TRUE BLOOD, season 1 on DVD
Everyone was talking about the steamy HBO vampire drama this summer. If you have friends who still don’t know how the Blood started flowing, get them initiated with season 1 — the season 2 DVD will be out next year.
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INCREDIBAD, The Lonely Island
Why continue to YouTube when you can own faves like ”D— in a Box” and ”J— in My Pants” on this CD/DVD? The Island (SNL‘s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone) have extra tunes, like the hummable ”Punch You in the Jeans,” videos, and an Emmy award — just in case you doubt their artistic cred.
THE FAMILY MAN, by Elinor Lipman
Divorced, gay Henry reunites with his stepkid, who’s now an actress hired to pretend to date a C-list celeb, and she moves into Henry’s house. How can that not be funny?
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV: THE LOST AND DAMNED
Xbox Live gamers can reinvigorate their Liberty City experience by downloading this ”add-on,” in which they take on the role of a Jersey biker-gang vice president named Johnny. Forget Slumdog Millionaire: This is the feel-good story of the year. Okay, maybe not.
We don’t do peer pressure. So we won’t say that a real fan would get these reissues of The Bends, OK Computer, and Pablo Honey, even if they already owned the tracks. Or that a true believer would spring for the deluxe editions, which come with a DVD of performances and videos. We’re so not like that.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE on Blu-Ray
Feast on Grahame-Smith’s marriage of Austen and the undead. Then watch Mr. Darcy’s lake dive in the glorious resolution it deserves. Which reminds us: You know what else looks great in HD? Zombies!
This year, the rapper returned from a long absence — and a struggle with drug addiction — with perhaps the fiercest album of his career.
PEANUTS 1960’s COLLECTION on DVD
Blockheads and beagles rejoice! Golden-era classics like the Halloween and Christmas specials are bundled with gems you haven’t seen in years, like He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown and Charlie Brown’s All-Stars.
DEXTER season 3 on DVD
Have you not been watching the amazing Season 4? Is it because you’re way behind on episodes? Well, admitting the problem is the first step, so put season 3 on your wish list this holiday. The dangerous bond that serial killer Dexter (Michael C. Hall) developed with an avenging-angel prosecutor (Jimmy Smits, in an Emmy-nominated performance) made the Showtime hit’s third season darkly hilarious.
THE THREE STOOGES COLLECTION Vol. 6 on DVD
Featuring Shemp Howard & Co. in such ”fan requested” shorts as ”Three Hams on Rye,” ”Pest Man Wins,” and ”Self Made Maids.”
HELLO WORLD: THE MOTOWN SOLO COLLECTION, Michael Jackson
Start at the beginning with three discs of classics like ”Got to Be There,” ”Ben,” and ”One Day in Your Life.”
ZEITOUN, by Dave Eggers
The author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius deftly blends prose and purpose, chronicling a man who refused to run from Hurricane Katrina and earmarking profits to benefit storm victims.
ALL I EVER WANTED, Kelly Clarkson
After the angsty, angry My December, Kelly roared back as her old self: sassy, confident, and full of power-ballad energy. And how can you not love a song called ”I Do Not Hook Up”?
I’M SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY by Diana Joseph
This memoir’s subtitle should clarify why we love it so: The Astonishing but True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man & Dog.
MAN ON THE MOON: THE END OF DAY, Kid Cudi
The Cleveland native and Kanye West protégé lives up to his mentor’s immense hype with an amazing debut album. He raps and sings to delectable electro-infused beats, and already has a pair of kicking collaborations with indie duo du jour Ratatat — ”Pursuit of Happiness” and ”Alive” — that we simply can’t get out of our heads.
ALLY MCBEAL: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD
Finally! And with the original music! We’re so thrilled the unisex johns, wattles, and dancing babies are back (plus new interviews with Calista Flockhart & Co.), we’ll forgive that it took so long. Bygones.
IT’S GARRY SHANDLING’S SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD
Pop quiz! What was the first cable series to nab Emmy nods for writing and directing? Yep, that’s how groundbreaking this ’86-’90 meta sitcom — about a comedian whose life is a TV show — was. Don’t miss this look back, and in case Garry asks (he will), his hair looks great.
THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE box set, U2
Bono and the band will set your ears ablaze with this deluxe reissue of the1984 album that ignited the foursome’s artistic reputation. The bonus DVD (with live footage) and the hardcover book make it truly unforgettable.
THE FRENCH CHEF WITH JULIA CHILD on DVD
If Julie & Julia inspired you to get cooking, spread the love this holiday season with DVDs of the classic PBS series, complete with all the endearing goofs and spills that modern-day TV chefs wouldn’t dream of airing. Bon appétit!
JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS by Reinhard Kleist
Cash’s life continues to inspire: This biography, in the form of a graphic novel, shows the Man in Black as a man in full.