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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: TV On DVD For The Holidays

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"The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series" came out on DVD this year and it's worth it.

"The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series" came out on DVD this year and it's worth it.
With gift-exchanges coming fast and furious over the next couple weeks, we reviewed the DVDs we've received and watched so far this year and summarized some gift possibilities for you:

Contemporary TV Shows on DVD

"Community: The Complete First Season" - 25 episodes, plus plenty of extras including discussions with series creator Dan Harmon and the cast, a "Kickpuncher" comic book by Troy Barnes, and some very hilarious outtakes.

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"Bored to Death: The Complete First Season" - Might seem a bit skimpy with only 8 episodes but the quality of each episode justifies the price. Not only does it include deleted scenes (which shed even more light on the character development), the extras provide a great tour of Brooklyn as experienced by series creator Jonathan Ames.

"Men of a Certain Age: The Complete First Season"- Deleted scenes, commentary from Ray Romano and co-creator Mike Royce, and a really great gag reel. Yes, Ray Romano can act and he does a great job in the first season of a show that people are just hearing about now.

"Sons of Anarchy: Season Two" - If you were a little frustrated with SAMCRO's extended stay in Ireland this season, let's go back to the time when the club was dealing with racist drug dealers (Henry Rollins, Adam Arkin) making a move into Charming. We didn't even need the extras but they're appreciated all the same.

"Damages: The Complete Second Season" - Against all odds, there will be a season 3 but it will be pleasant to review the rollercoaster that happened in season 2: major characters killed off, the potential for everyone getting thrown into jail, even more Frobisher!

We got a lot of old TV shows sent to us, from "Leave it to Beaver" to "Mr. Belvedere," but there were only a couple that we watched all the way through and were worth the investment of our time:

Older TV Shows on DVD

"Max Headroom: The Complete Series" - We haven't seen this show being broadcast in reruns for years so it was a real pleasure to be able to watch every episode back-to-back and marvel at how the internet, journalism, and politics have evolved very closely to what was predicted in this ground-breaking series. Plus it's great to see that, yes indeed, Jeffrey Tambor was sporting his mustache on TV a couple decades before Dr. Phil.

"The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series" - All 6 seasons of another ground-breaking show. Has tons of deleted scenes and outtakes but the feature length documentary on the creation of the show is pretty fantastic as well as a discussion between Garry Shandling and series writer Judd Apatow. There's plenty of guest stars in the series (of course) but also in the extras, Shandling makes personal visits with: Alec Baldwin, Sharon Stone, David Duchovny, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jon Stewart among many others.

If these mini-reviews didn't inspire you to check out these specific sets, hopefully they stirred memories to look up an old favorite show of yours. Chances are, at least some of the seasons will be available on DVD. What we find ourselves saying after viewing some of these is: why can't they make a show as good as this anymore? It's pretty amazing how much we've compromised over the years. It's also why we are so adamant about keeping shows that we do like on the air despite the "market" competitions.

We will have another post this week with more DVDs in it, but it will be about a collection released by Shout Factory: "Roger Corman's Cult Classics." Many of the actors and directors who debuted their talents in Corman's films went on to do some stellar, or at least, popular television. We'll point out who was in which schlocky and hilarious film.