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Top Five TV Series Everyone Should Own On DVD, According to Snarky Amber

Tobias_funke 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.


Arrested_development_complete_series #4 Arrested Development

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.

Buffy_boxed_set #3 Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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.

The_wire_boxed_set #2 The Wire

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.

Firefly_complete_series #1 Firefly

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. 

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The Sopranos has got to make the list.

So stoked for the Six Feet Under add. I miss the Fishers and crazy Brenda so much.


FIREFLY!!!!! Yes! BTVS!!!! Yes!!!! I was going to have to organize a riot if you didn't include both of those!


Absolutely Buffy. I haven't seen a the others though, so I will have to check them out.

I would add MASH and Freaks and Geeks to my list.


Oh i am so going out to by Six Feet Under... I followed the first season but then couldn't find it again since it was being rebroadcast a year late on Canadian TV...

And I need to find the Wire. I've never seen it but everything i hear about it makes me want to watch.

Arrested Development is a great one to have on DVD. It's gotten me through many a sick day!


Sports Night.

SPORTS NIGHT: Peter Krause before he was in Six Feet Under, Felicity Huffman before she was in that Housewives show, Alan Sorkin.

I rest my case.


This might sound SO 2004 of me, but I feel like The Office (BBC) needs a mention. It fits the criteria, and the rewatches are even better than the first time around.

Just Shireen

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.

Uh, yeah, that would be me. Le sigh.


I literally got laid off yesterday (banking industry) and right before I opened Mamapop I put in season 2 of Arrested Development(I do own all three seasons). I needed a laugh – and I knew Arrested Development would deliver. So, off I go. The only other option I considered was “An Evening with Kevin Smith”. I definitely recommend that if you have not seen it.


Own: Lost
Might possibly like to own in future: The Wire and Mad Men
Need to own: Smack the Pony and La Femme Nikita with Peta Wilson. God I miss that show.


Oh, I also forgot Twin Peaks as a need to own.


I can't believe I'm admitting to this, but I've never seen a single episode of any of those.

I'd add Alias to that list though. I freaking loved that show. We have other shows on DVD, but none could I say I'd mind if they were given away really.


my husband and i have decided to buy the Firefly set and Serenity for every person we love dearly. it's that good of a show.


These lists are incomplete until someone comments to say "Without the inclusion of X, I cannot take this list seriously," followed by paragraphs of incoherent praise for some piece of crap. So allow me:

"I'm sorry, but this author clearly does not understand television. Where is Hart To Hart? What about Simon McCorkindale's short-lived but barrier-breaking Manimal? And frankly, any list that does NOT include Jake And The Fat Man is not worth my time. In conclusion, I cannot take this list seriously. Maybe the 'author' of this 'list' should learn what REAL television is all about".


Sports Night and Veronica Mars.

Fairly Odd Mother

If I say that I've never seen a single episode of any of those shows would you say 1) wow! you must read a lot; 2) where do you live, under a rock?; 3) you're the idiot watching Wipeout instead of real tv, right?

And, yeah, it'd be 3.

(BTW, I'm impressed that you can write your statement under Buffy without fearing that you'll be living with lockjaw for the rest of your life)

Snarky Amber

Would you believe me if I told you that all of those shows were shortlisted along with Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman?


Oh man, "An Evening with Kevin Smith" is HILARIOUS. I love the giant spider story. And the first time he had sex with his wife.


...if I may take off my pants and pull my analrapist stocking over my head...


I was a big fan of Showtime's "Dead Like Me" - I hated that they killed it after 2 seasons, so I bought both of them and will watch every so often.


Oh yeah, PJ & Tiffany. Sports Night was fantastic, and is the only TV DVD set I own :)


Last weekend I noticed that all the Firefly episodes were on Hulu. If I can convince my husband to watch them with me....that might be how we spend the next week.

(I do own all of Arrested Development...but never even seen any of the others. I suck.)

(Oh, and I second "Veronica Mars".)

Snarky Amber

Oh, I love Dead Like Me, too, it's just not top 5. But the movie they put out? Oh, god, it almost ruined the memory of those two wonderful seasons.


You won't be sorry 'bout SFU - the music alone is a great reason to watch.

Suzy Q

Did you know there was a new 2-hour Dead Like Me TV movie on last week? I know, I was shocked, too. I'm sorry, but I can't remember what channel it was on.

Suzy Q

"West Wing"

And "China Beach" if they ever get the music rights.


I'm introducing my mom to Buffy and watching the latter half of the series for my husband's first time. It's great experience watching them react


Okay Internet...don't be mad and start throwing things, but.....

My husband and I sat down last night to finally watch "Firefly". We knew nothing about it except that THE INTERNET LOVES IT.

We weren't ready for what we saw.

A space western that is sometimes an opera? (I checked Wikipedia this morning and that's what it said.)


We only made it through half of the 90 minute pilot before I gave up and went to bed. Please, please tell me at what point you get sucked in and start to LOVE the show. Because at this point I can't see us finishing the pilot.

(Seriously, don't hate me!)

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