THE TOP TV SHOWS
THAT AREN'T ON DVD

One of the best things about the DVD format is that great TV shows from yesteryear get released in nice boxed sets that you might otherwise never see again.  Sure TVLAND or Comedy Central drudge up the classics from time to time, but they're often trimmed to jam more commercials and usually have the annoying network logo plastered all over it.  In recent months, sets I've been waiting a long time for like The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family have been released, but there's many that have inexplicably remained in limbo, and don't show any signs of hitting stored anytime soon.  Here's a list of the Top 20 shows that deserve the DVD treatment.

BATMAN (1966-1968) What kind of world do we live in when you can buy Batman toothpaste, but you can't even get the 1966 classic TV series on DVD?  The somewhat watchable feature film from that era is usually in the Wal-Mart bargain bin, but that's the closest we'll get to seeing the campy Adam West goodness.  The show is colorful and amazing, and would be a great showcase for most home theater systems.  And I'm sure there's plenty of extras and commentary to stuff in there.  retroCRUSH's own Bradley Mason Hamlin thinks Warner Brothers just wants to tightly control the image of Batman, and doesn't want the silly 60s version out there competing with the more serious cartoons and films.

THE GREEN HORNET (1966) With as popular as Bruce Lee has remained, it's a mystery why somebody wouldn't release the only season of The Green Hornet to give his fans 26 episodes of rarely seen martial arts goodness.  The show was just a quick Batman knock-off, but the treasure trove of footage with Bruce Lee as Kato would more than make this set a big seller.

ACTION (1999) This late super politically incorrect comedy featuring Jay Mohr as a sleazy film producer Peter Dragon was one of the most underrated great shows of the early 90s.  You'd think the Keanu Reeves cameo alone in the pilot would have been enough to slut out a boxed set.  The show lasted only 12 episodes, and the main character dies in the final one, so it'd be a nice one-shot complete set.  Ultimately, the show was too smart for the average viewer, but I think it'd shine no DVD.  Plus I'll always watch anything with Illeana Douglas in it.


 


THE COMPLETE SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (1975-present) There's certainly no shortage of SNL DVDs, but the celebrity based "Best of" collections we've had to deal with only scratch the surface of this great show's legacy, and ignore many of the music acts and lesser skits that deserve the archive treatment.  I think there's a market to publish complete archive collections year by year.   Sure, there's some 80s era stuff that might night deserve it, but the thought of getting the first 3 years i their entirety on DVD is something a lot of fans would cherish.

FRIDAYS (1980-1982) This long forgotten failed competitor of SNL really deserves to be brought back.  Not only do you have talent like Michael Richards and Larry David of Seinfeld fame involved, but the footage of Andy Kaufman's unannounced "freaking" out on live TV during a sketch would be worth the price alone.  With an edgier lineup of music acts, Fridays viewers were treated to performances by The Clash, The Boomtown Rats, Devo, and The Plasmatics.

THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (1974-1978) This was sci-fi action at it's finest.  It's fun to laugh at the slow motion high speed running and tossing boulders made out of Styrofoam, but the entire series was full of exciting episodes like Steve Austin vs. The Bionic Bigfoot, or the unstoppable robot Venus Probe.  A film version featuring Jim Carrey was rumored at one time, which gave hope to the probable release of the original show on DVD, but hopes for that seem to have evaporated once and for all.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964) Hands down, the funniest show out there that's not on DVD.  All the movies are out, so it's a crime that the show that started it all isn't there.  Even The Munsters is on DVD now...what's the holdup?

LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (1957-1963) The whole series is great 50s fun.  Sure, Beav got a bit dorky looking as he got older, but Eddie Haskell alone deserves the DVD treatment.  Until then, the only Beaver we'll be seeing on DVD will be from Vivid Entertainment.

POLICE SQUAD (1982) The crime is that you can get all the Naked Gun movies that this show inspired on DVD, not the actual show itself!  This 30 minute comedy series was short lived, but was one of the funniest shows to ever air on TV.  One of the best bits on the show was special guest stars who were killed as soon as they were announced during the opening credits.  Enough time has passed to show off the sequence with John Belushi that was cut because he died shortly before the episode aired.

SQUARE PEGS (1982-1983) This teen comedy by SNL vet Anne Beats still holds up well.  The fact that Sarah Jessica Parker alone stars in it would guarantee enough sales to justify the production.  Bill Murray played a substitute teacher in one memorable episode, and underrated 80s hottie Tracy Nelson is always great to look at. 

GET SMART (1965-1970) This Mel Brooks produced spy classic is long overdue.  If this were a feature in the Sunday Parade magazine, I'd say, "Would you believe, Get Smart isn't on DVD yet?".  And if this were Hustler I'd say, "Agent 99's luscious cooze is just dying to be pounded silly with my hot throbbing fuckstick!"  There's a feature film starring Steve Carell that's supposedly coming out in 2006, so we'll see if this finally comes out then.

ULTRAMAN (1967) The great theme song, the crazy giant rubber monster suits, and orange suited Science Police are sooo cool.  I've had a beat up 5th generation VHS copy of this series for about 15 years now and would pay big money for a chance to get a nice DVD set of this show.

THE BANANA SPLITS (1968-1970) Cartoon Network spends so much time putting every Adult Swim show on DVD, but they don't pay enough attention to the core shows that really matter.  The Banana Splits is a blast, with crazy live action, super cool 60s music, and some of the best short cartoon serials ever.  Not to mention the live action Danger Island show.  They could even throw the rare Banana Splits cartoon on as an extra.

THE ROCKFORD FILES (1974-1980) Let's face it, Garner is one sexy bitch, and there's previous little in the way of vintage Garner footage on DVD to freeze frame and masturbate to.  Putting this out on DVD would let fans of this hottie finally live their hottest fantasies out over and over and over again.  Hmmmm...my old write-up for Alias just doesn't quite work here.

TWIN PEAKS SEASON 2 (1991) Twin Peaks Season 1 was released on DVD in 2001, and it was a beautiful high quality set that made David Lynch's classic series look better than over.  A dubious claim of poor sales made Season 2 a phantom that never appeared.  There's been rumors that David Lynch himself will be selling an all new complete series.  But until those rumors of the chewing gum I always liked coming back in style come true, I won't believe them.

So what shows do you wish were on DVD?  Email me at contests@retrocrush.com.  I'll pick a lucky winner to get a cool boxed set of The Greatest American Hero Season 3, with a crazy box that actually sings the theme song to you! 

Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com

 

 

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