Looking for a special something for the dedicated couch potato on your gift list? (And perhaps something for yourself as well?) Whether it’s comedy, fantasy, adventure or drama, DVD is the way to go.
Here’s a handy batch of recommended titles to make the search a little easier.
BEETLEJUICE: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Saturday morning cartoons didn’t come much quirkier than this animated spin-off of Tim Burton’s 1988 movie hit. This 12-DVD Shout! Factory box set includes all 94 episodes of the 1989-91 series, featuring the prankster ghost Beetlejuice and small-town teenage Goth girl Lydia. Perfect for anyone with ‘80s nostalgia or a twisted sense of humor—or both at once.
DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE SERIES 1-7 BLU-RAY GIFT SET
It’s the 50th anniversary of this classic sci-fi series and BBC-TV is celebrating in a big way with this spectacular collection of all seven seasons of the show since it was regenerated in 2005 by Russell T. Davies. Now the adventures of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) are available in hi-def Blu-ray for the first time, along with the Tenth Doctor specials. Extras include many hours of bonus features from previous collections and two hours of brand-new material, plus comic books, art card and an official Eleventh Doctor Universal Remote Control Sonic Screwdriver. Don’t leave your TARDIS without it. Or without looking your best with the BBC’s 50th-anniversary collection of Doctor wear, including a TARDIS hoodie, an exploding TARDIS pencil skirt, TARDIS space leggings and knee socks and more.
DUCK DYNASTY: SEASONS 1-3 COLLECTOR’S SET
There’s no telling how far you can go with a good duck call, as evidenced by this collection of all three seasons of the reality-TV adventures of the small-town, big-bearded Robertson clan—purveyors of the Duck Commander much prized by hunters. Extras include 30 minutes of never-seen material including a conversation with the clan and the mini-doc “Bus Ado about Nothing.”
FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Hey, Hey Hey! This deluxe 15-DVD box set from Shout! Factory includes all 110 episodes of the classic Saturday morning cartoon series created, produced and hosted by Bill Cosby—who also provides the voice of Fat Albert Jackson. Extras include a 16-page companion book and the documentary “Hey, Hey, Hey. . .It’s the Story of Fat Albert,” featuring a new interview with Cosby.
FRAGGLE ROCK: 30th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION
There was much more to puppeteer Jim Henson than the Muppets, a fact that’s vividly illustrated in this deluxe salute to the magical world of “Fraggle Rock.” The 21-disc set includes all four seasons of the 1983-87 children’s series about an alternative universe populated by Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs—plus bonus features including a collectible red-plush keychain and a brand new Fraggle Rock graphic novel.
THE GENE AUTRY SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES
This deluxe 15-DVD box set from Shout! Factory assembles all five seasons of the singing cowboy’s 1950-55 TV series, all fully restored from Autry’s own archive. And if that’s not enough straight shootin’ for Autry fans, the set also includes classic episodes from TV shows produced by his Flying A Pictures including “The Range Rider,” “Annie Oakley,” “Buffalo Bill Jr.” and “The Adventures of Champion.”
THE LORETTTA YOUNG SHOW: BEST OF THE COMPLETE SERIES
Got a female fan of golden-age TV or classic Hollywood on your list? It’ll be hard to go wrong with Shout! Factory’s 17-disc box set of highlights from “The Loretta Young Show,” beginning with the very first episode from 1953 and continuing through 1961. Bonus features of this 100th-birthday collection include conversations with Young’s children, rare home movies and photos and trailers from her many movies—including her 1947 Oscar-winner, “The Farmer’s Daughter.”
THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS: FIELD TRIP FUN AND GAMES
This Frizz-tastic three disc set from Scholastic collects 12 episodes from the Emmy-winning science-adventure series—all featuring field trips with Miss Frizzle and her shape-shifting school bus. Topics of study (and opportunities for free-wheeling fun) include dinosaurs, migration, archaeology, butterflies, honeybees and the human circulation system. Plus three bonus episodes!
MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES
For the first time, Shout! Factory has collected all 325 episodes of Norman “All in the Family” Lear’s groundbreaking 1976 soap-opera parody (complete with cutting-edge social satire), featuring the travails of Average American Housewife Mary Hartman (Louise Lasser). In addition to the complete “Mary Hartman,” this deluxe 38-disc box set also includes mini-documentaries, a new essay by Lear and 10 episodes of the series spin-off “Fernwood 2 Night.”
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
The far-out folks from MST3K celebrate 25 years of cult-movie parody with this five-disc set featuring comic commentary on “Moon Zero Two,” “The Day the Earth Froze,” “The Leech Woman” and “Gorgo”—in a collectible metallic box. Extras include the three-part documentary “Return to Eden Prairie: 25 Years of Mystery Science Theater 3000,” assorted mini-docs and a bonus disc with two long-out-of-print fan favorites: “Mitchell” and “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.”
NO PRYOR RESTRAINT: LIFE IN CONCERT
This one-of-a-kind box Shout! Factory box set captures the groundbreaking comedian at his most controversial—and hilarious. “No Pryor Restraint” includes more than 12 hours of stand-up concerts from 1966 to 1992. It’s the most comprehensive collection available for Pryor fans, including selections from classic albums such as “That Nigger’s Crazy,” “Craps (After Hours” and “. . .Is it Something I Said?” and three complete concert films: “Richard Pryor Live in Concert,” “Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip” and “Richard Pryor. . .Here and Now.” Plus a companion book featuring rare photos, essays and celebrity tributes.
POWER RANGERS: SEASONS EIGHT-TWELVE
Shout! Factory celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers with this 26-disc collection of 196 episodes from the Rangers’ “Lightspeed Rescue,” “Time Force,” “Wild Force,” “Ninja Storm” and “Dino Thunder” incarnations—available for the first time on DVD. Bonus features include a wealth of archival material plus cast interviews. It’s Morphin’ Time!
ROBOTECH: THE COMPLETE SERIES
This ‘80s TV classic, one of the earliest anime imports, features all 85 re-mastered episodes from “The Macross Saga,” “The Robotech Masters” and “The New Generation”—chronicling three generations of mankind’s efforts to fend off high-tech alien invaders. Extras include the “Robotech: 2 Movie” collection (featuring fan fave “The Shadow Chronicles”) plus the latest film in the series: “Robotech: Love Live Alive.”
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION BLU-RAY—SEASONS 1-5
The ongoing effort to give the entire “Star Trek: The Next Generation” series a 1080p high-definition makeover continues with these spectacular Blu-ray upgrades of the first five seasons. In addition to enhancing the show’s overall visual clarity, these re-mastered episodes also feature enhanced visual effects reworked from original elements plus 7.1 surround sound—though purists can still choose to listen to the original audio. For the “Star Trek” fanatic on your list, make it so!
UNDER THE DOME
If you’ve got a Stephen King fan on your list (and most people do, whether they know it or not), check out this first-season collection of his small-town-under-glass mystery/thriller—about the panic that ensues when the residents of Chester’s Mill, Maine discover they’re trapped inside an impenetrable, invisible dome. The wealth of bonus material includes behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries, deleted scenes and a gag reel.