As I packed up my room at my parents’ house this week, ready for the move into a place of my very own, I was confronted, quite brutally, by the fact that I own too many television shows on DVD.
I know, it’s hard to imagine “too many television shows on DVD,” as the release of series sets is quite possibly one of the greatest inventions ever, but it’s a bit overwhelming that my roommate owns “Punky Brewster” and one season of “Friends”, while I own 5 seasons of “Gilmore Girls,” 4 seasons of “24,” and 4 seasons of “Alias” (and that’s just the first two shelves of my DVD stand).
As I took the DVDs off the shelf and put them into boxes, I was hit by the fact that without the release of these sets, I would never have found, and become completely obsessed with, so many great shows.
Here, in no particular order, are my (current) favourite sets:
1. Freak and Geeks, the Complete Series: This show is truly one of the greatest “One Season Wonders” that was ever produced for TV. Funny, dramatic, completely believable, completely relatable, I can’t say enough good things about it. I was born in 1982, so I don’t want to pretend that I know what being a teenager at the turn of the decade, from the 70s to the 80s, was like. Yes, I had my obsession with Debbie Gibson, and I got to experience the Day-Glo excitement that was Hypercolour t-shirts and gigantic hair scrunchies in the late 80s, but I never had to go through a day like when John Bottom died, and I never had to worry about my burnout friends crashing my car. The stories that were told were definitely time-period specific, but at the same time, they transcended time. It wasn‘t just about being a teen in 1980. It was about learning how to juggle who you used to be, and who you were becoming, all the while dealing with the labels and the name-calling associated with growing up. Plus, James Franco is stunning, Jason Segal is HILARIOUS, and Busy Phillips was angry but likeable (unlike her Audrey on Dawson’s Creek who I found angry and not likeable).
2. Quantum Leap, Season 1: I joined the Quantum Leap fandom during the second season, so I never got to understand how the Quantum Leap-ing all started. What I did know is that I wanted to be able to live the life that his TV character got to live. Jumping from life to life, saving history, and making the world around me better. Sam was my favourite character on TV; he and Al had great partner chemistry, and Dean Stockwell never failed to amuse me. Owning the first season on DVD has allowed me to learn the beginning of the show, and the reason why Sam was on his quest. Being able to watch the first episodes has helped me understand more why I wanted so badly for Sam’s life to end happily, and why I wanted to story to come full circle, to watch him get home, and back to Sam, rather than the variety of people he had been over the years.
3. Smallville, Seasons 1-4: I was not a Smallville fan from Day One. There wasn’t a specific reason, at all. I didn’t consciously say “I am not going to watch that show,” I just didn’t have the time to fit in my schedule. And then there was Target and their “Get Seasons 1-4 of Smallville for only 20 bucks” sale last summer, that helped me to complete a series I hadn’t even thought of owning. Cut to me, 2 months after I bought them, ready for the new season to start, having watched Season 1 through Season 4 during any free time that I had. Because of the DVDs, I was much more interested in remembering to TiVo Season 5, and I cannot wait to see in what direction Clark’s life takes him as Season 6 starts next month on The CW.
4. Wonderfalls – The Complete Series: This show experienced a very short lifespan on FOX, as most critically acclaimed shows on the network are wont to do. Yes, it takes a while to get into the show, and at first, the talking figurines and barrettes, and balloons, etc., were hard to take, but each time I watch and re-watch every episode of this charming little show, my love for the writers, as well as my admiration for Caroline Dhavernas and affection for Tyron Leitso (Jaye and Eric), grows! Anyone who has seen the high school 6.5 year reunion episode – where Jaye causes her father to be run over by a car, who Sharon then drugs with his pain pills, and the cause of the week, Gretchen (played by Chelan Simmons), calls Mahandra (played by Tracie Thoms) “Janet” the whole time – and can truthfully say that they didn’t like any parts of it, is not giving this show a chance!
5. The Office UK: The First Series, The Second Series, The Christmas Special: Ricky Gervais is, you guessed it, my hero. He’s funny, and awkward, and delightfully inept, but he’s caring, and lovable, and he really truly just wants to be the coolest guy in the room at all times. Most people watching The Office US know that it was spun off of this amazing UK creation, but few realize that without David Brent, we’d have no Michael Scott. Without Gareth, we’d have no Dwight, and no Tim and Dawn would mean there was never a Jim and Pam to root for! Ricky and his partner Stephen Merchant stopped the show while they were on top so that there was never a downward spiral in quality. Each and every single episode has me laughing out loud, and I literally could watch these all day everyday, and have no complaints.
6. Arrested Development Season 1 and Season 2: There’s not much more to say about this amazing series other than the fact that I worship it, and Jason Bateman, and every other member of the most perfect cast that was ever assembled.
What TV shows on DVD are you obsessed with? What do you like to watch when you’re bored?
In other news….
Well, Eric “Freaking” Balfour (that is my affectionate nickname for him…), is headed back to TV (reprising his role as Milo Pressman, the CTU computer geek he played on 24 in season 1). While that probably shocks no one because he’s been on every single show that was ever made since the beginning of time, it’s odd that he would be coming back to 24, playing a minor character, rather than headlining his own tawdry series with a can’t-actress, like Denise Richards. Whatever show he’s on, I’m there. For no other reason than my own personal obsession with the intense career that belongs to Eric “Freaking” Balfour, I am absolutely thrilled to see him back during Jack Bauer’s 6th longest day.
As mentioned on the site, the participants in my personal guilty pleasure “Dancing with the Stars,” have been announced. Who am I rooting for? Well, certainly Mr. Lisa Rinna himself, Harry “Aaron Echolls” Hamlin. Or perhaps I’ll root for Joey “Whoa” Lawrence (who is now going to by “Joe”, not “Joseph” or “Joey”, but “Joe”) or hunky Saved by the Bell curl-mullet hero A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez), looking hot and phenomenal these days…it’s a tough
call but I’ll be tuning in when it starts!!!
This time next week, I’ll be watching or reacting to the start of the fall season with “Prison Break” and “Vanished” Monday nights on FOX! What troubles will our gang of escapees encounter? I can’t wait to find out! Bill Fichtner joins the cast as the greatest kick-ass FBI agent ever (at least that’s what I call him because I love him to death), chasing the convicts all over the place to try to get them back in Fox River!
The “Rescue Me” season finale is coming up. Those of you fans that have held on with worry that there would be a bad ending to this otherwise mediocre season should hold on to your hats. I’ve seen the last episodes of this season. THEY. BLEW. ME. AWAY. I promise, they completely make up for the fact that the show concentrated on Tommy getting laid, rather than Tommy recovering from his survivor’s guilt, and almost totally ruined Probie by making him almost too dumb to function. Don’t give up on it yet!
Also coming up, the season finale of one of the greatest comedies I’ve seen in recent years, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Let’s hope that they end the year on the comedic high note that we’ve seen all season!
That’s all this week – my room is covered in cardboard boxes and crazy high piles of clothes I forgot I owned and my roommates are beginning to think that I‘ve packed myself INTO my room, with a plan of never venturing out so I feel like I should get something done!
What are you up to for the rest of the summer? What summer finales are you most looking forward to? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org