Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Television DVD sets I'd Like To See

In the past, I've written about some of the delays that are keeping certain TV series off store shelves and I thought it would be interesting to revisit that topic with a few more series in mind.

Duckman: I've heard that part of the reason this irreverent cartoon series starring Jason Alexander, Nancy Travis and Dweezil Zappa hasn't been released on DVD has to do with Gail Zappa and the rights to her late husband's music. That is only what I've read, so I may be wrong on that. What I do know is at its peak, Duckman was one of the best series at pushing the buttons of the politically correct, a mantle that was taken up by South Park the same year it finished its 70-episode run. While not as potentially offensive as some of the animated fare that has reached the air in recent years, it is still a landmark show for that style of edgy comedy and it does deserve a place on store shelves.

Spaced (Seasons 1 and 2- North American release): Spaced was the 9th best British/American sitcom ever, according to the panel of comedians, writers and other people who deal with comedy for a living, and I find it hard to disagree with that assessment. At its heart is a simple comic premise, revolving around Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg), two people who just happened to meet in a cafe one day with the same problem: they each need to find a new place to live. They find a perfect place... only to rent it, these new friends must pretend to be a professional couple. From this setup, the show goes in funny and unexpected directions and in 14 short episodes, a lot of fried comedic gold is mined, especially at the expense of various movies. Of course, given the show's success it was released as individual sets and as a full series box set in region 2, but unfortunately for the fans of the show in North America, the music that accompanies the show has led to some licensing problems for this market, but with the success of Shaun of the Dead and upcoming release of Hot Fuzz, I think now would be a good time for the parties involved to get things sorted out and finally get the box set released into the North American market.

The Larry Sanders Show (Season 2- ): From that list I linked above, you may notice that this series came in #5, which makes the lack of availability for its later seasons also notable. The rumors are that the reason that subsequent seasons of this wonderfully wry and inside show were not initially released in 2002-3 because sales of the first season were not good. However, I think that this is a tragic development as there are so many little bits and pieces that came together to make the show such a comedic success, and it did have quite an impact on late night television. Both Tom Snyder and Jon Stewart owe the series for their latter day successes, and it created one of the best inter-celebrity running gags in recent history with the Duchovny/Shandling dynamic. There is still hope on this one as Garry Shandling has apparently stated in some press conferences for Over the Hedge that he was working on getting this out along with the original It's Gary Shandling's Show, but no release dates have been set, and in all I don't know if it is ever coming out(because there were rumors in 2004 that Shandling was doing the same thing).

Alas, I think much like Daria and WKRP in Cincinnati, these shows will probably not be appearing on DVD legally in North America for quite some time.

10 comments:

Mr. Fabulous said...

Oh man, I haven't thought about Duckman in a long time...that was hilarious!

MC said...

Dwah!

People in the Sun said...

I left England in the middle of Spaced, and I've been waiting for it for seven years...

MC said...

Oh I hate when stuff like that happens, though 7 years is a long time to wait for closure on something like that.

DutchBitch said...

Do I sound like a total underground living midget when I tell you I haven't heard of either of these shows before or am I forgiven as I am Dutch?

david b said...

Damn, for a second there I thought that series two of Larry Sanders was out! You should be careful about hinting about such wonderful things.

Mayren said...

Your the best! I had forgotten about Duckman until today. Now I'm pissed that it's not around yet.
Damn! So I both praise and curse you.

MC said...

Dutchy: All is forgiven... because ask me to name a Dutch show... I can't do it.

David B: We can only hope I guess.

Mayren: Well, if more people think about it and ask questions about it, well, it may come out sooner rather than later.

Tracey said...

Larry Sanders rocks!! That is some of the funniest TV I've ever seen.

MC said...

It is interesting seeing some of those celebs playing with their darkside on the show, that's for sure.