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BFTV's last-minute gift guide: reviews of new 'Burn Notice,' 'Family Guy' DVDs

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Christmas is just over a week away, and here at the BFTV offices, we discovered a few last-minute gifts. Check out our capsule reviews of two FOX Home Entertainment TV-on DVD releases - Burn Notice and Family Guy - as well as nifty designer chocolate for those with a sweet tooth on your wish list.

Burn Notice: Season Seven

The last season of USA's hit spy drama is now available on DVD. Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) strives to reunite his team and finally get free of the tangled web that's surrounded them for years, in a thirteen-episode saga that drags in places but ultimately leads to a satisfying conclusion. You'll enjoy looking back on the final adventures of Michael, Fiona, Sam, Jesse and Madeline, with major guest appearances by Jack Coleman (Scandal), Adrian Pasdar (Political Animals), and John Pyper-Ferguson.

For a final season DVD set, though, this one leaves a little bit to be desired. The episodes themselves are comparable to broadcast, with decent picture and sound, and closed captions for the hard of hearing. But the one commentary track is on the second episode ("Forget Me Not"), with nothing for the finale or even the season premiere. The deleted scenes and gag reel are standard stuff. The only real nod toward this great show coming to an end is the "Ending The Series" featurette, which is a nice sendoff, but also leaves you wishing Burn Notice would've been sent out with some bigger fanfare.

You can get your copy of Season Seven by clicking here. (For those of you who haven't been collecting the show to date, Fox has also released Burn Notice: The Complete Series today. The boxset contains all seven seasons but no new material. There's no information about a Blu-Ray release for either Complete Series or Season Seven, either.)

Family Guy: Volume Twelve

Volume twelve of Family Guy contains the eleventh season of FOX's animated sitcom, including the show's 200th episode produced (but in fact, the 192nd episode broadcast). The continued adventures of the Griffin family are as provocative as ever, and whether or not you find them funny is entirely subjective. You'll be satisfied by this DVD set, though. It has the same solid video and picture transfer as Burn Notice, but more extras to sweeten the purchase.

There's commentary on seven episodes (the aforementioned 200th episode "Yug Ylimaf," "Jesus, Mary and Joseph," "Brian's Play," "Valentine's Day In Quahog," "Criss Cross," "Farmer Guy" and "Roads To Vegas"). The commentaries are funny if not necessarily super-informative, and the deleted scenes are, again, pretty standard stuff.

But as is the case with many of FHE's releases of its animated shows (like the recent volumes of Futurama and The Simpsons), Family Guy gives the audience a peek into the making of the episodes. There are three animatics (scenes from "Into Fat Air" and "Total Recall," and the full episode of "Space Cadet"), the table read from "Yug Ylimaf," a featurette marking the show's 200th episode and a recent San Diego Comic-Con panel. Taken together, you can actually glimpse most of the show's process, albeit from different episodes. Family Guy isn't for everyone, but the bonuses here make a pretty great set.

You can get your copy of Volume Twelve by clicking here.


Every holiday needs some snacks, and we've had the pleasure of being introduced to zChocolat's line of handmade French chocolates. The sampler we were given features more than a dozen different types of chocolate, each of them individually numbered - directly on the piece - so that you know exactly what you're eating. There's something in the box for everyone, from chocolate, to white chocolate, to chocolates mixed with things like caramel and various nuts.

This makes a particularly great gift, too, because it arrives in a beautiful wooden box that actually has the recipient's name engraved on a plaque. There are plenty of other customization options available, too, so you can really make the perfect gift for the chocolate lover in your family. You can order your own chocolate direct from zChocolat at their website (

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.


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