Wednesday, May 31, 2006

TV On DVD - May 30, 2006

Back from a long hiatus which came about for a variety of reasons are my TV on DVD posts. List courtesy of of course.

By the way my small and selective library of TV shows on DVD - small and selective because I can't afford large and all inclusive - has grown. I not only have both sets of The Amazing Race but I was finally able to get Firefly and on sale for just $25 at HMV - I wish I could have afforded to pick up some of the other stuff they had on sale too.

Alf: Season 3
- ALF was one of those shows that took the world by storm and just as quickly blew itself out. The show about the furry alien was more sophisticated than a lot of people probably gave it credit for (based on the next two entries in particular which are definitely aimed at kids). The third season features the addition of a baby to the Tanner family, courtesy of actress Anne Schedeen's real life pregnancy.

Alf Animated Adventures - 20,000 Years in Driving School
- While ALF was on the air as a live action series, NBC also had an animated series in their Saturday morning lineup detailing the life of Gordon Shumway a.k.a. ALF on his home world of Melmac. About what you'd expect.

Alf - Tales, Vol. 1 - Alf and the Beanstalk and Other Classic Fairy Tales
- So it turns out that ALF: The Animated Series was so popular - or the live action series was - that it spawned a spin-off of the spin-off. This was ALFTales which were versions of fairy tales as told by the characters from ALF: The Animated Series. I swear it sounds as if someone was desperate for content.

American Muscle Car: Season 2
- More episodes from Speed Channel's series which is just about what you'd expect. It's very difficult getting information about this show, you know, like hosts and insignificant details like that. This show is a celebration of Detroit metal in the days before $1 a liter gas.

Avatar Book 1 - The Last Airbender, Vol. 3
- More animated episodes from the Avatar mythos. I still don't get it and probably never will.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete First Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Third Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fifth Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Sixth Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Seventh Season

- Okay, so apparently we're all supposed to run out to the video store and buy all seven seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer again because they're in new packages? This after they put a complete set on sale - presumably with the old versions - just a few weeks ago. Sorry, but unless you haven't got the old sets (and this doesn't drive the prices on them down) I'd say give this one a pass.

Dark Shadows: DVD Collection 24
- Clearly there is a reason why soap operas are not collected on DVD. This series lasted a mere five years - 1225 half hour episodes - but it will take 25 or 26 four disc sets to complete the series. Definitely for the serious fan only.

The Doris Day Show: Season 3
The Doris Day Special

- Season 3 of The Doris Day Show was the last to feature that master of timing McLean Stevenson. Mac apparently decided that he was a "big star" - bigger than the show - and bid adieu to Doris at the end of this season and almost immediately realised how stupid a move he made. While Doris just went out and hired John Dehner. Stevenson later admitted it was a huge mistake but still quit M*A*S*H when someone offered him Hello Larry. The Doris Day Special actually links to the series in a rather unique way. Doris was contracted to do both the series and two specials, including this one, in a contract negotiated for her - without her knowledge - by her rat of a husband Martin Melcher who died in 1968. She elected to fulfill the contract because Melcher had basically robbed her blind and spent every dime she ever made.

The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Sixth Season
- More adventures with the cousins who are fighting the system like two modern day Robin Hoods. One season seems to blend into another with this show, between the mistaken identities, car chases, bridge jumping, dumber than Georgia dirt cops and Catherine Bach in short shorts. I think I stopped watching after Season 5. One interesting thing in this season is that we get to meet yet another Duke cousin - Luke's long lost brother Jud Kane.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Vol. 3: The Original Animated TV Series
- This was Bill Cosby's effort at educational animation based on characters from several of his comedy routines from this period

Joey: The Complete First Season
- In the name of all that is holy Why?

The Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 4
- I was never a huge Kids In The Hall fan, and I refuse to buy into the notion that they were a Canadian Monty Python's Flying Circus since I find that that undervalues both groups and also comedy teams like The Frantics who never got exposure in the United States. I will state for a fact that The Kids In The Hall did a lot of cutting edge comedy, but the follow in a long tradition of Canadian comedy (including the guys dressing in women's clothing) that goes back at least as far as Wayne & Shuster and possibly as far back as the Dumbells concert troupe of World War I.

Night Stalker: The Complete Series
- The problem with Night Stalker is that it couldn't possibly live up to the reputation of the original series...and apparently it didn't. I suspect the market was there, and certainly The WB did well enough to keep Supernatural on for a second season, but the original Night Stalker with Darren McGavin acquired nearly mythical status and as I said I don't think this version could possibly live up to the expectations.

Numb3rs: The Complete First Season
- We use math everyday, including to count up the cost of DVD boxsets. But this show is worth having. There's a palpable chemistry between Judd Hirsch, David Krumholtz and Rob Morrow as a father and his two sons (trivia: Morrow is 44 and his "brother with whom he graduated high school" Krumholtz is 26). As well, the show not only talks down to the viewer but it talks down to the characters - Charlie has to explain his methods to the FBI agents in simple terms - and this is a good thing because we aren't made to feel like we're dummies when we don't understand something. And Peter McNichol steals every scene he's in and what could be better than that.

Queer As Folk: The Complete Fifth Season
- This show was a huge hit both on Showtime in the United States and on Showcase in Canada (which briefly considered making a sixth season on its own after Showtime cancelled the show, supposedly due to the rising value of the Canadian dollar). While set in Pittsburgh, the show was shot in Toronto. I've never seen it so I'm unprepared to express an opinion, but apparently it will be slightly delayed in Canada (check out the date on the listing).

Rollergirls: The Complete Season One
- I remember watching real Roller Derby during the sports last dying gasp as a TV spectacle on a par with professional wrestling. Rollergirls, which ran for one 13 episode season on A&E was an element of a grassroots revival in the sport which by mid-February 2006 - thanks in part to the show - saw some 80 mostly amateur all-woman leagues forming across the United States. I could make a remark about the incongruity of this show being on a network calling itself Arts & Entertainment, but I gave up on them when they cancelled Nero Wolfe and started running Dog: The Bounty Hunter.

The Tomorrow People: Set 3
- Reading the Wikipedia description of The Tomorrow People I can't help being reminded of The X-Men, albeit a restrained, British, version. This third set winds up the final three seasons of the original 1970s, which are usually considered superior to the 1990s revival despite the exceptionally bad special effects.

The Venture Bros.: Season One
- What would an Adult Swim series be if it weren't an irreverent take-off on an older show or some other tradition? Well will never know now will we - they all are. The Venture Brothers is quite clearly a satire of Jonny Quest with more than a dash of such juvenile adventure characters as The Hardy Boys. There are a ton of other characters that satirize a host of characters including (but not limited to) the Fantastic 4, Doc Savage and Walt Disney. Sounds like great fun.

Will & Grace - Series Finale
- I didn't watch it because I'm not a fan. I suppose there are reasons for buying this but why would you when the episode is going to be in the season set?

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