TV Eye: TV on Your Own Timetable
DVD boxed sets
Listen! The sound of jingling bells and the sight of tinsel, fake snowflakes, and evergreen (real and fake) are coming to the forefront, which can only mean one thing: It's time to hide with your favorite spiked beverage and wait for it all to pass. But before that happens, you may need to find a gift or two, just to keep your seat at the family's holiday table.
There are lots of DVD choices for TV fans, be they current watchers, long-ago watchers, or anything in between. Here are some suggestions:
For fans of buddy/gal pal stories: The Golden Girls: 25th Anniversary Complete Collection (Walt Disney Home Entertainment, $149.99). This 21-disc set includes all 180 episodes of the popular series that became even more popular once it went into syndication. As if that weren't enough fun, it's packaged in a box that resembles an oversized purse (a tribute to Estelle Getty's Sophia) and has a few other goodies including a deck of playing cards.
For a more recent, less yuks-filled, but entirely entertaining series, take a look at Men of a Certain Age: The Complete First Season (Warner Home Video, $39.98). Ray Romano of Everybody Loves Raymond fame reveals a more mature side playing a newly divorced father trying to navigate single life while managing a gambling problem. He's in good company (and more than holds his own) with Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher, who play his friends and confidants. And speaking of Men, the series returns for a second season Monday, Dec. 6, at 9pm on TNT.
For period piece fans: The Tudors: The Complete Series (Showtime Entertainment, $162.99). The cable series shows the royals (in this case, King Henry VIII, et al.) as we'd like to imagine them – thin, wicked-sexy, self-centered, and well-coifed. Lots of extras on this 15-disc set including short docs "Royal Manners," "History of the Tudor Rose," "Tracking the Tudor Dynasty," and more.
Fast-forwarding to more recent times and to this side of the pond, Deadwood: The Complete Series (HBO Home Video, $209.98) is now available on Blu-ray.
For fans of mind games and the slightly unsettling: Luther: Season 1 (BBC Video, $34.98). Idris Elba (so memorable in The Wire) is to die for in this psychological crime drama about a brilliant but slightly off-kilter detective whose specialty is tracking and bagging sociopathic murderers. A strong cast and even stronger scripts support Elba's sexy, slightly mad, and deeply wounded performance of Luther.
"Tell me what you don't like about yourself" is the famous, unnerving opening line of Nip/Tuck, which is now available in a 35-disc set, Nip/Tuck: The Complete Series (Warner Home Video, $149.95). The former FX series about two plastic surgeons who are both friends, partners, and adversaries got a little skeevy in later seasons – not because of the blood and gore as you might expect, but because not everything was what it seemed, and no amount of cutting as going to make what's disfigured inside look better.
For gleeks and nerds: Glee: The First Season: Gleek Gift Set With Journal (20th Century Fox, $59.98). I don't know what a "Gleek Gift Set With Journal" would include, and you don't need to either. Just rest assured that your favorite gleeks will squeal with joy if they find this under the tree.
For less vocal geeks and nerds, you might try Heroes: The Complete Series (Universal Home Video, $199.98), Caprica: Season 1.5 (Universal Home Video, $49.98), or V: The Complete First Season (Warner Home Video, $32.95).
For the nascent filmmaker out to change the world: Brave New Films: 5th Anniversary Activist Collection (Brave New Films, $100). This 10-disc set includes features and short pieces by documentarian Robert Greenwald, including Rethink Afghanistan, "The Real McCain," Iraq for Sale, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, and other thought-provoking films. The set sells for $100, but if you get the limited edition boxed set with cover art by Shepard Fairey (creator of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster) and signed by Fairey and Greenwald, the price leaps to $250.
Ho ho ho!
As always, stay tuned.
E-mail Belinda Acosta at email@example.com.