Top Five TV Series Everyone Should Own On DVD, According to Snarky Amber
For the first time since I was 16, I have had the whole summer off. While I meant to accomplish a whole lot of totally important and enriching things, I've mostly been re-exploring my favorite television shows in the comfort of my living room and bathrobe, usually with a bowl of Lucky Charms in my lap. While the summer is quickly winding down with new shows soon to be fed directly to your cable box and/or Tivo, it's not too late to catch a show you missed when it aired or one you watched and simply want to revisit. Under the fold, I present my picks for must-have television series on DVD.
In order to make the cut, these shows had to be good of course, but they needed real rewatchability, too. They also had to be the sort of show you're unlikely to catch a marathon of on Bravo, because while I will watch past seasons of Project Runway a million times, I'm not paying cash money for the pleasure. (I will never understand why someone would buy a reality show on DVD, but somebody does, because I saw The Hills on DVD last time I was at Best Buy, zero manure.)
Second, the show also needs to have a compelling story arc to make the list, the kind of writing that makes you cancel any plans you'd had to actually go outside and enjoy the sunshine and nature because you just had to get through the rest of the disc (or, *cough* rest of the season).
Finally, it had to be a show that has already completed its run, because I like finality and those are the rules that I just made up.
#5 Six Feet Under
Conveniently available now in a boxed set for the entire series, you can purchase this series for far less than I ended up spending altogether on each individual season. But even at three times the boxed set price, this show was worth every penny I spent. Six Feet Under encapsulates so much about what is so beautiful, ugly, funny or scary about life, death and family. It's been four years since the last episode aired, and I can't even think about the last 20 minutes of the series without weeping.
I find it difficult to justify buying most comedies on DVD. They tend to have a less rigid continuing story line to take you to the next episode, and are usually less funny on repeat viewings. However, there's never really been a show like Arrested Development before or since. I'll watch an episode multiple times and notice new things that crack me up, running jokes I missed the first time, or simply a hilarious line I didn't hear the first time because I was too busy roaring with laughter from something that happened a minute before it. Arrested Development has more funny in three seasons than Friends could have put into twice as many seasons as it managed to plop out. You an also watch it on Hulu if you're strapped for cash.
My husband bought the entire series for me on my birthday one year and, well...I could give him fellatio daily for the rest of our lives and it still wouldn't be enough fellatio to express my gratitude for this purchase. I spent a good portion of this summer rewatching the entire series with a friend who had never seen it, and it felt like introducing her to my best friends from high school. I was so nervous she wouldn't love the show the way I did, but she stuck around for all 144 episodes. And at four viewings, it's still fresh, funny, scary and sad in all the right places. The first three seasons are on Hulu, if you have commitment issues.
I was reluctant to put this on the list, because I've only watched it once, so I can't truly attest to its rewatchability. That said, I wanted to start over with episode one as soon as the credits rolled on the final episode, so I can safely say it was worth the expense. Kdiddy and Sweetney aren't being hyperbolic when they call this the best show on television, ever. Modern-day Shakespeare, son.
If you put your ear really close to your computer speaker, you can probably hear someone on the internet still bemoaning the cancellation of what is perhaps Joss Whedon's finest work. All that whingeing and gnashing of teeth, however, is not without merit. Firefly's brevity is both its upside and its downside, because while it requires little time commitment, it will leave you cursing the gods and the executives at Fox that there are only 14 episodes to watch. Clocking in at less than 12 hours, you could probably make a weekend of it, along with the motion picture, Serenity, and could still maybe get out of the house for a few hours. Look, if you don't own this series already, just go get it. It's $32.49 on Amazon. You probably spent more than that on your special-edition copy of Office Space, you mook. Also, all 14 episodes are on Hulu, if you want to be a cheap bastard about it.