It’s the era of binge watching, and for the holiday season we’ve got some television series on dvd and blu-ray that you definitely will enjoy watching all at once. From full seasons to full series, check out our list, complete with links to buy.
Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series – The fine folk at Shout Factory have done a fantastic job putting together a gorgeous blu-ray set of arguably the most wacked-out Saturday morning television show from our youth. Through 5 seasons and 45 episodes Paul Reubens’ manic creation Pee-Wee Herman takes kids on a technicolour journey through his madcap playhouse where anything and everything can happen. Personal favourite moments include the secret word and Laurence Fishburne’s Cowboy Curtis, just one of many stars who show up throughout the series, which probably looks better now than when it first did in the 80s.
Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery (+ The Missing Pieces) – It took twenty years for fans to final see the deleted scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, director David Lynch’s 1992 prequel film to the television cult classic he and co-creator Mark Frost developed for ABC and which ran from 1990-1991. Those 90 minutes worth of outtakes are just part of the gorgeous blu-ray set that was released this past summer compiling the entire series, the film and myriad extras. Consider this an essential purchase for anyone who loves brilliant, dramatic television. (Shameless plug – my book Wrapped In Plastic: Twin Peaks is out this February; you can pre-order it here.)
The Walking Dead: Season Four – The popularity of this series continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and season four was no different. While it begins slow, by mid-seasons we’re faced with serious death and consequences for some major players. Go behind the scenes with a nice assortment of extras, and play catch-up before season five returns later this winter.
The Blacklist: Season One – Here’s where James Spader mid-career comeback begins, as he plays the lead in this NBC series about Raymond ‘Red” Reddington, a former high profile government agent turned criminal turned informer. A less gruesome Hannibal Lecter type character, there’s no doubt that Spader’s the draw for the series, which has garnered strong ratings for NBC since its 2013 debut. If you can’t wait to see him as Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, opening in May, check out the first season of The Blacklist.
Magic City: The Complete Series – Not quite Boardwalk Empire, Magic City ran for two seasons on Starz and starred Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Danny Houston as hotel owners in 1950s Miami. Money, booze and dames is the order of the day on this one, which also features appearances from Godfather alumni James Caan during season two.
Spartacus: The Complete Series – Against many odds, including the death of its lead actor Andy Whitfield in 2011, Spartacus managed to run for three seasons and one mini-series, all of which were extremely popular. The series, set in 75 BCE is the story of the title character gladiator and appealed to those looking for some graphic, old-school violence and some good old sex. The series is full of genre faves like Jamie Murray, Manu Bennett and Lucy Lawless, while the Complete Series box set is packed with extras.
Masters of Sex: Season One – Speaking of sex, this critically acclaimed drama, set in the 1950s and 1960s, is a fictional account of sex experts Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, portrayed by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. The series follows their research and how it affects the friends and family around Masters and Johnson. Deleted scenes and commentaries help flesh out this first season box set. See what I did there?
Black Sails: Season One: Yar, there they blow…and pilfer…and kill and maim and steal. Black Sails is pirate show from executive producer Michael Bay, so take that for what it is. Season Two kicks off early in 2015, but if you’re interested in this 8 episode collection, keep in mind it’s a pre-order, as it won’t street until January 6th.