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Crystal meth and cancer seem unlikely premises for a TV series, but Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (Sony) deals consistently “glass-grade” originality. After three seasons of intense yet unhurried action, patience is rewarded: the last two produce a real rush. Die-hards will appreciate the extras, including a two-hour documentary on the making of the final season and – in the Deluxe Barrel Edition – a Los Pollos Hermanos apron.
Modern Family: Season 1-4 (Fox) serves up three gambolling visions of stateside domestic comedy, with teen appeal and a light sprinkling of adult humour. Easy laughs are afforded by always endearing and often slapstick caricatures. It’s impossible not to pick a favourite, be it romantic youngster Manny (Rico Rodriguez) or desperate-to-be-cool dad Phil, delivered with simple one-liner brilliance by Ty Burrell.
Mad Men: Season 1-6 (Lionsgate) continues to deliver 1960s executive life with sartorial panache. A prolific sex life, a well-stocked bar cart and an office with a sofa may be marks of greatness at the outset, but as the decade unfolds and hemlines rise well above the knee, solace is sought elsewhere; by Season Six, housewives and former secretaries have graduated to calling the shots. The final chapters will air over the next two years, allowing plenty of time to savour the various identity crises and infidelities, as well as the series’ directorial polish.
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