Mental Floss

The Best of TV on DVD

Chris Higgins

In recent years, I've spent countless hours watching serial TV shows on DVD, devouring episode after episode. My first time watching a TV series on DVD was when I watched the first three seasons of Six Feet Under. When I ran out of discs and had to wait for -- gasp! -- new episodes to air on TV, I felt a peculiar sense of loss. I don't have a name for this, but it's a very specific feeling -- like the TV Faucet has been forcibly turned off, and you know you'll be forced to wait, like everybody else, for the next episode.

After Six Feet Under, I watched The Sopranos, Arrested Development, The Ben Stiller Show. After I ran through those I rented several seasons of The Simpsons in desperation, though I had already seen the episodes in syndication a zillion times. I started buying DVDs of shows I was already watching (notably Lost and Battlestar Galactica) and pushing those on friends. "Here, just take Season 1," I'd say. "Just have a look. If you like it, I have 49 hours more." Predictably, the addiction would take hold and I'd find a friend at my door, dying for Season 2 and beyond.

My most recent TV addiction was The Wire. Here was a series that everybody told me I would love -- and by everybody, I mean there were days when I'd see articles online about the series, I'd hear about it on the radio, then I'd get an email from a friend asking if I'd seen the latest episode. I finally gave in, and borrowed the first season from a friend. After the first episode, I wasn't convinced. But everybody seemed to love I kept watching. By the fourth episode I had turned off my phone and closed the blinds, settled in for a marathon.

PopMatters has a nice Best of TV on DVD article broken up into sections -- from early "classic" TV, through "outsider influences" (read: 70's) TV, "the new networks" (read: mostly great stuff from the 90's), and finally Feasts from the Fringe (in my humble opinion, required viewing). The article gives you a great starting point for a brand new TV on DVD addiction!

So I've thrown out a bunch of suggestions above. In the comments, share your TV on DVD recommendations and commiserate about how it feels to finish a season, or an entire series! (And bonus points if you can coin a term to describe the latter...I feel like this is a recent phenomenon that flossers should have first crack at adding to the lexicon.)