Thursday, January 16, 2014

Readers' Write (9): Who's the Best...DVD Series You Own?

While Karen and Doug are on vacation in January, our readers have been entrusted with carrying on the daily conversations.  Today's "Who's the Best?" is a do-it-yourselfer.  As we've done in the past, the first commenter gets to pick today's topic of conversation.

Generally speaking, "Who's the Best?" is for historical topics.  For example, in the past we've started conversations such as "Who's the Best -- Thor Artist?" and "Who's the Best -- Frankenstein Monster?"  Start a conversation that is broad enough to elicit an ongoing conversation, and that even might lend itself to tangential musings.

Thanks for holding it down for us!

In an attempt to rescue today's post from the depths of indifference, Doug steps in to ask:  Who's the Best... DVD series you either own or wish to own?  He asks a follow-up question -- Who's the Best... TV program yet to make it to DVD?


Karen said...

Nobody yet? Really? Where's Osvaldo? ;)

Doug said...

It's just not so easy be creative, crafty, and witty on a daily basis!

Hey, gang -- you'll notice on the sidebar a teaser advertising "Super-Blog Team-Up" on the horizon. Karen and I have been asked to join what looks to be a very fun collaboration among several other bloggers, and it'll be winging your way around February 15th. Stay tuned -- should be cool!


david_b said...

Sorry oh Wise Ones.. I suspect this day's focus has unofficially been hijaaked by all things Dozer.

I just looked out my window and saw a few folks doin' the Batusi

Team Coco's announcement has everyone estatic. Even Matt Celis is excited. No small feat.

Love you, Matt.

Doug said...

Oh, Matt gets excited... He was voted Best Disser on this blog long ago. He wears it loud and proud. I kid.

Keep it live, Matt!


Anonymous said...

Don't look at me for ideas. My last suggestion went over like a fart in church.

Doug said...

Well, I suppose I'll violate vacation protocol and make an attempt at generating some conversation today.

Who's the Best... DVD collection you either own or wish to own?

Follow that up with Who's the Best... TV show that is yet to be on DVD?

Just an extension of last night's post about the Batman show.


Anonymous said...

Oh man! The day I get my chance I wake up feeling like crap, trade the bed for the couch and sleep most of the day!

I guess I need to hold on to my topic for another opportunity. :)

The best DVD series I own is not Bronze Age related or even particularly geeky - but that's The Wire (best TV show of all time, except perhaps for The Twilight Zone). I also have all 7 season of Buffy, which my wife and I are about to finish (me for the ??th time, her for the first time).

Anonymous said...

"I, Claudius"! (favorite DVD collection I own.)
John Hurt as Caligula! Need I say more?
Also, The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight. Not a collection, but...throw it in the machine and enrage your neighbors.

Edo Bosnar said...

Dang, Osvaldo, tough break...

And Doug, although vacation protocol is almost as sacrosanct as the prime directive, you're forgiven. Great topic!
The favorite series I own on DVD is a toss-up between The Prisoner and Jeeves & Wooster. (Last summer I acquired a used set of the complete Firefly + Serenity for a song, but I have yet to watch any of it...)
Osvaldo, good choice on The Wire. That is indeed a damn fine show - wouldn't mind owning that myself. Ditto for Twilight Zone - the original in particular (obviously), but even the revived show in the '80s was pretty good. In that vein, I also wish I owned The Outer Limits as well.

Anonymous said...

Jeeves and Wooster is so good! Often when the wife and I watch Downton Abbey, I say, "I'd rather be watching Jeeves & Wooster!"

Firefly is also a great choice - but I pretend the film didn't happen. Not that it was that bad, but it felt awfully compressed.

I would LOVE to own "I, Claudius." I do own both seasons of HBO's ROME.

I had borrowed the complete Twlight Zone from a friend some years back, but just watched a few episodes throughout. I decided I rather liked the idea of there still being episodes I had never seen and could happen upon on TV some time.

Oh, and I forgot to mention another of my favorite collections, The Marx Bros Paramount collection. There has never been anyone funnier.

Doc Savage said...

If by series we mean TV, for me it's Blackadder. Hilarious every time, especially after the first "series" as the British call TV seasons.

For shows yet to be on DVD, at least for a while longer it's the long-awaited, much-anticipated Batman '66!

I was voted best disser? Must've missed that.

Steve Does Comics said...

Needless to say, I'd love to own every surviving episode of Dr Who on DVD.

I'd go along with those who've nominated The Wire.

I've not seen I Claudius since I was at school, so that would indeed be fun to see again.

