DVD releases

“The Client List: The Complete First Season”

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a woman who goes to work at a Texas massage parlor, a job that the single mom takes out of necessity when her husband leaves her. The series is the continuation of the 2010 made-for-cable movie that earned Hewitt a Golden Globe nomination.

Hewitt is likable enough as the central figure, and she gets good acting support from Cybill Shepherd and Loretta Devine. All three actors are comfortable with the subject matter and soap-opera elements of the story.

Grade: B-

“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”

Geraldine McEwan (“Agatha Christie’s Marple”) shines in the British series based on the novel by Muriel Spark.

Miss Brodie is devoted to her students at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has made it her mission to give them an appreciation for art and culture. She also pushes them to be as independent as she is, much to the dismay of the headmistress.

It is a beautiful and masterfully acted production.

Grade: A

“Africa”

The latest massive project from the Discovery Channel and the BBC offers a stunning look at the continent in this six-part series. It’s narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

The series offers a magnificently photographed glimpse at Africa’s extremes, from animal life to climate. It took four years to capture the images, which include the last great gathering place of the rhinoceros, chimps hunting for honey in the Congo, and lizards hunting for flies on the backs of sleeping lions.

Grade: A

Also new

“The Master”: Veteran faces an uncertain future until he meets a charismatic leader; earned Oscar nominations for Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

“The Bill Engvall Show: The Second &Third Seasons”: Cable comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence.

“Chasing Mavericks”: Real story of Jay Moriarty’s efforts to surf the Mavericks.

“Freaky Deaky”: Billy Burke stars in the film based on the Elmore Leonard novel.

“Law &Order: The Twelfth Year”: TV drama that includes both capture and prosecution of criminals.

“Night Court: The Complete Eighth Season”: Legal TV comedy starring Harry Anderson.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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