YOU LUCKY DOGS?TV ON DVD IS EVERYWHERE. My Big Fat Greek Life? Check. 227? Yep. Silk Stalkings? You betcha. (Hmm…maybe you’re not so lucky after all.) Clearly, what’s needed is a guide through the clutter?so here it is, our list of the 50 best TV shows on DVD. We offer a cornucopia of pixelated pleasures: the best and worst seasons of our favorite shows, along with cult treats, vintage gems, foreign affairs, talking heads, reality bites, animation, music, concerts, and miniseries. Plus: the coolest extras around, the DVD most suited to a single marathon viewing (hint: It’ll take you 24 hours to get through it), and a gallery of programs we’re dyin’ for on DVD. As if to prove just how timely this is, one of our favorite TV shows of all time, Seinfeld, is now releasing its kickoff DVD. So grab your remote and give thanks?it’s time to lose more time reliving all the time you’ve already lost.
WE’RE DYIN’ FOR…
Doctor, we need a DVD, stat! NBC’s smart but ratings-challenged medical comedy that follows adorably goofy resident J.D. (Zach Braff) and his ragtag band of hospital coworkers won us over with its flawless ensemble, over-the-top fantasy sequences, and its alternately hilarious and heartfelt story lines. The series’ ever-changing time slot has made it challenging to catch, and with the recent success of Garden State, newer Braff fans will want to get their fix of missed episodes. Can someone please give us a lifeline? While the reasons for the delay remain under wraps (”As I understand it, they’re waiting to sell the show into syndication,” Braff said in July), a Scrubs rep says that a DVD will be released ”probably sometime in 2005.” Just what the doctor ordered. ?Allyssa Lee
The Larry Sanders Show
In the Prereality Age, Larry Sanders was the latest in verisimilitude. With its groundbreaking faux-documentary format, LS gave Garry Shandling a chance to lay bare a talk show’s ”inner human events.” No sign of season 2 on DVD (season 1 came out in 2002), but in the spirit of what he calls a ”rebel show,” Shandling is veering off to release a ”Best Of” DVD, with 20 episodes he picked himself and five from an online fan poll. (”That’s fair, right?”) Also included are Shandling’s commentary, outtakes and deleted scenes, and a clip of Shandling and Jeffrey Tambor rehearsing their 2004 Emmy bit. To do LS, Shandling had to pass on a real talk show, but then, can’t a behind-the-desk gig be like prison? ”That’s true,” he says. ”Either way you get to interview Robert Blake.” ?Kirven Blount
MUSIC ON TV
Saturday Night Live: 25 Years of Music
Unrated, 6 hrs., 30 mins., 1975 — 2000 (Lions Gate)
Whoever compiled this five-disc box is surely rethinking the wisdom of including unhistoric performances from the Backstreet Boys and Blind Melon. But until it gets into the ’90s, the set represents a consistent record of the years when an SNL musical-guest slot meant something, going all the way back to Elvis Costello’s Lorne Michaels-inflaming midsong switch, a Mick Jagger — Peter Tosh duet, and vintage Ray Charles, Patti Smith, and Talking Heads. Fans of spastic musical comedy also get Gilda’s Patti-inspired Candy Slice and Belushi’s and Joe’s dueling Cockers, among the voluminous interstitial sketch material.