Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What needs to be on DVD

Slightly early post this week due to work constraints. Lucky you. Also slightly shorter than ususal. Again, lucky you. :)

The TV shows on DVD web page (see links) lists several shows that are coming out on DVD in the future, and allows you to "vote" for the shows you'd like to see on DVD. I'd like to share with you my list of what shows I'd love to see in a home video release.

For the sake of brevity, series that already have at least one season (or several episodes) on DVD will not be listed. For example, even though season five of “The Muppet Show” isn’t on DVD yet, there is at least one season of the show that is on DVD. Because there is something available for “Muppet Show” fans, we won’t worry about season five. We will assume (for the sake of this list) that it will be on DVD one day.


SPIDER-MAN (1970s live action series): Friends, there is no good reason not to release this series on to DVD. Spidey is a popular character, especially with all the movies coming out. The series is also very short. It could easily fit into a “complete series” DVD set. The complaints that it’s “too cheesy” don’t matter. Just because something is cheesy doesn’t mean people won’t buy it! Die-hard Spidey fans demand that this series be released! It’s fun and historic, and it has a devoted fan following. Get this one out there, please.

MISFITS OF SCIENCE: Another good example of a relatively short series with a devoted fan following. Plus Courteney Cox! Need I say more? This was a fun show and could easily be released as a “complete series” set. Please release this one.

BATMAN (1960s live action): As much as I’d like to see a Spidey release, fans of this show are even more numerous. I think you’d have people waiting in line outside the store the day this series is put on DVD. It’s also a fun, historic show. It really should be released. Again, complaints about “cheesiness” won’t work, as the release of the series is practically guaranteed to make a profit. Please work out the copyright issues! There’s got to be a way that both Warner and Fox can make money off of this. Please guys, take some advice from Sesame Street and cooperate. “Co-operation, makes it happen. . .”

GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE: There’s a chance that this one is going to be released soon, and that’s a good sign. I’m hoping that they put out the whole series in one DVD set. It’s hard to believe, but there were less than 20 episodes of this series! With so few, it should be easy to do a complete set. And George deserves it. He’s had two live-action movies made about him, but his series isn’t out on DVD yet! Let’s fix that soon.

CHANDLER & CO.: Who? Chandler and Co. are a detective team from a short series that aired on PBS as part of the “Mystery” show. There were only two seasons. And there’s this girl in it, see, named Catherine Russell, and . . . Well, you know where I’m going with this.

MICKEY MOUSE CLUB: 1970s VERSION: In between the classic 1950s version with Annette Funicello and the 1990s version with Britney Spears was this 1970s version with Lisa Whelchel. It hasn’t been seen in years, and us kids from the 1970s need to do something about it! It had some fun moments, as well as some fun music. “Climb on board to a dream. . .” Anybody remember “Allison wonderland?” Or how about the “Sleuth” story? It includes classic Disney cartoons & a color version of the famous theme animation.

MTV: CLASSIC AIRCHECKS: Do you remember the days when MTV was cool? Hey, I’m not kidding. It’s just not cool any more to watch MTV. There’s nothing on it but material that is obviously aimed at very stupid kids. Kind of reminds me of Elmo. . .Okay, hang on, back to the subject. . .

While collecting all the classic MTV videos together would probably be a copyright person’s nightmare, it may be possible to collect some of the VJ material and put it all together into something. True, it probably wouldn’t be something that great. . .but hey, wouldn’t you like to see Martha Quinn again? I know I’d enjoy seeing Carolyne Heldman again. Sigh. A collection of classic VJ moments could be a lot of fun. This is something I think the folks at MTV should think about. By the way, I hope to do a post about Carolyne one of these days.

REAL PEOPLE: Of all the shows we’ve talked about so far, this is the series that is perhaps the least likely to be put on DVD. If you think “Batman” is corny, you probably won’t be able to stomach “Real People.” And that’s too bad, because it had some good moments. It was, in many ways, a precursor to the reality TV programming that is so popular today. It was like “That’s Incredible,” only with a humorous angle instead of a “thrill” angle. As the title says, it basically was a collection of interviews and footage of “real people” living their everyday lives - except that these real people were exceptional in some way. Like the guy who could play music on his false teeth. Or the San Diego Chicken. Or the human drum. Or Spaceship Ruthie. Or Wrong-way Willie. Or Booger Ray. Or the garbology expert who stole Nixon’s trash and got arrested for it. Or the rich man who built a “city of the future” out in the desert. Or the Laurel and Hardy fan club.

Have I piqued your interest? People are often interesting, and this show highlights some interesting folks. It’s worth seeing again, I think.

So that’s my list. I’ve left out a few local SoCal shows from the past that I’d love to see again (“That’s Cat,” etc. ) But that’s the gist of what I’d like to see. And it’s not too far-fetched to say that I could live to see them released on DVD. If you had told me ten years ago that someone would release classic Sesame Street episodes, I would have found it hard to believe. And if you had told me that one day I’d be watching clips from “The Froozles” and “Big Blue Marble” on the Internet, I’d have been amazed. I suggest you write your own list of what you want to see on DVD and then keep an eye out. You might be surprised. As Paul Simon said, “these are the days of miracle and wonder.”


For those of us still waiting to see those iTunes "Electric Company" episodes, Apple has created something that will hopefully make it easier to watch them on TV. It's a bit expensive, but if iTunes can keep up its popularity, then it may be worth looking into: