5 TV Shows that Should be on DVD
by Rachel Cericola
, TV editor
It was bound to happen. Everyone boasts how DVD is a much "cleaner"
and "neater" way to store your movies, but as a society we are buying
up so many of them, my guess is that everyone's entertainment cabinet looks
as sloppy as mine.
The Hollywood Reporter recently did a piece on how
too many TV shows are being immortalized on DVD these days. But
despite my mess, I say it's just the contrary. Here are five favorites
that are screaming for a spot inside my entertainment cabinet.
1. The Wonder Years (1988-1993)
"Kevin, it's everything you always wanted to know about sex --
This was my childhood -- or at least I spent a good deal of it
watching this show. "The Wonder Years" (IMDb
listing) really reminds me that they
don't make shows like they used to. "American Dreams" tried it, and
while it was a valiant effort, it didn't quite capture the wide-eyed
enthusiasm that was created by Kevin Arnold.
First kisses, first zits, being terrorized by siblings and mortified
by parents straight out of Pleasantville were a great basis for the
regular cast. Daniel Stern's narration, Joe Cocker's theme song, and
memorable supporting characters round out this classic dramedy that I
wouldn't mind checking out again now that I am a little older.
Laserlight Video released a "Best of" DVD in 1998. The picture quality
looks as though someone copied VHS tapes a thousand times, then got
the bright idea to transfer them to DVD. Even worse, it only included 70
minutes from the show's five-year run.
But don't hold your breath. Supposedly the soundtrack is what's
keeping this classic from that eternal slot in your DVD collection.
"Freaks and Geeks" spent about a $1 million to secure rights to the music
for ONE season, so they'd need a pretty big Brinks truck to put a
"Wonder Years" set together. As much as I want producers to throw that
caution to the
wind, without the tunes the series would seem a little flat.
Where Are They Now?
- Fred Savage (Kevin Arnold): Starring with Jane Curtain in "Crumbs"
this fall on ABC.
- Danica McKeller (Winnie Cooper): Recently starred on "The West Wing"
and stars in "The Zero Principle."
- Olivia d'Abo (Karen Arnold): Recently starred on "Law & Order" and
finished recording her album "Turku."
- Josh Saviano (Paul Pfeiffer): Works at a law firm in New York City.
2. WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982)
"Oh, I almost forgot, fellow babies... BOOGER!"
According to TV Shows on DVD.com, Fox is looking at putting
"WKRP" (IMDb listing) out, but again, music clearances
might keep it
off the shelf.
Which makes me think: For a show that revolved around the wacky
workings of a radio station in the post-disco '70s, I
can't remember one song that was played on this show -- except for the
"very special episode" that recapped the night where 11 concertgoers
were trampled to death at a Who concert.
When the show wasn't being preachy (which wasn't too often), cast
members were preoccupied with turkeys that couldn't fly, the Silver
Sow, Herb's suits, painting Greenpeace pink, Rip Tide, the Big Guy,
and the word "booger." It was a rare sitcom. Over the
show's four years, they never had a revolving door of
characters or cast members and no one had to "hook up" to keep things
Just a quick tip: If they ever do decide to put this gem out on DVD,
they can save some room and clip any mention of "The New WKRP in
Cincinnati," which killed a great idea around 1991.
Where Are They Now?
- Gary Sandy (Andy Travis): Traveling theater performer, most recently
starred in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."
- Loni Anderson (Jennifer Marlowe): Starring in "Notorious" with
- Howard Hesseman (Dr. Johnny Fever): Starring in "Man About Town"
with Ben Affleck.
- Tim Reid (Venus Flytrap): Recently starred on "That '70s Show."
3. The Chris Isaak Show (2001-2004)
"Advertising and venue? Who are you, Bill Graham? It's a yard sale for
Chris Isaak is a sensitive crooner, an avid surfer and a handsome
devil. Despite the perception that many of you might get from his
music, he's also one funny bastard.
"The Chris Isaak Show" (IMDb listing) follows what I'd like to think of as
his real life -- performing
in a local club, dealing with wacky bandmates as well as his own
little corner of
fame. Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Isaak once described the
show to a tee: "It's very much like real life. It's 100 percent
Actually, the show is a mix of fact and fiction. Isaak does have a '64
(not the one in the show though), he does live in San Francisco, and
he does drink Tang. Each show even includes at least one performance
by Chris and his real-life band (plus one fictional and slightly
retarded keyboard player, hilariously portrayed by Jed Rees). Just
don't expect The Monkees, kids. This show is smart, witty and sadly,
it's now gone. The show lasted for three seasons, making it well
within your budget -- both for viewing time and money.
Where Are They Now?
- Chris Isaak: Recently seen in John Waters' "A
Dirty Shame." He also cut a Christmas album in 2004.
- Jed Rees (Anson Drubner): Just completed "The Ringer" with Johnny
Knoxville and Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown;" he's currently working
on the untitled movie inspired by "The Onion."
4. Saturday Night Live (1975-Present)
"Live from New York -- it's Saturday Night!"
So many "Saturday Night Live" (IMDb
listing) skits, parodies, cast members, bands and bloopers have
and gone over the past 30 years. Some were classics, some not so much.
It's time to relive the triumphs and tragedies in their entirety.
Before you start sending emails, it's true: You can find multiple
"Best Of" compilations from John Belushi to Jimmy Fallon all on DVD.
But why tease us? Instead of picking favorites for us, why not just
let the whole series loose on DVD? You can often find episodes in
syndication, most recently on Comedy Central and then E! But it seems
like they are always running the same edited episodes, if not the
same seasons -- all from the most recent casts.
It could be a major cash cow -- well, maybe not those episodes from
the early '80s. But were they really that bad? Let me judge for
myself. The creators and producers obviously crave money ("It's Pat"
anyone?). I crave to watch every episode, including outtakes and
backstage antics, from start to finish. I missed a lot during those
early years, back when I had a bedtime.
Where Are They Now?
- Bill Murray: Received an Oscar nomination for "Lost
in Translation." Currently has three movies in the works including
"Rob Schneider's Hard R."
- Adam Sandler: Starring in the box-office hit "The
- Eddie Murphy: Will be heard in the sure-to-be-box-office-gold "Shrek
- Will Ferrell: Six movies in 2005, including "Bewitched."
- Do we need to go on?
5. The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993-1994)
"Never look too deep into the mind of a lawyer."
You don't know it, but you're a Bruce Campbell fan.
He's one of those actors that you probably remember, but can't quite
picture when pressed. Or maybe you are an uber-fan that can recite
every word from each "Evil Dead" movie. He's also been in both
flicks, as well as "The
Ladykillers" and the critically
Ho-Tep." Take my word for it, you know him well.
"The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (IMDb
listing) show was Bruce Campbell's attempt to make a weekly visit
homes, and despite his dead-on portrayal of bounty hunter Brisco
County, Jr., viewers just weren't all that interested. Another show
that could stake a claim to being ahead of its time, this one was
cancelled after one measly season.
Maybe viewers didn't care about the western storyline. Or the fact
that it mixed in a lot of sci-fi. It was a winner for me, and fans
seem to be frothing for a DVD release. There are a few bootlegs
floating out on the Web, but we want extras, bloopers and the bottom
line from the main man himself.
Where Are They Now?
Posted by Mac at June 9, 2005 4:42 PM
- Bruce Campbell (Brisco County, Jr.): Three movies for 2005, including
his own "Man with the Screaming Brain." He just released his second
book, "Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way."