If there were a DVD collection of The Complete Nigel Kneale, I'd definitely want that.

I'd go for The entire run of the sitcom Father Ted but it's repeated on TV every night, so there's really no need to get it on DVD.

Garett said...

I'll look forward to the Batman series. I was happy with The White Shadow season 1--a favorite show of mine as a kid, and the writing lived up to my memory. I picked up The Fall Guy season 1 on sale--never watched it much at the time, but it's a hoot now, with Lee Majors not taking himself seriously. I also loved The White Shadow as I was a basketball fan, and ended up playing on the high school team, partly inspired by the show.

Outside the Bronze age, I like Have Gun Will Travel season 1-- great compact writing, with some episodes by Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry. Much better than James Garner's Maverick for writing, although Garner has great charisma in any role. Also picked up seasons 1,2 and 3 of Rockford Files--great show, for writing, acting, guest stars.

For new stuff I have Breaking Bad and Californication--very good, but I don't know if they'll have the same rewatch value as something like Rockford Files. Once you know what happens in shows like Mad Men or Breaking Bad, will they be worth seeing again?

J.A. Morris said...

I don't know if it's the "best" I own, but SCTV was the series I was happiest to see released on dvd (even if they've only released the NBC years so far). I had a bunch of of 1980s vhs tapes of the series that were getting grainy, I thought they would never get legit releases.

2nd place would be the 1967 Spider-Man dvd set. Season 1 is still lots of fun, even if the characters are dumbed down a bit for Saturday Morning. The music alone made the dvds worth owning.

Anonymous said...

Garrett, I thought I was the only "Have Gun, Will Travel" fan in these parts!
Everybody oughtta watch one episode and see if they don't dig it! I'd love to have the DVD collection.

Edo Bosnar said...

By the way, Matt, how did you miss our recent annual BAB commenter awards vote? Besides your own honors for best disser, I *finally* got voted favorite blog regular from South East Europe (looks like the Greek and Bulgarian voting blocs finally cancelled each other out), Humanbelly was voted best looking in dance tights (well-deserved, too), and David B. was voted best overall commenter, again (third year in a row - now I admit, I voted for him too, but I'm still beginning to suspect some kind of backroom horsetrading).

Doug said...

J.A., you beat me to it! I was just getting ready to say that I don't own many DVD collections, but the Spider-Man '67 set is one and it's pretty nifty. I also have the original five Apes films (plus the AMC feature on the "making of") as a set -- love those, too.

As I've said in the past, I'd really like to have the 1966 Marvel Super-Heroes on DVD at some point. YouTube will have to suffice until then, as I'm not a Netflix subscriber.


david_b said...

For sets I own..?

I'd say my Space:1999 Yr 1 on blue-ray. All prints were cleaned up, color hues adjusted, sound redone to Surroundsound 7.1 standards, you name it. Nice behind scenes stuff, vintage interviews, etc. And.. yes, the subject matter.

Also my SOON to be replaced homemade Batman '66 set.

I need to get the original Galactica boxset again. I had the awesome Cylon helmet set, but ended up reselling it after a year. Lots of cut footage, but the 'Saga of a Star World' commentaries by Hatch, Jefferson and Benedict kept freezing the video for some reason, which was disheartening because those three are a stitch together.

Having all the years of 'The Closer' on DVD are awesome, such an excellent show.

For a very cheap, ultra-cool entertaining sci-fi show, I'd go with Firefly series as well. I couldn't stand the Serenity movie which came later.. Way too dark, dense, dire, and a couple of my fav characters died.

Actually, sportsfans...., Firefly would make a SUPERB topic one of these days soon. Can't believe we haven't discussed it yet.

Middlespaces, SPOT on about the Marx Brothers Paramount movies.. Just got that set last year, those movies are the cream of the crop Marx.

Also, I got hooked on HBO's Rome while in Kuwait. Excellent show. HBO's Hung was another funny show about a male-gym-teacher-turned-male-prostitute for extra income.

Steve, I just picked up (finally) the Tom Baker Doctor Who DVD, 'Masque of Mandragora', I could NOT believe the enjoyable extras, and both text/vocal commentaries. Set in Renaissance Italy, it's a particular good Baker episode; it happened to be the first Who story I ever watched when I was skippin' through channels and my PBS affiliate had it on one boring Sunday afternoon.

Hey, Matt, at least were were voted 'Best Disser', not 'Best Kisser'. Not to brag, but you'd have some competition there.

david_b said...

