Amrie’s Take on TV: Holiday Gift Guide

For those of you wondering, with the limited shopping days left in December, what you can get me this holiday season, I felt it best to spell it all out for everyone – a short TV-on-DVD (and one CD because of my obsession with complete sets) guide that I, and your fellow TV addicts, would love to see under one of my three Christmas trees. (What, no one else has a pink tree, a silver tree, and a douglas fir along one wall of their dining room?)

1. Alias – The Complete Fifth Season
(or the entire series, if you’re willing shell out the big bucks) -

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. My addiction to TV, my sickness over failed plot lines, my connection to characters that I truly believed in? It started with this show. New Year’s Day, 2002, I watched Alias for 10 hours. It didn’t take me 10 hours to love it. It took me ten seconds, but I watched it. Since then, I’ve watched Seasons 1 and 2 on repeat so many times that I can recite hundreds of scenes. I’ve even watched Season 3 again, with the hope that I would find something to love. And Season 4. When it was announced that the 5th season of Alias would be the last, I have to admit, regardless of the predictable plots, the overdone cliffhangers, the new Syd!lite we got from Rachel Nichols, and the new Vaughn!lite from the normally adorable Balt Getty, I was seriously sad. Now that it’s out on DVD, even though I hated Vaughn’s “death,“ I cannot wait to get a copy, since I have an obsession with complete sets (I own Seasons 1-3 of OTH, just because) and because Alias was so important in my TV-addict life, it would be the perfect gift!

2. 24 – Season Five (I’m sensing a trend….)

Jack Bauer is no stranger to a hellish 24 hours. He’s foiled assassination plots, terrorist bombing plots, and has dealt with his annoying daughter Kim. He’s seen his wife die at the hands of his ex-lover and he’s been the reason his partner (and Kim’s boyfriend) lost a hand. But in Season 5, no other show pulled what 24 pulled. David Palmer – gunned down. Michele Dessler – blown up in her own front lawn. Tony Almeida (my personal hero) – died avenging Michele’s death. It was shocking, and dangerous, and exciting, and edge-of-your-seat entertainment. Jean Smart, Gregory Itzin – they gave the performances of their careers (so good that they’re coming back for Season 6.…no storyline given, but the contracts have been signed!). I think it’s time for a 5 Season 24 marathon!

3. How I Met Your Mother – the complete first season -

The show that has been hailed as “The Next Friends” is out for repeat viewing on DVD. Thinking about being able to relive the episode “The Pineapple Incident” over and over again? Makes me ridiculously giddy with excitement. In a season where my favorite comedy was left for dead by FOX and the closest thing I could find to a laugh was watching an Idiot!Twins scene on 7th Heaven, HIMYM was a welcome breath of fresh air. If someone were to get that for me, I’d be their best friend indefinitely!

4. Scrubs – season 4 -

Ya know how when you think about some shows that have gone on for many seasons, there’s a season that makes you think “Man that wasn’t as good” (Season 6 of Gilmore Girls, anyone?)…. Not a single season of Scrubs makes me think anything like that. If anything, each season gets better and better, as the writers wrote to impress their fans, and not to impress the network that treated them like crap. JD, Turk, Carla, and Elliot wrapped up with a shiny bow? Yes, please!

5. The O.C. Mix 6 – Cover Our Tracks

I have Mix 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The first one, with The Dandy Warhols, and Alexi Murdoch, and great songs that I never heard before The O.C. entered my life….such good music. Mix 2 – with Interpol, and Death Cab, and that amazing “I’m Amazed” version by Jem. Mix 3 Happy Christmukkah!! 8 of the greatest Holiday themed songs I’ve ever heard (The great Wham classic “Last Christmas” by Jimmy Eat World!!!). Mix 4 introduced me to my obsession with Sufjan Stevens. Mix 5? Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap is one of my cell phone rings. So why do I want Mix 6? Because Mates of State (whose last cover – Jackson Browne’s “These Days” is on the Wicker Park soundtrack and just makes me grin ear to ear) did a cover of Phantom Planet’s “California”. Not to mention covers of all the great music we’ve seen or heard on The O.C. over the past few years.

