The Wellington City Libraries Ratings Project #4

Why does it take so long for things to be released on DVD? Why are some TV shows not released here at all, even though they are available in Australia?

New Zealand has its own ratings system that is different than Australia’s. Films & TV Shows that are rated ‘M’ in Australia can be cross-rated here at the same rating level. However anything that is rated an ‘M+’ in Australia has to be submitted to the Office of Film and Literature Classification for re-classification for the NZ market. Unfortunately since New Zealand’s DVD zone is at the end of the release market for a lot of material and, faced with such a small market, procedural costs then often become prohibitive to warrant general release by a commercial distributor.

We love TV shows at Wellington City Libraries, and we know you do too. Which is why we have initiated ‘The Ratings Project’, an ongoing mission to bring you the shows that you want to watch by submitting titles to the Film & Video Labeling Body, and the OFLC for classification.

With ‘The Ratings Project’ we aim to give you the complete ‘TV’ experience, whether we provide you with full run of your favourite TV shows, or surprise you with something new & different. We hope you find something you enjoy and feel free to send us any feedback and suggestions…

The majority of this month’s titles have not yet screened on NZ Television…

Cover imageWhite collar. The complete third season.
With his high cheekbones and piercing blue eyes, Matt Bomer plays con man Neal Caffrey with a smooth, handsome gloss. White Collar follows Caffrey’s adventures as a sort of indentured servant to the FBI, under the watchful eye of Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). At the end of the previous season, Caffrey found himself in possession of a trove of classical art recovered from a sunken Nazi U-boat. His moral quandary–whether or not to sell the art and run–is the thread woven throughout the season, tying together assorted single-episode high jinks about stolen objects like an Egyptian scarab amulet or a Stradivarius violin, a forged will that turns out to be a treasure map, and speed dating with a possible black widow murderess. Another element recurring over the course of the season: Both Peter and Neal are deviled by figures from their respective pasts–Peter’s former mentor (Beau Bridges) and Neal’s former partner (Ross McCall). Lies, false identities, and shifting allegiances are the bread and butter for White Collar…(Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageRake. The complete third series.
“The bar has been lowered … again. Criminal barrister, Cleaver Greene, is back, as reckless, brilliant, self destructive, funny and bloody minded as ever – and that’s just his private life. In Series Three, Cleaver languishes in prison, facing the consequences of his crimes and misbehaviours, while he awaits the outcome of his appeal. When the conviction is quashed at last, he discovers his world has grown even more chaotic in his absence. The proliferation of Royal Commissions, inquiries and corruption trials requires so many barristers, even Cleaver can find work. Over the series, Cleaver Greene finds himself inadvertently at the heart of a billion dollar moral, political and criminal dilemma…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageBlue bloods. The third season.
“All 23 episodes from the third season of the US drama following a family of New York cops headed by Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck). As well as the head of the family, Frank is the New York City Police Commissioner, following in the footsteps of his father, Henry (Len Cariou). Frank’s children also share his passion for law and order: Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is an NYC detective whose enthusiasm for justice often sees him bend the law himself, while Erin (Bridget Moynahan) works in the District Attorney’s office. Frank’s youngest child Jamie (Will Estes) is perhaps his favourite, but when Jamie enters the law and finds himself working on an investigation so secret even his father knows little about it, the celebrated name of the family in New York law and order circles could be threatened…” (Publishers’ description from Fishpond.co.nz)

Cover image
Winners & losers. Season 3.
“In season 3, the girls struggle to come to grips with the life-changing events that have befallen them. Bec must deal with the painful reality of Matt’s death, Frances’s sense of security is deeply affected following a terrifying episode, Jenny is adjusting to a new life in the wake of a bombshell secret shaking the Gross family to the core, and Sophie discovers her feelings for Doug re-emerging after she returns from a traumatic trip to Nairobi…” (From Syndetics summary)

