Holiday loot spending guide: DVDs
The Office Season two of The Office on DVD is quite good. While the season was spectacular, it's the extras that make the purchase necessary. It includes deleted scenes (some of which are hilarious and some are pretty obvious why they were deleted) and a gag reel, which is always essential for a quality DVD-watching experience. Plus, it includes all the extras that the cast did, such as their fake PSAs and NBC.com webisodes. And, there's swag: a Dunder-Mifflin folder, pad of paper, pen and post-its.There are also different versions depending on whether you buy it from Best Buy, Target, or Amazon. Cost: $25.
Arrested Development Who cares about the extras? This is a must-own-DVD simply for the sheer genius of the short-lived series. You can buy all three seasons in on box set for $54 (the price went up after Christmas- dammit!). The extras really aren't that exciting: a few deleted scenes here and there and a few episodes with audio commentary. Owning the AD series on DVD is like having a bag of Lay's potato chips: you can't watch just one.
Battlestar Galactica This is for the hard-core fans who want more, more, more. The fifth disc in the season one set includes eight (yes, eight!) featurettes about every aspect of the series, including the original mini-series, characters, plot, and set design. And 9 of 13 episodes have in-depth audio commentary in the form of podcasts. The DVD set reminds me of all the extras on the Lord of the Rings DVDs. Cost: $42.
Firefly If you haven't seen Firefly, you should. If you have, you should definitely own the DVD set. It's only fourteen episodes of Joss Whedon's short-lived space cowboy series from 2002. While it's awesome to watch all the episodes again, the audio commentary makes it even better. In particular, I prefer the audio commentary version of "War Stories" with actors Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. Probably because they poke fun at themselves. The gag reel, which was made for the wrap party, is also hilarious. Cost: $40.
Best of Futurama If you don't have a big balance on that gift card, how about buying Matt Groening's four favorite episodes of Futurama? Monster Robot Maniac Fun includes "Hell is Other Robots", "Anthology of Interest I", "Roswell that Ends Well", and "The Sting". The first episode, "Hell is Other Robots", has a potpourri of options for audio commentary, including some from Groening and John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender). Cost: $13
Alias: The Complete Collection Seasons 1-5 of Alias came out on DVD just before the holidays. The box set is packaged in a replica of the Rambaldi artifact and, in true Alias style, it includes a secret compartment with a bonus disc that includes interviews with the cast, a reunion, and bloopers. Cost: $145.
Sesame Street: Old School Vol. 1 Remember when Snuffleupagus was a secret? Or, do you sometimes get the pinball counting song stuck in your head? Those were the good old days of Sesame Street and the folks at Jim Henson Co. have released this first in a series of "Old School" DVDs for those of us who grew up in the '70s and early '80s. It also includes original classics like "C is for Cookie", "I Love Trash", and "Rubber Duckie". Sadly, some of the episodes have been edited a bit because of rights to the songs. But, all the classic and original Sesame Street stuff is there. Cost: $26.