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copyright ©1999-2003

by Yee-Fan Sun
| 1 2

Lately I find myself a little frustrated with plain old TV. Not because so much of it is appallingly awful – that’s nothing new – but because I get so impatient. There’s just so much waiting involved. I have to wait for my show to come on, and wait through the ads, and then, when the episode’s over, I have to wait a whole week more – sometimes two – to find out what happens next. I find myself stretching towards my remote control, only to remember suddenly, and disappointedly, that, duh, that fast forward button doesn’t work with broadcast television. DVD, see, has completely and totally spoiled me. Here are three more reasons why these days, I’m watching a whole lot less TV, and a whole lot more TV shows on DVD instead …

3 great tv shows to watch on dvd  ...
my so-called life 
the complete series

Angela Chase feels like no one gets her. Not her nagging but well-meaning mom, Patty, or her sweet but somewhat oblivious dad, Graham; not her pesky little sister, Danielle. Not her best friend since childhood, Sharon Cherski, who’s so impossibly pretty and perky and perfect that she seems like an alien; certainly not the geeky boy-next-door, Brian Krakow, who’s secretly in love with her but likes to show it by driving Angela nuts.  Angela hates her hair, and her clothes, and never feels quite comfortable in her own body; she hates her so-called life, even though (or maybe because) it isn’t really all that bad, not really, when she actually stops to think about it. All of which make her feel like a total freak. This, of course, is totally normal: she’s fifteen years old. So Angela dies her hair red, and trades her good-girl clothes for grunge-fashionable baby doll dresses and plaid flannel shirts. She finds two new best friends in wacky, outrageous Rayanne Graf, class slut, and sweet oddball Ricky Vasquez, whose obvious though undeclared gay-ness makes him a frequent target for bullying. And she falls in love for the first time, with beautiful Jordan Catalano, whose blank stares and long silences Angela likes to interpret as deeply poetic, replete with thoughts so profound they can’t be expressed in words, never mind the more obvious conclusion that he’s just really, really dumb.  It’s the sort of dreamy, all-consuming, I-could-never-love-another kind of falling that every teenager seems to go through – and feels totally embarrassed to remember years later. Which is what’s so fantastic about My So-Called Life – the sadly short-lived 90s cult favorite perfectly captures exactly how it feels to be a teenager, in all its wonderful, sweet, painfully real, often humiliating, and frequently amusingly melodramatic glory.  

six feet under 
the first season
HBO produces some damn fine TV. Like the brilliantly addictive Sopranos series, Six Feet Under sucks you in with its amazingly complex portrayal of a very complicated, hugely appealing, functionally dysfunctional family. Six Feet Under centers on the lives of the Fisher family, owners of Fisher and Sons Funeral Home in Los Angeles. On Christmas eve, family patriarch Nathaniel Fisher is driving to the airport in his brand-new top-of-the-line hearse to pick up his oldest son, Nate, when a bus slams into him, killing him instantly. In the wake of his father’s sudden and unexpected demise, black sheep Nate finds himself faced with a difficult decision: should he stay in Los Angeles to help his younger brother David run the family business, or return home to Seattle? 

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