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TVGeekSpeak.com



Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Static From The Geek-In-Chief: Hello, Larry, Coming Soon To DVD

The Geek-In-Chief has interrupted his Arrested Development: Season 1 marathon long enough to churn out this week's Static.

Is there a better way to spend a week of train commuting than taking in an entire season of The Sopranos? How about killing a weekend catching up on the thrilling first season of 24 that you never got around to watching?

As you can tell, I've been watching a lot of TV on DVD these days. The big entertainment conglomerates have found a new way to cash in on material that's essentially already been paid for: throw some packaging around it, record a commentary or two, and blam-o! Instant revenue! And when they choose their releases wisely- I'm the first in line to buy.

It's great for the viewer: not only can one buy permanent copies of their favorites (The West Wing? CSI? Friends?) , but they can sample shows that they never bothered to watch- or couldn't (MI-5?)

Shows like Seinfeld and Chappelle's Show have broken DVD sales records- and one show, Family Guy, was brought back from cancellation simply because of brisk DVD sales. It also allows producers to show deleted scenes, documentaries, promos, and various other features that enrich the viewing experience- while enticing viewers to buy.

Still, I'm starting to feel like this trend is going too far. Now, it looks like they'll release any old show on DVD. Just look at the release list (we post them every week on TVGS): for every classic like The Office, there's a classic kumquat like Full House: Season One. (Who needs to relive the solo hijinx of infant Olsen Twins for eternity?) For every intensely dramatic series like Homicide: Life On The Street, there's an intensely mindless sitcom like Home Improvement, which, with its overdone laugh track, can be seen umpteen times daily in syndication. Why plunk down $40+?

And just asking: who's buying the DVD versions of MAD TV, Arli$$, The Anna Nicole Show, and Punky Brewster? These shows are entirely unwatchable in any format- digital, analog, or Etch-a-sketch. Who's dropping a Ben Franklin for a DVD set?

I guess that's the key: there's something for everyone. Otherwise I wouldn't have the 13 episode run of Greg The Bunny on my shelf. I guess one man's The Shield is another man's Saved By The Bell.

Static from the Geek In Chief appears every Wednesday.

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