Edo, appreciate the votes {blush..}, but I was REALLY going for that 'spandex-and-cape' award nod.

Seriously, and you wrestling fans know this, nothing really screams professional excellence in competitive sports like.. spandex and capes. C'mon, gotta give that one to me.

Aww Doug, you WOULD have to mention the ones I so quickly forgot... I have both the '67 Spidey collection and all the Marvel Heroes on DVD (sans Namor..), I still bring 'em with me when I travel on military duty.

How about the ONE DVD set you wish they converted from VHS but haven't yet..?


Allowed to be released ONLY after Nixon passed on, I totally agree with the first line of the first reviewer..:

"This is a demonstration of how a documentary should be made."

Apparently the Nixon estate has never given approval for the DVD release, so count this as one of the best overall documentaries (on any subject) not on DVD yet.

I taped the original Discovery Channel presentation, then purchased the VHS set, then had it professionally transferred to DVD myself. Five hours of the most entertaining, intriguing detail, indepth interviews, excellent pacing, G. Gordon Liddy (just hilarious how he was involved..), etc.. So it's not available on DVD yet, but you might be able to catch portions on youtube.

Great comments everyone.

Doug said...

Some sad news for BABers everywhere --

I just saw a tweet from the Chicago Sun-Times, retweeting ABC News, that Russell Johnson (the Professor) has died at the age of 89.

Seemed appropriate to mention that here in a thread about favorite TV shows.


david_b said...

Oh, and he's the source of one of my favorite, most touching stories ever.., about military veterans.

Will share later today. Work calls.

Doug said...

Over 28 comments over two posts and a couple of hours later, it's amazing how this place has sprung to life! Way to go, pals!

Karen and I were seriously getting bored here, you know? Watch it -- or you'll lose the keys to the kingdom!


Edo Bosnar said...

Yep, sad news about Johnson. Come to think of it, even though I've watched every episode of the show many times over from earliest childhood all the way until college, I wouldn't mind having the complete Gilligan's Island on DVD...

Edo Bosnar said...

And Doug, don't get too snippy. Remember, we're all still looking the other way about that breach of vacation protocol...

William said...

"Batman The Animated Series", no contest. Bruce Timm and company created the definitive version of the character as far as I'm concerned. I own all the individual season releases. Kind of wish I would have bought the complete box-set when it was released a few years ago, but at the time it just seemed really impractical. In retrospect, I'd rather have that than the individual seasons, but these days it's too pricy to justify picking up.

Next would probably be "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes". Definitely Marvel's best ever animated series. Too bad they replaced it with the awful "Avengers Assemble".

Anonymous said...

So what's tomorrow? Another reader-provided topic or something else?

I need to be prepared. Set my alarm. Do 100 push-ups. Something! ;)

Garett said...

Hey Anonymous, I agree! That first season of Have Gun Will Travel is a winner-- looking forward to season 2. Richard Boone is great...and the half-hour format made them condense the writing down, so it's a sharp half hour, rather than a lazy full hour.

Here's one of the teasers they have at the intro to every show:
Have Gun Will Travel opening

david_b said...

Short endearing story about Mr. Johnson.

Being a big fan of the show, especially him, I found his website where he sold autographed photos about 10yrs ago. So I placed an order and it came a week later.

Under my name he wrote what looked like 'E fonte vitae alte haurias', but the coolness was that he didn't translate it.

So I quickly found a latin dictionary which translated it basically to 'From Life Springs Knowledge'. So frickin' cool.

So near Thanksgiving that year, I wrote his email address, told him I work for our nations veterans (and also in the Reserves as an Army Major at that time) and I thanked him for playing his role so well, teaching that the right answer is only a 'right question away', stuff like that.

Well, just before Thanksgiving, he wrote me back, addressing me as 'Sir' and mentioned he was a WWII aviator who flew flights over Germany (13th AAF), thank me for my service and wished my family a Happy Thanksgiving.

I was gobsmacked how personable he was, and it was so surreal to have him call me 'sir'...

Sorry, getting a bit choked up just writing this.

..I hate when our heroes pass on.

They're.. not supposed to do that.

Anonymous said...

RIP Russell Johnson.

- Mike 'Gilligan's island forever' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

GREAT testemonial to Russ Johnson, DavidB. He never came across as anything but a first-rate fellow--- an actor whose career kind of got unfortunately clobbered by a truly ICONIC role, but he shouldered that burden with good humor and well-deserved pride.

