Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Temptation Tuesday : : Boxed Sets

Anne McAllister has temptation lurking under the Christmas tree. And since she's still finishing quarterly taxes, not to mention book revisions, she's trying not to think about them. Blogging about them isn't helping.

Before my children decided that what I really needed for Christmas was Wii-fit, I had other ideas. I love my Wii-fit, don't get me wrong. But you can't just loll about and eat good stuff while you're doing Wii-fit. You can't even effectively drink a cup of tea doing Wii-fit (at least I can't. I spill it. I've tried.).

And, lolling about eating Christmas cookies is at least part of what this sort of seasonal temptation is all about (the post-Christmas sort at least. There is no lolling pre-Christmas. Not that I've found anyway.)

So this year I bought my own temptation. I even bought temptations for other people and gave them as gifts. I bought boxed sets.

Boxed sets of DVDs are perfect for long winter nights when you live, as I do, in the snow belt and global warming is still something of a myth. Given the weather this year, I could have bought everyone snow shovels, but where's the temptation in that?

I figure I'm set until spring now (provided I ever finish the revisions) with five complete seasons of Foyle's War to get through. Yes, I've seen them. But I want to wallow in them. I want to marvel at the subtleties of Michael Kitchen's acting, be charmed by the wonderfully named Honeysuckle Weeks, and feel my heart quicken at the sight of Julian Ovenden on a nightly basis.

But if that's not enough, I can watch Life (there's a bit of heart-quickening going on when Damian Lewis is around, too) or Pushing Daisies (ditto Lee Pace who also pretty much made Wonderfalls into one of my favorite boxed sets of all time).

I don't know about you, but I never manage to watch a television program all the way through. The phone rings or my husband appears with A Dire Emergency or my mother calls with An Even More Dire Emergency or the dog throws up or the dishwasher overflows. And yes, I know there is Tivo and suchlike, but it's not the same.

There's something much more permanent and substantial about a boxed set. It's there on the shelf whenever I want it. If I feel in the mood for witty repartee, I can watch all 44 episodes of Sports Night (and I have). If I want a taste of early 70s westerns, I can dip into Alias Smith and Jones. If I want TV spy thrillers and improbability -- not to mention Michael Vartan -- I have Alias. If I want antiquity, realism, sex and gore I can watch Rome.

There's sci-fi in Star Trek, adventure in MacGyver, more seasons than I can imagine of M.A.S.H., and pay-channel series like Oz, Sopranos and Six Feet Under that I don't subscribe to. Comedy? If I want comedy, there's everything from The Lucille Ball Show to Wings to Seinfeld to Frasier to 30 Rock and hundreds of others in between.

Whoever thought there would be such enthusiasm for re-runs?

And of course, there's not just television on DVD these days, either. There are lots of boxed sets of films. Godfather, anyone? How about a boxed set of Indiana Jones? Or The James Bond Ultimate Collector's Set?

Got a favorite actor? If he's not been boxed yet, chances are he will be.

I like boxed sets because I don't have to worry about missing episodes. I can watch them in order or just my faves. I can see them more often than once a week.

If you have a mind like a sieve (like mine) and you don't remember the story line from one Tuesday to the next -- or if you don't even remember if it is Tuesday -- boxed sets solve the problem. Every night can be Tuesday night if you have a boxed set. That's the way I'm going to have to watch The Mentalist (and the heart-quickening Simon Baker) because some weeks seem to go by without a single Tuesday!

I have a list of old series that I'd love to see boxed and available for purchase. If they ever are, I'll snap them up in a minute.

What about you? Do you have favorite boxed sets? Or if there's one that you are hoping comes out on DVD soon, what is it? Chances are I never caught it when it was on the air, but I will give it a shot if it's in a boxed set!

When Anne isn't catching up on the episodes of Desperate Housewives her sister-in-law insists she watch, she's making her own list of boxed sets she'd like to own. And, incidentally, when she has time, she's writing a book. It's another in her Savas-Antonides series, which makes her wonder if her interest in linked books goes back to exposure to series television of her youth.

Check out the latest Antonides hero, PJ, in Antonides' Forbidden Wife, which ought to be on the shelves in the US right about now.

If you want to know what else is coming up, visit
her website or her blog. She'd love to have you visit now or in the new year!


  1. Oh so many things I love to watch on your list. I do love Life, but every time Charlie speaks, I am expecting to hear Soames!!! Very strange.

  2. 2paw, I know what you mean. It's a little bit of a disconnect for me, too. Like listening to Hugh Laurie as House. But I do like Charlie!

  3. I love my Dr. Who box sets. So expensive to get here in the states, but worth it! I love Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant both and I refuse to chose. Plus, it's something my husband and I both enjoy (unlike say my BBC version of Pride and Prejudice)

  4. Forgot about Dr Who, Jill. Sorry about that. It's been ages since I've watched any of those programs. Hmmmm . . . temptation rears its ugly (or not so ugly) head.

  5. We have some boxed sets.
    Life on Mars (both UK series) and Ashes to Ashes. Or things like the complete Inspector Morse. I also have a collected set of Audrey Hepburn...
    Currently we are watching the Muppet Show.
    But I do agree box sets are fun.

  6. We have Sharpe and Dr Who and Life on Mars (the first series -- I found the woman in the second series too annoying). But I so agree about Michael Kitchen in Foyle's War. I really need Jeeves and Wooster. I watch the re-runs when I catch them but you just can't get too much of Fry and Laurie in tandem.

  7. Ahhh boxsets! I love them! Just got Bones series 3 for Christmas. I am used to Damian Lewis with a US accent as I have the Band of Brothers boxset.
    Liz - I have series one and two of 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie'. Fantastic... soupy twist.

  8. Michelle, I started watching Life On Mars at Kate's last autumn, and she kindly gave me the first series for Christmas. Much better, I think, than the US knock-off. As soon as I get my revisions finished, I get to watch it! There's incentive, there is!

    Liz, I could watch Michael Kitchen just raise his eyebrows. I did the Fry and Laurie thing with Netflix. Will have a look at the second series of Life On Mars after I finish the first (and next time I come to UK probably). I know I was totally annoyed at the last season of Alias with the characters they dropped in who left me cold. So I understand where you're coming from about the woman in the second series annoying you.

    Biddy, I gave Bones to Kate's husband for Christmas. You and he can compare notes. I still have Band of Brothers on my 'TBV' (to be viewed) list. Damian has great range. I loved him in the remake of Much Ado About Nothing for BBC. I must've watched that a dozen times at least.

  9. Damian Lewis is sooo hot... I bought the first season of "Life" online and I can't wait to watch it.

    Anne, "Band of Brothers" was great. I'm not into war movies but after I watched the first episode I simply had to watch the other ones.

    I'm spending the holidays watching "Spooks". I love Rupert Penry-Jones. Thank god for my VISA-card, these box sets are way too expensive in Germany.

  10. Carolin,
    I've heard good things about "Spooks" and I do like Rupert Penry-Jones, so I'll try tracking that down. Think I will have to get it from UK, though.

    I want to see "Band of Brothers" too -- I just haven't had time yet. I've heard it's fantastic.