TV Shows That Need to Be on DVD

Hope everyone had a wild — but safe — Fourth of July. I’m still having involuntary spasms in my neck, which I’m blaming on being traumatized from the constant boom of fireworks around my house Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. I’m shocked that so many people have access to highly illegal and dangerous fireworks, but hey, isn’t that what America’s about? If you want to blow stuff up, go ahead.

Also wanna thank everyone that showed up for the second PopRox chat on Friday. Those of you there know I got a little overwhelmed by all the comments, but it was one of the most successful chats we’ve had here at the Record. So thanks a ton.

Because of all the comments, I thought when I was going through it the chat was a mess. But when I went back and read it, it actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was. In fact, some of it even made sense. Not all of it, but a good portion of it.

Before we do the next one — scheduled for Friday, Aug. 6 at noon and the first Friday of every month — we’re gonna be setting some ground rules so people know what they’re getting into. The first rule will be “Thou shall not have every comment posted.” I guess I wasn’t clear enough on that, and I apologize. When the date gets closer, I’ll give you a better idea of how the chat works so you can understand how the comments get posted into the chat, and what I expect from posters, but the long and the short of it is not every comment gets posted. So there.

Just a reminder — PopRox is on a Tuesday-Thursday-Friday schedule this week. Thursday morning is Emmy nominations.

On to the links:

no shock -- twilight makes a bazillion bucks

no shock -- twilight makes a bazillion bucks

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Eclipse. Made a zillion dollars, yeah, yeah, yeah. We knew that was coming, though it’s off from the New Moon first-weekend take so far. Actually, I think it has more long-term potential than New Moon did, especially since New Moon basically fell off the map after it’s first weekend. Its box office take dropped a ridiculous 70 percent in its second weekend back in November — the second-biggest drop in history for any movie that grossed more than $80 million overall. Eclipse has far less competition this weekend (Despicable Me and Predators, neither of which break into the Twilight crowd) and with school out, teen girls have far more flexibility to see it a couple more times. Eclipse is on its way to making $300 million here, easy, and $550 million around the world.

The big surprise is the huge opening for The Last Airbender. I was becoming more and more convinced it would completely tank against Twilight and against the weigh of atrocious reviews. Although M. Night Shyamalan probably shouldn’t be judged by reviews anymore since there are movie reviewers, I’m sure, who still hold a grudge for his portrayal of the movie reviewer in Lady in the Water.

The Mad Men media onslaught is starting. AMC is showing Monday fan-picked episodes before the July 25 season 4 premiere, you can Mad Men your Facebook or Twitter avatar like you could last year, and now you can actually put yourself into a Mad Men scene with Don, Peggy, Joan, Bets or whoever. Not sure whether they can put you in bed with Maggie Siff or anything, I’ll have to look into that.

Nice list of the top TV shows of the year so far, especially since it makes me look good since I have most of the same picks. Me and Ken Tucker are on some kind of weird wavelength, especially with his pimp of Community, a show I’ve been saying for months was the most improved show of the year.

As long as I’m plugging EW, I usually hate its Web lists because they take forever to load and they’re all photo galleries designed to pad website hits. But I’ve been meaning to do this list myself for a while now — shows that need to be on DVD and still aren’t. I understand some shows are just too expensive to put on DVD because of music rights, which explains why the very good China Beach isn’t. But there shouldn’t be any issues with a bunch of these others. EW got a bunch of my favorites that I can’t understand why they aren’t on DVD, and I would probably buy:

Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place: Weirdly just brought up in the Sadowski Household last night watching an old episode of Always Sunny because Richard Ruccolo, who played Pete on Two Guys, showed as a corporate bar owner. One of the most underrated sitcoms of the 90s, I never watched it first-run, but loved it in syndication. You just had a feeling Ryan Reynolds was going to be a star.

Just the 10 of Us: Horribly weak at times, hysterical at others, I’d buy season 3 on the strength of one episode, Risky Business, where J.R. and Sherry sell fundraising candy for an inflated price. It’s one of my favorite half-hours of TV ever, partly because of the show’s new version of the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the fudgemakers.” If that’s not enough, than for one of the most underrated TV theme songs ever:

Wonder Years: No way this ever makes it to DVD for the same reason China Beach didn’t, because of the expensive music rights. You see, when artists sold their souls to these TV shows to use their music, they only gave permission for right to play it on TV, and not on DVD. Now they need to be paid all over again for the DVD rights because no one ever thought a medium like DVD would be around, and it’s crazy expensive to pay for those rights. It’s why when Beavis and Butthead went to DVD, it only included the cartoon portion, and not the best part, the video chatter. With a music-heavy show like Wonder Years, it’s almost impossible to pay for the entire catalog, and the demand probably isn’t there to justify such an expense. But the fact that one of the best shows of my childhood isn’t on DVD is unacceptable. If nothing else, it should be available so I can spit at the screen every time Winnie Cooper appears to screw with Kevin’s life. If it ever comes to DVD, Joe Cocker will be a rich man. Actually, the Michael Jackson estate probably will be holding on to the Beatles catalog rights.

LA Law: Can you imagine ER not being on DVD? Well before ER, there was LA Law. They may have been the same show, actually, just in different settings. Too bad Harry Hamlin couldn’t capitalize on it the way George Clooney did. A four-time best drama winner, LA Law had no problem dealing with tough issues like sexual harassment, AIDS and gay rights, even though back the TV shows tried to stay vanilla and not take a stand on any issue. Another great theme song:

an acceptable reason to watch sisters, in my book

an acceptable reason to watch sisters, in my book

Sisters: I’m pretty aware of my patheticness for falling for this show, so don’t bother trying to reinforce it. I never watched it first-run, but somehow got caught up in it when Lifetime ran it in syndication. I’d deny it for a while with lines like, “Well, there was nothing else on at 11 in the morning” but I was hooked. Two things you should probably know about the show before you dismiss it — it was the first major jobs of Paul Rudd and Ashley Judd and re-introduced the world to Clooney. This was his last stop before hitting ER. Just sayin’. Plus, I had a thing for Sela Ward.

Some more not mentioned:

The Drew Carey Show: It’s first season was released, but nothing else. That was back in 2007. So it’s pretty safe to say it didn’t do so well and the rest of the show is on hold. there is good reasons why it didn’t sell, the first season wasn’t very good and that was still when it was running like 24 hours a day in various forms of syndication. It felt like even the Discovery Channel had this show on for three hours a day. Maybe there’s more hope for it now, at least the second, third and fourth seasons, Porbably lots of music issues with this one too, just the Full Monty episode would probably cost a good chunk of change:

Phenom: I’m well aware it’s never making it to DVD at this point because I’m the only one screaming about it and is probably the only person that even remembers it. But I’m holding out hope that somewhere along the way Judith Light gets famous again for some weird reason and whoever owns the rights for the show tries to cash in.

You Can’t Do That on Television: Apparently there are rights issues at play, but I’d be on Amazon pre-ordering this if it ever was released. A major part of my childhood TV landscape. Maybe to go along with the next Alanis Morrissette album.

Out All Night: If a show that starred before-they-were big Morris Chestnut, Vivica A. Fox and Duane Martin isn’t out yet, it’s not coming out. Too bad, because Martin as Vidal is one of the best TV characters of all time that you’ve never heard of.

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