DVD, Glorious DVD!!!                                 

Film & DVD Archive

I can honestly say that I don't watch anything on my TV except for DVD's. I can say that with 100% honesty - the only thing connected to my TV is my DVD player. Now - that may be just because the TV company haven't round to hooking me up in my new house yet, but I'm in no rush. Why?

DVD Boxsets.

As any regular reader will know, I pretty much live for films. The rest of life can pass you by and turn on you when you least expect it, but you can always switch on 'The Godfather' and you know exactly who to expect. You know how they'll act, pretty much exactly what they'll say and you can be sure that they won't let you down - the script sees to that. Maybe I'm being too gushing here but I really do believe a film you truly love can become almost a friend for life. Always there when you need it and, thanks to DVD technology, they'll never grow old. Even though you will!

I've never been a big TV watcher (I'll leave that to Lorraine, here at Scribe) but, in the words of the cliché, I know what I like. And what I like is film! But trying to find movie-quality TV shows used to be a nigh-on impossibility until TV companies like Channel 4 started plundering the US channels for their finest programs. In one fell swoop in the late eighties/early nineties, we found ourselves treated to top class, mature TV entertainment. Shows such as NYPD Blue, Law and Order, ER and (my personal favourite) Homicide: Life On The Streets began to crop up in the schedules. If you were lucky and they grew popular (NYPD and ER) they even got a regular timeslot! Other shows (Homicide and Oz) got bounced around the schedules until it became impossible to keep up with them, unless you worked very unsocial hours and had access to satellite TV. 

Which is where DVD saves the day, once again. Video box sets have always been big business. The fact that George Lucas can happily re-release the original 'Star Wars' trilogy over and over, just in a different box pays testament to this fact. But DVD box sets are a completely different beast altogether....

1) They're sexier - much sleeker packaging, taking up less shelf space.

2) No adverts!!! What's worse than having to listen about Jennifer Aniston's hair being 'Worth it' when you're waiting for Tony Soprano to whack some poor schmuck?

3) Extras!!! Oh - the motherlode. Director's commentaries, alternate scenes, everything that makes life worthwhile!

But the best thing is - DVD box sets are being released thick and fast. In the last six months alone, we have had releases of 'The X Files', 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', 'The Professionals'(!) and that's just sit alongside the already released first two seasons of 'The Sopranos', 'The Avengers' and 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

Just this week, for example, I took delivery of two much anticipated box sets. The first season of the ground-breaking '24' and the third season of 'The Sopranos'. Two of the best examples of the types of show I'm talking about, which almost suit the DVD format better than the TV format that they were created for. '24' in particular is wonderfully suited to DVD. As I'm sure anybody who's watched any TV at all over the last month is aware, the show takes place in (almost) real-time over a 24 hour period in which Kiefer Sutherland's CIA agent has to thwart an attempt on the life of a presidential candidate. Each episode takes place during a particular hour of the day so watching multiple episodes back-to-back, as DVD affords you to do, you can actually see Sutherland's character growing wearier as the day goes on. This wasn't overly obvious when you had to wait a week between broadcasts but it's clear why Sutherland won the Golden Globe for Best Actor. A truly astonishing performance.

'The Sopranos' must surely rank as one of the greatest TV shows of all time. There is very, very little to fault in the scripting or the characterization. Is there a man alive who wouldn't love to be Tony Soprano - even if it was just for one day? And the best thing about having Season Three sitting in my living room is the fact that I haven't seen a single episode of it yet. As I said, I'm not a big TV watcher, so I never got round to watching any of the broadcasts. And it looks like I'll not need to bother scouring the schedules again. Just a cursory glance around the web shows us that TV companies such as Fox and HBO have got their release schedules packed with forthcoming box sets of these types of shows.

So whether it's 'Ally McBeal', 'The X Files', 'The Sopranos' or even 'All Creatures Great and Small', you've no need to hunt through the TV Times to look up repeat schedules - just trust your DVD player!