Sunday night is about to become known as ‘Sungay.’ But, first, is ABC’s primetime line-up worth repeating on DVD
‘Brothers & Sisters’
LAST SEASON Meet the Walkers. Sure, they throw back beers and sip wine – a lot – but when a family’s dealing with death, infidelity, infertility and Republicans, who wouldn’t? The first season of “Brothers & Sisters” started much like HBO’s “Six Feet Under” (even Rachel Griffiths, who played loony Brenda, stars in the family drama) – the patriarchal figure dies, leaving the family to figure out how to revive their nose-diving biz. A slapstick noodle fight involving Nora (Sally Field) and mistress-rival Holly Harper (Patricia Wettig), a silly game night with the Walker’s longtime nemeses are both memorable moments worth revisiting on DVD. The finale left us with a feel-good pool party – and an argument-turned-smooch between Nora’s gay son, Kevin, and an unassuming minister. Yes, sir, a minister. Still, one question could use Nancy Drew: Is Nora’s brother Saul, who was asked by a male bud to spend a weekend with him (like old times, apparently), G-A-Y? Ah, more drama! Please, pass me a beer before the Sept. 30 premiere.
DVD EXTRAS The “Brothers & Sisters” group gets nutty on “Behind the Scenes with the Brothers,” a peak from the show’s main men at the wardrobe, makeup and even the coffeemaker (!) that Field uses to caffeinate herself. The best part: A near lip-lock between doll-faced Dave Annabelle and Matthew Rhys, who plays Kevin. “Creating the Walker Family Tree” is a behind-the-scenes look at the show’s conception and writing process, with interesting input from Griffiths and Rhys. Also, can’t get enough of that Field vs. Wettig food fight? Look at how they filmed it – in one take!
LAST SEASON ABC dramedy’s heel broke instantly during the second season’s sluggish middle, when a weird neighbor brought, uh, nothing to Wisteria Lane but her spooky piano playing. But Marc Cherry and Co. found more stable footing during the third season, which was, well, not-so-last-season (and we’re hoping the addition of a gay couple during the fourth, premiering Sept. 30, ups the oomph). From a crazy housewife holding up a supermarket, to a wicked Dixie Carter as a manic mother, to the corpse chillin’ in Mrs. McCluskey’s freezer, the crew made the sophomore season fresh and funny – and freakishly fun. Even if half of it was spent without Marcia Cross as Bree. Her absence gave us a Lynette-cancer storyline (likely their dramatic shoe-in for an Emmy nod, which they got), a Carlos-Gabby lip-lock just as the shallow glam-gal tied the knot with a loser politician, and the Susan-Mike wedding. Finally! Ah, and let’s not forget, Cross’ leave upgraded the usually-bitchy and so-shallow neighbor on Wisteria Lane, Edie Britt, who was tamed by the season’s end. And we don’t mean tamed because she evidently hanged herself in the last few seconds of the finale – though, that definitely helped.
DVD EXTRAS Remember those hideous pea-green bridesmaid dresses Bree bought for her Wisteria Lane gal pals? Yeah, totally not Tim Gunn-approved. And on “Here Comes the Bride,” the costume designer dishes about her choice for the Bree-Orson wedding. Then, during the breezy “On Set with Eva,” the leading lady gets goofy with co-star Ricardo Antonio Chavira, racing on Wisteria Lane in golf carts and screwing around on their “Crackberries.” The most insightful extra, though, really has nothing to do with the girl power on “Desperate Housewives.” Not the American version, at least. The special feature “Amas de Casa Desesperadas” makes side-by-side comparisons, as Cherry offers commentary, with ABC’s “Housewives” and the Latino equivalent. Despite different characters, “Desesperadas” really is like a mirror reflection of Cherry’s version. Just in a language most of us won’t understand. Unfortunately, the bloopers on “Desperate Housewives: The Dirty Laundry Edition” are blah. With loads of laughs among line-flubbing actors, it makes the show look like fun to film. It’s just not that funny.
‘Ugly Betty: The Bettyfied Edition,’ Buena Vista
OK, so she’s no Heidi Klum. But Betty’s got something that Mode magazine could use: Brains. With fashionable storylines, and colorful characters, including her flamboyant underage brother and cutie-patootie Daniel, “Ugly Betty” is a fab show – filled with zesty DVD extras on “The Bettyfied Edition” for those fashionistas. And, hell, for those whose style idol is Britney Spears.
‘I Love New York: The Complete First Season,’ Paramount Home Video
Mama’s helping her daughter score some booty. She tests a group of 20 guys, from physical prowess skills to “daddying” abilities, on this unrated three-disc DVD-set to see if they’re worthy of New York’s love. Sound like as much of a guilty pleasure as Brit’s “Gimme More”? Uh, it is.