Season 5 of 'Once Upon a Time' leads new DVD releases of TV shows

Posted August 24, 2016

Season 5 of “Once Upon a Time” leads TV shows released on DVD this week.

“Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season” (ABC, 2015-16, five discs, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Mixing figures from literature, folklore, traditional fairy tales and Disney cartoons, this fantasy series — which can get pretty dark — is set in fictional Storybrooke, Maine.

There, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), among others, battle good, evil and each other with flashbacks to the characters' origin stories.

This season, Snow White’s daughter Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and her friends head for Camelot to find Merlin (Elliot Knight) and find themselves in a confrontation with King Arthur (Liam Garrigan), and eventually, Hades (Greg Germann). Dr. Jekyll (Hank Harris) and Mr. Hyde (Sam Witwer) also show up. (Season 6 begins Sept. 25 on ABC.)

“American Experience: The Boys of ’36” (PBS, 2016). With the Rio Olympics winding down, this hourlong episode of the long-running PBS “American Experience” series is quite timely as it relates the story of nine working-class University of Washington students who earned gold medals in rowing at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Their win was an unexpected upset that was as much a surprise to America’s Ivy League teams as it was to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. But it gave hope to the American masses who were struggling through the Great Depression.

“The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season” (Warner, 2015-16, three-disc Blu-ray/five-disc DVD, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). After the departure of Elena (Nina Dobrev) at the end of Season 6, this season of the supernatural/soap-opera series about vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, etc., shifts its focus to the Salvatore brothers (Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder) who find themselves at odds thanks to the manipulations of their mother (Annie Wersching). (The eighth and final season begins Oct. 21 on the CW.)

“The Affair: Season Two” (Showtime, 2015, five discs, 12 episodes, featurettes, two episodes of “Billions”). As the title suggests, this series explores an adulterous affair between a man and woman married to others, as well as the impact it has on their respective families. This season, the viewpoint expands to focus more on the spouses as the marriages head toward dissolution. As you might also expect from a Showtime pay-cable series, there is plenty of R-rated language, sex, nudity, violence and drugs. (Season 3 begins on Showtime Nov. 20.)

“Saban’s Power Rangers MegaForce: The Complete Season” (Lionsgate, 2013, five discs, 20 episodes, featurette, character galleries).

“Saban’s Power Rangers Super MegaForce: The Complete Season” (Lionsgate, 2014, five discs, 18 episodes, extended movie edition of “The Legendary Battle,” featurette). The teenage Power Rangers heroes take on alien invaders to protect the Earth in these two tandem sets. “MegaForce” is Season 1 and “Super MegaForce” is Season 2 of this Nickelodeon kids show (and the 21st and 22nd series in the popular “Power Rangers” franchise).

“Shimmer and Shine: Welcome to Zahramay Falls” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2016, three episodes). A little girl named Leah has two secret friends, twin genies-in-training named Shimmer and Shine, who grant her wishes but goof them up in two Season 1 episodes here. The third episode is from Season 2 and has Leah being transported to the genies’ world. This U.S./Canadian animated show for kids used flash animation for the first season, then switched to CGI for Season 2.

Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at and can be contacted at


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