This is one tale of the skunk that doesn't stink.
Shameless, Grade A-minus: William H. Macy is one of the few actors who makes a project better just by being a part of it.
He gets a great role as an alcoholic father whose kids are raising themselves. This cable offering - while hard to watch at times - is one of the better new series of the year. Emmy Rossum, Justin Chatwin, Ethan Cutkosky costar.
If you haven't been watching the Showtime series, pick up the first season so you will be ready when Season Two debuts Jan. 8.
The Borgias: The First Season, Grade C-plus: Showtime's big-budget series digs into the sex and scandal that surrounded Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons), the scheming, sex-crazed patriarch of the Borgia family who built an empire through corruption of the Roman Catholic Church.
The series opens with Rodrigo using bribery to become Pope Alexander VI. It isn't long before he uses his position to bed lost souls and increase his control.
Academy Award-winning director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) wrote all nine episodes in the first season and directed the first two. His efforts are surprisingly weak. The Borgias is little more than a paint-by-the-numbers tale.
Also new on DVD this week:
Hostel: Part III: Human torture is turned into a high-stakes gambling opportunity.
The Pool Boys: A pool boy decides to turn an empty mansion into a home for Beverly Hills escorts. Matthew Lillard stars.
Final Destination 5: Another group of young people tries to cheat death.
Apollo 18: A secret mission to the moon proves deadly.
Dora the Explorer: Dora Loves Boots: The DVD contains three features: Boots' First Bike, Bouncy Boots and The Big Red Chicken's Magic Wand.
Archer: The Complete Season Two: FX network's animated spy series.
Jersey Shore: Season Four: The gang makes a trip to Italy in an effort to be an embarrassment on two continents.
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: Series One: David Cross stars in this cable series about an office temp who bluffs his way into a senior sales job.
State of Georgia: Volume One: Raven-Symone stars.
Zombie Apocalypse: A family must be saved after months of hiding during a zombie apocalypse. Ving Rhames stars.