Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun with DVDs: “In Order? …Or Favorites First?”

FAMILY GUY Volume Seven was released on DVD, June 16, 2009. As with the more recent sets of FAMILY GUY, it did not represent a “season as a whole” but the 13 episodes contained therein comprised the latter portion of the 2007-2008 television season and the earlier portion of the 2008-2009 television season.

As quickly as I could rip open the packaging, I reached for DISC TWO, and popped it in to enjoy “The Road to Germany”!
This outrageous tale of Stewie, Brian, and (GULP!) Mort Goldman’s inadvertent time trip back to Nazi Germany was my favorite episode of the collection and, as is my wont, I went for it first.

One or two other standouts followed, before I settled into watching the balance of the set in chronological order.

Never one to pass up the opportunity for a good Blog post, I wondered about the general habits of those who enjoy Season Sets of TV Shows on DVD!

For instance, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA – SEASON TWO, VOLUME TWO found me going straight to favorite episodes “Graveyard of Fear”, “The Phantom Strikes”, and “Killers of the Deep” in that order – rather than start with the first episode of the set and watch them sequentially.

Most of the time, it would seem that I GO FOR KNOWN FAVORITE EPISODES FIRST… IF it is a series with which I am thoroughly familiar. As is the case with VOYAGE, FAMILY GUY and others noted below.

This is my regular pattern. With THE SIMPSONS Box Sets, I’ve gone for such faves as “Springfield Monorail”, the one where Homer skips church, and talks to God in his dreams, “Frank Grimes”, “Sharri Bobbins” “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” -- and every set’s “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween episode and all Sideshow Bob episodes. These come first, and the rest come whenever…

PINKY AND THE BRAIN – a beeline for “Tokyo Grows”. (Yesss, I seeee!)

DISNEY’S DUCKTALES – “All Ducks on Deck(Donald Duck AND The Phantom Blot in ONE episode!), “The Uncrashable Hindentanic” (one of the funniest Duck stories ever done in any medium – even parodies my sainted Irwin Allen!), and “Home Sweet Homer” (an adventure in the grand Carl Barks tradition!)

FREAKAZOID! Season Two actually leads off WITH the best episode of the series – the hilarious “Dexter’s Date”, featuring a magnificent “Hello Dolly” musical parody sung by arch-villain The Lobe! See my related post on that HERE.

STAR TREK – straight for “Amok Time”, “I Mudd”, “Mirror Mirrror”, “Doomsday Machine”, and “City on the Edge of Forever”.
TREK Fans, you KNOW what I mean!

This applies to most series like THE FLINTSTONES, LOONEY TUNES, BATMAN and SUPERMAN ANIMATED, LOST IN SPACE, OUTER LIMITS, KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER, etc. Also, I will view episodes with commentaries, or play the interviews and special features, very early on!

Short cartoons, such as the Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera, MGM, Popeye, or Woody Woodpecker series – and even Sony’s Chronological Three Stooges sets (…not a cartoon, but close enough!), I’ll tend to watch in order so as to watch their stylistic evolution up or down.

If it’s a series I’m less familiar with – either because I’ve seen relatively little of it, or my specific memories of it have faded over time – I will tend to watch them in the disc set order, which is almost always the original air date order.

This applies to the first (black and white) season of THE WILD WILD WEST, with the “Pick-and-Choose” method applying to the more frequently seen color seasons. Dim, but fond, memories account for my “In-Order” watching of THE TIME TUNNEL, LAND OF THE GIANTS, F-TROOP, McHALE’S NAVY, and JONNY QUEST.

Also in the “In-Order” grouping are: JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMTED (seeing it for the first time), SEX AND THE CITY (seeing many of them for the first time), and a cartoon like WACKY RACES where the order would make no difference, because they're all the same! (Yes, Dick Dastardly CHEATS in every one! …And Muttley snickers accordingly!)

Oddly, with PERRY MASON, I will skip around from season set to season set because, in content and style, the show changed very little from season to season – but will watch each episode WITHIN a season set in its original order.

For THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., I’ve also skipped from season to season (it was released in one Four-Season Mega-Set) and watched each show “in-order” WITHIN its respective season. But, unlike PERRY MASON, I sampled each season concurrently because each season DIFFERED in its tone and approach – and I wanted to note and enjoy the contrasts.

So, do you “Go For Faves”, “Go In Order”, or “Do What Works, According to the Series”? It might make for an interesting discussion.

1 comment:

Chris Barat said...


My policy varies from series to series. With faves such as the DISNEY AFTERNOON series, I'll hit my favorites episodes first. Otherwise, I'll usually watch the eps in order.