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Favourite TV on Video (2010)

by on 2010/12/26

In alphabetical order, these five selections were my favourite TV series released on video in 2010.

How the Earth Changed History (2009)

A brilliant BBC documentary series from the team behind Earth: The Biography.

This time, however, we learn not how basic elemental forces shaped the physical makeup of the planet, but how they have influenced the lives of its human inhabitants.

Johnny Staccato (1959)

You may need to be a certain type of person to enjoy Johnny Staccato.  Do you like early TV?  Grainy black and white?  Film noir?  Smoky jazz bars?  Coffee house Beatniks?  Hard boiled private eyes?  John Cassavetes of Rosemary’s Baby?

For me the answer is yes to all of the above.  Years ago, I was ecstatic with the DVD release of Peter Gunn, until suddenly they stopped, only two volumes in.  Maybe that “certain type” doesn’t buy video.  Maybe they’ve all died off.  But for the rest of us who do, and who haven’t, Johnny Staccato’s a godsend.

The Larry Sanders Show (1992)

In a protracted delay nearly worthy of Duke Nukem Forever, it took fully eight years for the first season DVDs of The Larry Sanders Show to be followed up properly.

Yes, there was a “best of” collection along the way, but name any random episode that doesn’t belong amongst the best.  Might as well release them all, right?

Well, that’s exactly what someone’s gone and done.  Hey now!

Look Around You (2002)

The series feels especially configured for those who grew up in the Seventies and Eighties, when educational films were transitioning between celluloid film and VHS tape.

Look Around You reminds me of TV Ontario’s old Bits and Bytes series with Luba Goy (Royal Canadian Air Farce) and the late Billy Van (The Hilarious House of Frightenstein).  The difference is, it’s got humour and apocrypha . . . in fact, well, it’s full of it.

Love Hate & Propaganda (2010)

Why does World War Two still matter today?  Or does it at all?  And is WWII really what this series is about?

Having recently come off a month chock full of war movie reviews, it was a refreshing change to see a legitimately new angle, less Dirty Dozen and more Flags of Our Fathers.  A lot of people will see Band of Brothers or The Pacific, but this Fourth Estate take on the very same era is worth a look too.




















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