Tuesday, December 27, 2005

5 TV shows to watch marathon-style on DVD

I love TV shows on DVD. The world's few great TV shows are best appreciated in 12-hour marathons. Also, watching TV shows on DVD provides maximum flexibility--even if you're not sure you have the time or attention span for a 2-hour movie, you can probably manage a 22- or 44-minute tv show. If you find that you're in the mood for more, you can watch another. Before you know it, you've wasted your entire weekend. Awesome.

So, when you're ready to put on some lounging clothes, order a pizza, and settle in for a few dozen hours of lazy happiness, here are my suggestions for what to watch:

1. Sports Night. This 2-season comedy/drama about the staff of a Sportscenter-style show was great. It's an Aaron Sorkin show, and it has the same complex and witty dialogue and the same earnestness as the West Wing. Somehow, I like it even more than the West Wing, despite my love of politics and hatred of sports. Everyone involved in it still talks about it as one of their greatest experiences. Watch it.

2. Profit. This show aired for 6 episodes or so in 1996, but people have been talking about it ever since. It's about a deeply disturbed and evil guy who screws people over as he takes control of a huge corporation. He's a terrible person, but he's so charming and smart that you root for him anyway. It's very dark, and it probably would have been more successful had it aired on HBO or Showtime. It was ahead of its time.

3. Newsradio. Probably the best sitcom ever, certainly the most underrated. Great ensemble cast, especially Phil Hartman and Dave Foley. The first set (seasons 1 & 2) has commentary on almost every episode.

4. Kids in the Hall. The greatest sketch comedy show ever (or at least since Monty Python.) I watched it with my friends in college, and half of our conversation was conducted in Kids in the Hall quotes.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was the first show I ever watched for the first time on DVD. I'm not much of a sci-fi/horror/fantasy/vampire lover, but the supernatural backdrop increases the intensity of the soap opera elements, which I do love. Also, Joss Whedon has a flair for entertaining dialogue. Seasons 1, 2, and 3 are nearly perfect. Seasons 4 and 5 are good. Seasons 6 and 7...well, once you've watched that far, you're going to watch them. And season 6 has the brilliant musical episode.

Honorable mentions: Corner Gas, Freaks and Geeks, The West Wing, Queer as Folk (U.S.), Soap.

Happy watching!


warm fuzzy said...

"and what I'm trying to do now, class, is cut down on the number of times I try heroine. In a day."

Fishfrog said...

The show you left off the list is Futurama. Best cartoon ever!

Squishy Burrito said...

Nothing like bringing in the new year with Corner Gas. Aah Hank, when will you ever learn.

Matt said...

Sports Night was the best. Sorkin's too-clever-by-half dialogue really works in the context of SportsCenter, more than in the presidency.