’s most powerful people. Rachel Taylor and Lance Gross are the Secret Service agents on the case. 12 episodes on three discs.

Rush: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD) is USA recasting the premise of Royal Pains as a grittier show with Tom Ellis as a private doctor serving the rich, famous, and dangerous in Los Angeles. 10 episodes on two discs.

Those Who Kill: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD), the A&E mystery series based on the Danish crime show, stars Chloe Sevigny as a driven homicide detective with unorthodox methods and a personal stake in the job. 10 episodes on two discs.

MindGames1Mind Games: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD), made for ABC, stars Christian Slater and Steve Zahn as brothers who combine psychology, con-artistry, and science to influence people in the verge of making life-altering decisions. 13 episodes on three discs.

And here are two sitcoms: Friends with Better Lives: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD) with James Van Der Beek, Majandra Delfino, Zoe Lister Jones, Brooklyn Decker, Rick Donald, and Kevin Connolly, and Back in the Game: The Complete First Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD) with James Caan as a crotchety ex-ballplayer and Maggie Lawson as his daughter and the new coach of her son’s little league team. Both features 13 episodes on two discs.

Going back even farther, James Garner stars in Bret Maverick: The Complete Series (Warner Archive, DVD), the short-lived revival of the comic western series that made Garner a star. In this show, the intenerate gambler wins a saloon and decides to settle down in the town of Sweetwater. 17 episodes on four discs.

And more TV on disc:

OnceSpyOnce Upon a Spy (Sony Pictures Choice Collection, DVD) is a TV movie that plays like the pilot for a proposed series. Ted Danson is the wise-cracking computer expert who is drafted by the American government to track down a stolen super-computer. It’s kind of like a second-rate James Bond knock-off on a TV budget but it features Christopher Lee as the multi-millionaire supervillain with plans to rule the world! Hammer films veteran Jimmy Sangster wrote the story and teleplay.

Kung Fu – The Legend Continues: The Complete First Season (Warner Archive, DVD) brought David Carradine back to the role of Kwai Chang Caine, now the father of a grown son (Chris Potter) who is an American cop. The show was developed in 1993 for the first-run syndication market and continued for four seasons. This set features 21 episodes (including the extended international version of the pilot) on six discs.

Raising Hope: The Complete Fourth Season (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD) completes the run of the acclaimed but ratings-challenged sitcom, and then there is Dharma and Greg: The Complete Season 2 (20th Century Fox Cinema Archive, DVD) with Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson.

All of these are DVD-R releases, no-frills discs from studio masters, ordered online and “burned” individually with every order.

Warner Archive releases are available exclusively from Warner Archive:

Sony Pictures Choice Collection releases are available by order from Amazon, Critics Choice Video, Classic Movies Now, Warner Archive, and other web retailers.

20th Century Fox Cinema Archives releases are available by order only from 20th Century Fox Cinema Archives, from Amazon, and other web retailers.

Calendar of upcoming releases on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, and VOD