And Gilligan's Island was first on my list of "guilty pleasure" DVD sets. Geeze, I never DON'T love the show-- got the seasons as they were released-- have most (if not all) of the related cast/fan books-- have far too much of the dialog unintentionally committed to memory. It is the PERFECT live-action goofy/absurd show. *sigh* Only the girls left now. . .

Wait-- we have blog awards? And I won something?? Is there, like, a monetary honorarium involved or anything???

No? Rats.

Edo, once again I think you and I are somehow the same person as far as how our tastes seem to run. Geeze yes-- COMPLETE JEEVES AND WOOSTER is a much-used set by our entire family. I don't know of many 15-year-old girls who can pop Wodehouse quotes at the drop of a hat. . . but I've got one livin' at my house. And honestly, some of the books/stories are even more hilarious-- my wife finally got me to give them a try about 20 years ago.

FIREFLY is probably indeed the best DVD set, though-- simply because its brevity insures that the quality is so high for its entirety, and because its special features are pretty darned good. I do like lots of shows-- and this one's hard to beat.

I've always been solidly in the BUFFY tank--- except that season 7went so badly south that it really hurt the overall score.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE has always had a dear, dear spot in my heart, as well. But the sets are badly lacking in special features.

And I'll go ahead and put the entirety of the re-launched Doctor Who up there on the top shelf, too. Cripes, they ALL make me cry! Drives HBGirl right nutso--!

What would I like to see? Yes, Avengers:EMH was my first choice, even before seeing it mentioned here.


Anonymous said...

By virtue of my life (such that it is) I usually poke my nose in around 6/6:30 am CST. I don't want to Bogart all the open forums but I am more than willing for put in topics for others.

But that's not why I called. My first reaction to the DVD question was my Wonder Woman collection cause she was my first MAJOR crush. Then I thought Being Human UK or Firefly. SG-1 or Stargate Atlantis.......too many choices. Due South, Wallace and Gromit. I can't choose.......OMG gun to my head Being Human UK. For collections I want but don't own, Red Dwarf, Xena, Black Adder and West Wing.

The Prowler (ibid).

Redartz said...

I too must join in with enthusiasm for the 1967 Spider-Man collection. I mostly view the first two discs only, but sometimes indulge the later ones. This was a birthday gift from my very thoughtful wife, along with my other favorite: the complete Jonny Quest collection (every disc in that set is a winner. Both my favorite cartoons from Saturday Morning, what a birthday that was!

Garett said...

Speaking of James Garner, if anyone likes Maverick/Rockford Files, they'll like Garner's recent autobiography, The Garner Files. He talks about growing up poor in Oklahoma, fighting in the Korean war, acting and driving racecars...he even rates all his movies at the end, with The Americanization of Emily coming out on top. I haven't seen that one, but I liked Support Your Local Sheriff, The Notebook, and The Great Escape. He also has some blunt assessments of fellow stars like Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen.

Doc Savage said...

Shame Johnson was never cast as Reed Richards way back when...

Doug said...

Osvaldo --

Tomorrow's a traffic-less Classic post (not part of Kree/Skrull). Saturday is reader's choice (True or False) as is Sunday (Face-Off!). Have at it if you can -- 7:00 am your time, bud!

Matt --

Why Russell Johnson was cast as Reed Richards. Your pal Alex Ross did that very thing in Marvels. Mister Fantastic's complexion looked a bit waxy, however...

And, as the bearer of news of a negative sort today -- did anyone else hear that Dave Madden died today at the age of 82? If you don't recognize the name, you will the character -- Ruben Kincaid on The Partridge Family.


Doc Savage said...

I really thought Danny Bonaduce would be the first to go. Or David Cassidy with all the DUIs lately...

Edo Bosnar said...

Ruben Kinkaid, too? Man, bad day for favorite childhood TV actors...

HB, re: Wodehouse's books - I've only read a handful, some Jeeves & Wooster, some not, but man, they are so, so funny. He was without doubt the master of humorous prose in the English language.

david_b said...

Dave Madden was still 'round..? Wow. Apparently him and Danny were great friends off-screen during the show and later years.

I think of Mr. Kincade as an honored member of 'The Ron Burgundy League of '70s Mustaches', special sub-category of 'final year mustaches', where it marks the final (or near-final) year of the show when one of the stars grows facial hair. Other noteables..:

1) David Soul (S&H)
2) Dave Madden
3) Lee Majors (SMDM)

It's alot like Ted McGinley distinquished title of "Patron Saint of Shark-Jumping".

Noteable exceptions to these rules are Ted's role on 'Married With Children', like BJ's 'stache on MASH.

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