“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends Featuring Jerry Seinfeld” (Time Life, 1985-88, three episodes). If you’re buying this set to watch Seinfeld, you’ll get three fast and funny monologues delivered when the comedian was young and hungry — though not too hungry, as he had been a successful stand-up comic on the comedy-club circuit for a decade (but he had not yet created his eponymous sitcom). Then he sits down with Johnny Carson and continues to be hilarious.
If you’re buying this set for Carson, you’ll be happy to know these are three complete shows, with guests (Oprah Winfrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andre Agassi, Shelley Winters) who precede and follow Seinfeld’s appearances, along with Carson’s monologues and skits (“Mr. Rambo’s Neighborhood,” racing against Shirley Muldowney).
This set allows you the option of including vintage commercials or watching the show without them. (Listen for Ed McMahon’s introduction under the opening credits as he mangles the names of Winfrey and Agassi.)
“Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise” (PBS, 2016, two discs, four episodes). Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the history of African-Americans from the 1960s’ rise of Black Power to the emergence of hip-hop to the response to Hurricane Katrina to the Black Lives Matter movement in this documentary miniseries.
“The Story of God: Season One” (National Geographic, 2016, six episodes). Morgan Freeman — who has played God in the movies — headlines this documentary series, which follows the actor as he makes inquiries about a variety of faiths around the globe and their beliefs. Among other subjects, this season has Freeman exploring life after death, the meaning of the End of Days, the Creation and the nature of evil.
“USO: For the Troops” (PBS, 2016). This hourlong documentary looks at the 75 years of the United Service Organization’s efforts to provide entertainment for members of America’s military and, more important, its primary goal, which is to keep servicemen and servicewomen connected to family, home and country while they perform their duties to preserve and protect the nation.
“American Masters: Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future” (PBS, 2016, one hourlong episode, extended director’s cut, featurettes). Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect and industrial designer whose visionary buildings include St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan and the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, among many others. Saarinen’s son Eric explains why his father’s body of work has endured and continues to inspire.
“NOVA: Treasures of the Earth” (PBS, 2016, three episodes). This three-part “NOVA” special looks at “hidden assets” of the Earth, showing how they were created and what they mean to civilization. The episodes are “Power,” “Gems” and “Metals.”
“Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season” (Fox, 2015-16, six discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers). Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz return as, respectively, forensic anthropologist Temperance “Bones” Brennan and FBI agent Seeley Booth, married and with a second baby, and with no shortage of bizarre cases — attested to by a crossover episode with “Sleepy Hollow” (see below). (The 12th and final season is showing on the Fox network.)
“Sleepy Hollow: Season 3” (Fox, 2015-16, five discs, 18 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers). Loosely based on Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” this fantasy/horror series casts Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as a double agent for George Washington who wakes up in the 21st century and investigates myths. This season, Crane and FBI agent Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) battle a zombie army. (The fourth season is airing on the Fox network.)
“Swamp People: Season 7” (History/Lionsgate, 2016, three discs, 13 episodes, webisodes). Troy Landry’s 30-day Louisiana alligator hunt this season brings him face to face with friends and foes, along with fan-favorite Bruce Mitchell, and newcomers Frenchy Crochet and Gee Singleton. (Due to some controversy and cast members being fired, fans weren’t sure if the show would continue, but the eighth season has been announced, without a start date.)
“Broad City: Season 3” (Comedy Central/Paramount, 2016, two discs, 10 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes; poster). Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are back as New York best friends navigating life together, often in unexpected ways. Guests include Hillary Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Alan Alda, Tony Danza and many more. This DVD set is uncensored, so the R-rated language, sex, etc., is not blocked as it is on the Comedy Central broadcasts. (The fourth season begins in August.)
“The Lion Guard: Life in the Pride Lands” (Disney, 2016, five episodes, music video, six shorts). This is an animated TV-series spinoff of “The Lion King” about the adventures of young cub Kion, son of Simba and Nala, who leads a team of animals known as the Lion Guard. Episodes here include “The Rise of Makuu,” “Bunga and the King” and “The Imaginary Okapi.”
“Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: Be Miraculous” (ZAG/Shout! Kids, 2016, dubbed in English or in French with English subtitles, seven episodes, featurettes, music video). Among these episodes from the French animated series about two Parisian teens that take on the titular superhero personas are the first and second parts of the characters’ origin story.
“Saban’s Power Rangers: Dino Super Charge: Roar” (Lionsgate, 2016, 10 episodes). The Power Rangers search for the Energems, only to learn the most dangerous villain, Heckyl, is up to his old tricks. This set contains the first 10 episodes of the Nickelodeon series’ second season.
“Super Why: Puppy Power!” (PBS Kids, 2016, four episodes). Whyatt and friends Red, Pig and Princess use their reading skills to solve problems in this animated educational series. When they head to the dog adoption fair in Storybrook Village, they meet Woofster, who joins the team.