Friday, May 30, 2008
I saw an ad recently for the DVD release of the first season of Punky Brewster and I felt the ground shift under my feet. What an absolutely awful piece of dung disguised as entertainment, and now it would be available for purchase for Punky's largely nonexistent fanbase to enjoy forever. This got me thinking about the other examples of deserving television shows that still haven't been released and made available to rent or buy on DVD. I made a list of some of the obvious ones I'd most like to see. You might have your own suggestions, and if you do, leave them in the comments.
The State- The terrific, influential sketch comedy show MTV ran in the early 90s. Eventually it moved to CBS late night where it was sealed into a box and thrown into the Hudson River. This troupe became most of the cast of Reno 911 and 2/3 of Stella. Why hasn't this been collected into a nice, funny box?
Batman (the Adam West series)- I don't understand the reluctance of Warner to release this show on DVD. The show is already forty years old, and the longer they wait, the more their intended nostalgia market dies off. At least half of these shows are a ball.
Andy Richter Controls the Universe- An under seen classic. Fox gave this the ol' Arrested Development treatment, dragging it all around the schedule, under promoting it, and preempting it at every opportunity. Similar in tone to the excellent 30 Rock on NBC. Two seasons, none of it on DVD.
Mr. Meaty- A funny, inventive puppet sitcom buried on Nicktoons at four AM. Box sets would make it easier to stay awake to watch.
Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot- Frank "300" Miller and Geoff "The Matrix" Darrow created an eye-popping comic book about a man in a giant armored suit and a five foot high robotic Big Boy who fight Godzilla-type monsters. This is the animated series that ran on Fox for nearly two seasons. Fox comes up a lot on this list, due to their pathetic inability to properly promote anything that isn't Family Guy or American Idol. They moved this around the Saturday Morning schedule, preempted it, and finally smothered it all on their own. I have toys from Toys R Us, Burger King, Dark Horse and Hardee's, so I'd be first in line for a box set. I'm tempted to buy bootlegs at comic conventions, but at $50 a pop for something of unproven quality, I'd rather wait and get it from Fox. However, I am getting impatient.
Andy Barker, P.I.- Andy Richter again, in a Conan O'Brien produced sitcom about a directionless man who falls into the P.I. game after renting an office formerly inhabited by a private dick. One season, many episodes of which were never broadcast. Bring it on, NBC. It's the least you could do. Actually, not releasing it is the least you could do. Why not do a little more?
Heat Vision & Jack (officially)- Jack Black and the voice of Owen Wilson before either of them were stars. This Ben Stiller-directed pilot is infamous for being rejected by Fox and gaining cult popularity on the independent film circuit. I have no idea why Fox rejected this hilarious comedy. As a bonus, Ron Silver guest stars as the villain, actor Ron Silver. Like millions of others, I've watched this for free on the internet, but I'd like to have a high quality copy on disc at some point. Since everyone connected to this thing is a big star now, it's probably only a matter of time before someone realizes that they could make money on this thing and they release it in some collector's tin or maybe with a little jacket on it or a hat or something.
Strange Luck- This is my ringer. This was a strange thriller series starring D.B. Sweeney as a man who has perfect luck. As a young child, he was the sole survivor of a passenger jet disaster that killed everyone else aboard, including his family. Ever since, he's been able to count on impossible luck. Fate places him in situations where he is the best person to render assistance. It ran from '95 to '96. Although it was less shamelessly quirky in tone, it was similar to the excellent, weird "Wonderfalls", which also ran one year on Fox before becoming a cult favorite. Wonderfalls was rewarded with a DVD release in 2006, just a couple of years after it ended, so why not Strange Luck? It's been more than a decade, so I'm not even lighting the candle anymore.