This time every year, I line up DVDs of all the great prime- time dramas I missed during the season and devour them, one by one.
Top of the list this year was Warner Home Video's release of the A&E police procedural Longmire: The Complete First Season.
A revisionist contemporary western set in Wyoming, this expansive, cinematic series based on Craig Johnson's novels stars Australian Robert Taylor as the sheriff of a not-so-sleepy rural county shot through with all the loves and passions and vices and crimes that mark the crooked timber of humanity.
Taylor plays Walt Longmire as the last real man left in the West, a tortured, recently widowed cop who lives in a world where a sense of justice and fair play are handicaps, not attributes to admire.
Katee Sackhoff stars as Longmire's deputy, a loud-mouth Philadelphia cop (and Flyers fanatic) transplanted to horse country, and Lou Diamond Phillips as an American Indian tavern keeper who acts as Longmire's conscience.
The 10-episode season comes in a two-DVD set. (http://www.wbshop.com/; $39.98; not rated)
Other DVDs of interest
All DVDs are unrated.
Red Widow: The Complete First Season. ABC gambled and lost with this one-season wonder about drug-running in the great Northwest that's worth a look. Radha Mitchell stars as the widow of a pot exporter who uses her family connections in the Russian mob to continue his business. Goran Visnjic and Clifton Collins Jr. livened up the eight-episode series.
Doctor Who: Series Seven - Part Two. Matt Smith is joined by a new companion (played by stunning Brit actor Jenna-Louise Coleman) in the last eight episodes of the latest season of the perfect television show. (www.bbcamericashop.com/; $24.98)
House of Cards: The Complete First Season. David Fincher's gut-wrenching political thriller from Netflix stars Kevin Spacey as a Machiavellian American politician who'll do anything to gain power. Robin Wright and Kate Mara costar. The 13-episode first season runs a full 675 minutes. (www.sonypictures.com/tv/; $$55.99 DVD; $65.99 Blu-ray)
The Newsroom: The Complete First Season. HBO and star Jeff Daniels make the sorry, sorry, sorry state of the TV news industry into compelling drama in this latest offering from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. Like House of Cards, each of the 10 episodes is a full 60 minutes.
(http://store.hbo.com/; $79.98 Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
CSI: NY - The Ninth Season. Sure, there's too much techno-fetishism in the CSI franchise, so many music-video-styled forensic-porn sequences it makes you yearn for a cleansing hour of Columbo. But it's time to pay homage to the show's New York spinoff, which had class thanks to Gary Sinise and late series addition Sela Ward. Paramount will release the last season on June 25.
Wilfred: The Complete Series. Love Elijah Wood's doggie show, Wilfred? It's actually based on an Australian comedy that ran for two seasons and is now available in a four-disc set. (www.shoutfactory.com/; $29.93)
Rectify, Season One. This challenging, moving, and deeply disturbing drama from Sundance Channel features a remarkable performance by Aden Young as a death row inmate, convicted when he was 18 of rape and murder, who is released 19 years later due to new DNA evidence. Abigail Spencer and Adelaide Clemens costar in one of the most powerful pieces of drama about the American experience in decades. (www.anchorbayentertainment.com/; $29.98)