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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: Last Minute Gifts for the TV Inclined/Afflicted

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"God Hates Us All" a real book by "Californication" character Hank Moody - a good read/gift

"God Hates Us All" a real book by "Californication" character Hank Moody - a good read/gift
Yes, the question of what to get someone perennially comes up but if you know of any of their TV-viewing proclivities answering that question gets a lot easier. Here are some ideas that go beyond the obvious:Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XVI. As if it would be a surprise, we are the type of person(s) who spew a continuous stream of dialogue while viewing anything on TV and MST3K was a show built for us. Volume XVI features not only four incredibly bad films, including the horrific by seasonally perfect Santa Claus (which involves a dance number from Satan among other things) but the set includes a miniature Tom Servo character to accompany your viewing pleasure. [Note: Interview with Kevin Murphy, the voice of Tom Servo, coming soon!!] . Plenty of extras round out this DVD set which is a must for any MST3K freaks.

God Hates Us All by Hank Moody. Yes, an actual book written by Showtime's "Californication" character Hank Moody. David Duchovny got a Golden Globe nomination for his work this season but we've had complainers commenting the last few days that because of various plot twists this season that they "miss Hank Moody". Well this book is all Hank Moody all the time and if you ever liked that Hank Moody and you like to read you will like this book.

thirtysomething: The Complete First Season and thirtysomething: The Complete Second Season (to be released January 19th). The funny thing is that most folks just now entering their thirty-somethings won't even remember this show but those of us that do have very specific characters they identified with or simply loathed. In our case it was a joy to re-live the hate again - Nancy, you're such a bitch! Gary, lose the effing hair already, do you aspire to be in Winger or something? Fans of the series might appreciate the TV Junkie's 2007 interview with executive producer Marshall Herskovitz. This sometimes painful show was excellently written and performed and became a model for many shows since - HBO's "Big Love" reminds us a lot of "thirtysomething" at its best.

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True Blood Soundtrack. The truth is that we've been waiting for a Volume 2 but we'll take this one anytime with great tunes from the likes of John Doe, Dr. John, and Lucinda Williams, it makes us think of the bloody bayou anytime of day.

It's Garry Shandling's Show: The Complete Series. A true fan of TV will appreciate this. Yes, a lot of folks can't stand Garry Shandling, and we have no logical explanation about what has happened to his face over the last few years, but we do know that instead of taking over "The Tonight Show", of which he was a guaranteed shoe-in, he chose to make one of the most innovative programs ever produced on what was then a completely unknown premium cable channel, Showtime. Shandling helped premium cable become what it is today as well as paved the way for such shows as "Seinfeld", "Arrested Development", and many other darlings of the critics. The DVDs feature great commentary and insight from both Shandling as well as co-creator (and "SNL" alum) Alan Zweibel.

Son of the Beach: Volume Two. Yes, this Howard Stern-produced show is an acquired taste but you know, it's Christmastime, and temperatures have dipped to the low 70s, and why not try to bring the joy of summer back with this "Baywatch" farce starring the creepily gawky Timothy Stack who will clamber over any obstacle (body issues, awkwardness, self-respect, humiliation, etc.) to get a laugh for this show and we applaud him for it. You do have to "endure" the spectacle of female cast members Leila Arcieri, Jamie Bergman, and multiple guest stars engage in slow motion soap-sud enhanced wrestling matches but the verging-on-slapstick gags and ridiculous plot lines are combined with a consciously/vehemently anti-P.C. bent that keeps this show barely above low-brow humor. A prime example of this is the episode, "The Island of Dr. Merlot" guest-starring John O'Hurley aka J. Peterman from "Seinfeld" which alone may well be worth the price of this set of DVDs.

Perhaps none of these are the right one for your intended, but hopefully they will inspire some thinking as to what the right item will be.

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