So that’s just a few ideas about what to get me or your TV addict friends!!
What about you? What’s on your holiday gift giving list?

In Other News

Now, I know that not everyone enjoys a good Kara/Lee ‘shipper episode, but I? I found myself watching the episode with bated breath, hoping against all hope that we’d get some resolution to their never-ending feud. The end, with their horrible-to-watch fight that was so fraught with hatred it was painful? When they hugged each other to hold each other up after beating each other down and whispered their “I Missed Yous,” I was a bumbling mess of tears. But it is important to note that I enjoyed the progression of other relationships in the episode, too. Potheads Bill and Laura, kicking back, planning cabins in the woods on New Caprica? That’s one of the sweetest relationships on the small screen.

Let’s talk about Veronica Mars. I thought that the episode was very good, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the outcome. I did think it was intriguing that they “exonerated” Mercer, only to have him be the actual creepy rapist. And I knew that there was something uber-creepy about Moe, the RA that introduced Veronica to my favorite word – FRAK! Logan getting himself arrested so that he could attack Mercer and Moe in their shared jail cell? Stroke of Rob Thomas genius for writing that scene. Stroke of Jason Dohring genius for selling the shit out of his part.

Is anyone watching “My Boys” of “10 Items or Less” on TBS? Because I am. It features “always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride” Kyle Howard (the sidekick “almost love interest” on Grosse Pointe, The Opposite of Sex, Related, etc.) in a role well suited for him, as he finds himself falling for PJ, the girl at the center of a group of guys. I’ve only seen 2 episodes, but I think it has a good potential. As for “10 Items or Less” I found myself thinking “This is the show I’ve needed to fill my “no Arrested Development reruns on G4, no It’s Always Sunny on Philadelphia reruns on F/X” void. An almost entirely improvised comedy that’s set in a grocery store. Funny stuff happens it’s worth checking it out. “10 Items or Less” airs Mondays at 11, “My Boys” airs twice on Tuesdays at 10PM.

That’s it for this week – Look for a best of 2006 column next week!

Email me with questions, concerns, and/or general comments of wellbeing —


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  • GMMR

    I really enjoyed My Boys, but I could hardly stomach 10 Items or Less. Funny how that works :)

  • Hilda

    I too,am a addicted Alias lover,have been since episode 1 day 1! I also bought the complete seasons Rambaldi box and I kinda wished now I hadn’t.The extras are sub-standard to the previous four seasons.however…if I can collect all 9 seasons of X-FILES then I had to collect these too!
    But in going back and watching Season 5 again,I have a new found appreaciation for the season and the not as great story telling as in previous seasons.

    However,I did learn to really like the addition of Rachel Gibson.No she was not Sydney by any means but it was fun watching her come into her own uder Syds mentoring.
    It was wonderful seeing Syd in the handler role.
    I also really liked Tom Grace,he was a loner but he played well with the Team! He reminded me of what a young Jack Bristow might of been like.
    Rene Reane,well she was just awesome and I wished we got more of her.I loved that she trusted Syd,just based on Vaughns conversations with Rene about Syd.
    Plus Rene worked quite well with Jack!
    I hated seeing her being killed,that was one of the many things that made me sad about season 5.

    Now to the main reason that I loved this show….Jack and Syd. They’re dynamic relationship was the best part of the show. I honestly never thought that TPTB would kill Jack Bristow and I banked on it,so when it happened,I was stunned and I bawled my eyes out! I loved-Love Jack Bristow,and I swear mourn him like he was part of my own family! SO SILLY,I know!
    But now going back and watching season 5 again and seeing those very sweet moments between Jack and Syd just heighten the loss of his character.
    Jack was the most important man in Syds life next too Vaughn and that really showed in “Bob” where he and Elizabeth are held captive.
    The emotions of the final season after the fact are quite vivid and I know that for that,I appreaciate the last season more!

  • J.V.

    Reading your blog, thought you might like this music video – not your typical Christmas song!

    “Xmas Stan”: