TV on DVD: Don Cheadle and David Duchovny get raunchy for Showtime

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House of Lies cast

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House of Lies cast

What drew Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle to TV for his role in Showtime's "House of Lies," which earned the star best actor Emmy and Golden Globe nominations this year?

[Related: Golden Globes nominations: TV snubs and surprises]

Unfortunately, viewers don't get a lot of backstory on that in the new "House of Lies: The First Season" DVD box set (Paramount Home Entertainment), which includes a scant amount of bonus material to supplement the debut season's 12 episodes.

The best extras in the two-disc set are too-brief interviews with Cheadle and co-star Kristen Bell, in which he recalls his first-ever acting role (playing Templeton the rat in a fifth grade production of "Charlotte's Web") and going to professional waiter's school, and she says the "House of Lies" job came at a time when she was actively trying to make a post-"Veronica Mars" return to television.

[Related: Kristen Bell makes a 'Gossip Girl' cameo]

The collection also includes a pair of episode commentaries (only one features Cheadle, and Bell is MIA from both) that are mostly joke-filled sessions with various cast members, writer Matthew Carnahan, and executive producer Jessika Borsiczky; a Marty Kaan profile in which Cheadle describes his character as "the big dog…everybody has to smell his farts"; and another brief profile of "The Rainmaker," Griffin Dunne's "king of the scumbags" consultant character.

A more in-depth, and just plain longer, interview with Cheadle (who is the show's biggest selling point, after all), as well as features on supporting cast members like Glynn Turman as Marty's psychoanalyst dad, perpetual scene-stealer Greg Germann as Marty's client Greg Norbert, and the fantastic Donis Leonard Jr. as Marty's cross-dressing tween son Roscoe would have been welcome.

[Related: Check out our ultimate holiday gift guide for TV fans]

In short, while this raunchy comedy about Cheadle's shark-like management consultant is certainly worth catching up on -- especially since Season 2 kicks off on Jan. 13 -- the bonus materials, or lack thereof, don't make the DVD box set a better home entertainment option than buying the episodes online.

Watch a 'House of Lie's Season 2 promo spot:


Other noteworthy TV DVD releases this week:

"Californication: The Fifth Season" (Paramount Home Entertainment)

The studio is even skimpier with bonus materials on this set… there are none related to the show itself; instead, buyers are given the first two episodes of "House of Lies," as well as Episodes 1 and 2 of "The Borgias" Season 2 and "Dexter" Season 7. The set includes all 12 Season 5 installments, in which we see writer Hank's (David Duchovny) impulsive, self-indulgent choices yet again lead him into a pool of problems and a cliffhanger that would have been pretty shocking had we not known the show will return for a sixth season on Jan. 13.

Get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the new season of 'Californication':

"Army Wives: Season 6 — Part Two" (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

Lifetime's fan-favorite drama hit its 100th episode (with a storyline that cleverly mirrored that milestone with a centennial celebration of the show's Fort Marshall setting) during this collection of the last 10 episodes of Season 6. Bloopers and deleted scenes are also included on the DVD, which should tide viewers over nicely until Season 7 returns next year with, reportedly, several new cast members.

See how you can win "Army Wives" Season 6 on DVD here.

Watch a scene from the 100th episode of 'Army Wives':

"Here's Lucy: Season Six" (MPI Home Video)

It's the final season of Lucille Ball's CBS series, and the box set reflects the end of the superstar's 23-year run on TV. All 24 episodes of Season 6 were digitally remastered for the release, which also includes bonus materials like new episode intros filmed by Ball's daughter (and "Here's Lucy" co-star) Lucie Arnaz, a slideshow, production files, promos, Ball interviews, and footage from other Lucille Ball appearances, like a joint guest spot on "The Dinah Shore Show" with Vivian Vance.

"Quincy, M.E.: Season Four" (Shout! Factory)

Twenty-three episodes of Jack Klugman's Emmy-nominated medical examiner drama means a lot of deaths that were seemingly from natural causes…until Quincy noticed foul play was afoot!

"Shameless: The Complete Second Season" on Blu-ray (Warner Home Video)

The Gallagher family's efforts to survive without help (and often with much hindrance) from drunken father Frank (William H. Macy) continue in Season 2 as Frank connives to be a kept man with a new woman and the kids' mom returns with a new lover and some very selfish schemes of her own. Bonus materials in the DVD set include featurettes on "The Complicated Life of Fiona Gallagher" and "The Art of Acting Drunk," cast interviews, unaired scenes, the "Shameless Christmas Carol" music video, and a preview of Season 3, which premieres on Showtime on Jan. 13.

Watch the 'Shameless' Season 3 trailer:

"Masters of the Universe: 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection" (Mill Creek Entertainment)

This is going to make a fine holiday gift for "Masters of the Universe" devotees, as the limited-edition set is packed with 22 discs featuring all three "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" series; a bonus soundtrack CD; a bonus DVD with new featurettes, audio commentaries and interviews; a new fan documentary; a 48-page booklet with an episode guide for all 189 installments; and a Sword of He-Man -- all packaged in a sculpted Castle Grayskull box.

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