Cover imageBurn notice. Season seven.
“It all comes down to this—the thrilling final season of one of television’s hottest shows, where everything is finally revealed. Separated from his friends and family, and on the verge of losing it all, Michael Westen goes deep undercover, joining forces with a mysterious woman and infiltrating a sinister terrorist network. With time running out, Michael must do whatever it takes to stay alive and protect his loved ones; but now, he may be forced to go too far. Packed with explosive action and exciting plot twists, Burn Notice Season Seven comes fully equipped with exclusive bonus features available only on DVD…” (Publishers’ description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe adventures of Merlin. Series five.
“The fifth season of The Adventures of Merlin brings this spin on the Arthurian mythos to a richly satisfying conclusion. Previous seasons have sometimes veered toward portentousness or camp, but these 13 episodes hit the right note of gravitas without too much pomp, and the final episode is genuinely moving–with particular kudos to Bradley James as Arthur, whose portrait of an arrogant snob becoming a gracious and just king culminates in this last season. Merlin (Colin Morgan, still gawkily handsome) continues to keep his magic powers hidden while using them to bring Arthur’s vision of Camelot to fruition; Morgana (Katie McGrath, still lusciously imperious) burns more furiously with hatred and lust for revenge after having been imprisoned and tormented; Guinevere (Angel Coulby, striking a nice balance of regal and down-to-earth) is now the queen but undergoes her own dark trials. The fifth season achieves an epic sweep thanks to the dense storylines and the CGI-enhanced landscape, packed with gorgeously designed castles and ominous forests…Fortunately, the writers and directors have taken care to balance these big-picture elements with human details and intimacy…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageCase histories. Series 2.
“Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs – The Patriot; Harry Potter; Awake) returns with his unique brand of detective work in three new episodes of Case Histories set in the historic city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Based on Kate Atkinson’s fourth novel Started Early, Took My Dog, Jackson Brodie delves into more dark tragedies of the past that continue to resonate in the present, as he brings optimism and resolution to the lost and bereaved. In this series, Jackson’s life doesn’t get any simpler. Unable to turn down anyone in distress but also dealing with problems in his own life, Brodie struggles with his assistant playing detective; his complicated relationship with DI Louise Monroe; a surprising new girlfriend; and coping with being a father to a growing young woman. Series 2 also sees the return of Case Histories regulars Amanda Abbington (Open Doors, Being Human), Millie Innes (Single Father) and Zawe Ashton (Misfits)…” (Publishers’ description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageThe Dresden files. The complete series.
“The Dresden Files is about a wizard named Harry. “Good marketing,” a cynical observer notes in one episode from the Sci-Fi Channel’s one-season wonder based on the books by Jim Butcher. “Couldn’t you come up with something a little more original?” Actually, this series manages to be plenty original despite echoes of The X-Files and the 1970s cult classic The Night Stalker. Paul Blackthorne stars as Harry Dresden, a scruffy Chicago private eye whose gift comes in handy for children menaced by skinwalkers, or for offering Lt. Murphy (Valerie Cruz) of the Chicago police “an unconventional point of view” concerning grisly, bizarre cases involving werewolves, vampires, and other decidedly unfriendly spirits. The Dresden Files is a paranormal noir (para-noir?) that deftly balances genuine scares, hard-boiled moxie, and tongue-in-cheek humor, delivered with panache by “Bob” (Terrance Mann), an ancient English spirit who resides in a skull and gives.Harry supernatural assistance. Harry’s backstory–magician father, wizard mother, treacherous uncle–is revealed over the course of these 12 episodes…But even those who are unfamiliar with Butcher’s books or are not on the Sci-Fi Channel’s wavelength will be charmed…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageHu$tle. Series five.
“One of the BBC’s most enduring and rightly-popular drama series, it’s to the credit of the writing team of Hustle that they continue to generate so many intriguing set-ups for its team of confidence tricksters to tackle. The core set-up of Hustle is the same as before. There’s a gang of con artists, who continually get tempted by new scams and tricks, and are willing to travel the world to tackle them. Led by the likes of Adrian Lester (who returns after missing series four), Robert Glenister, the wonderful Robert Vaughn and new addition Kelly Adams, the Hustle crew also attract some welcome guest stars this time round. Bill Bailey, Tim McInnerny and Patrick Bergin are among the familiar faces that pop up. The real stars of Hustle, though, are the tightly-plotted scams themselves, and there are some corkers in series five. We get, for instance, some malarkey with an MP, a bullion heist, a spider’s web and the weaker entry, involving a diamond necklace. For the bulk of the series, though, it’s great fun waiting for the rug to be pulled, and the run ends on a terrific high to lead us neatly towards the already-commissioned sixth season. Given the standards that Hustle predominantly maintains for series five, of which all six episodes are on this disc, that’s a very good thing…” (From Amazon.co.uk review)