I recently read an article on Slate about binge-watching TV by Jim Pagels and realized that I, too, have fallen prey to this cultural pandemic. In an effort to escape this summer’s relentless heat, I devoured the first three seasons of Fringe in a matter of days, and I am currently working my way through the first season of Breaking Bad.
Curious to see what other shows people are binging on, I performed an Amazon search on the top TV season DVD Box sets for 2012 (so far). Let’s look at the results:
1. MacGyver – The Complete Series. Huh. This isn’t what I expected as the number one result. While I appreciate the ingenuity and pop-culture references the show provides, I’m a little surprised there are THAT many MacGyver fans out there.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show’s premise, MacGyver is an action-adventure series starring Richard Dean Anderson as a secret agent who refuses to carry a gun, has a comprehensive understanding of science, and can get out of most predicaments with a paper clip and chewing gum. MacGyver offers plenty of ’80s fanfare and is an admirable hero who uses his brain, not brawn, to solve problems.
2. The Outer Limits Original Series Complete Box Set. The first thing I did when I saw this set on the list was check to see if it included the 1960s series and the 1990s series. Thankfully, it does.
The Outer Limits is an American TV show that emphasizes action-suspense sci-fi content like interplanetary communication, alien abductions, and misused inventions. The show has made a tremendous impact on future sci-fi series, including Star Trek, and it’s worth a watch.
3. Inu Yasha: First Season Box Set English TV Version. Not a fan of anime? This series just might change your mind. Inu Yasha follows heroine Kagome Higurashi, a modern-day Tokyo teenager who’s magically transported back to ancient Japan (the Sengoku period) where she meets the half-boy half-demon, Inu Yasha.
This magna series offers everything you want from an adult comic – compelling characters, interesting storylines, unresolved romance, and lots of full-scale action with a gargantuan sword.
4. Sex and the City: The Complete Series (Collector’s Gift Set). Before you dismiss Sex and the City as a chick series, you might want to reconsider that decision. While the show does focus on the lives of four beautiful and accomplished women, it’s not all cosmopolitans and Manalo Blahniks.
If your only exposure to this show is the made-for-TV episodes airing on cable television, you haven’t seen Sex and the City. Seriously, what makes the show so wickedly wonderful is its no-nonsense dialogue; the watered-down version on TBS does not do the show justice.
5. Friends: The Complete Series Collection. Amazon is kidding with this listing, right? Why on earth anyone would purchase this box set when they can just turn on the TV at any given point during the day and watch an episode of Friends is beyond me.
Then again, rumor has it there are more than 12 episodes of this series. The sadistic lot over at Nick at Night would have us believe differently because they like to loop the same episodes over and over again. Purchasing the DVD set might be the only way to prove there are actually episodes of Friends I haven’t seen.
Have you bought any of these box sets? What shows do you think should be on the list?
Dwayne Thomas is a reality TV junkie and a blogger at cabletv.com.