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Favourite TV on Video (2010)

by on 2010/12/27

In order of my affection (because I’m random that way), here are five selections from my favourite TV series released on DVD/Blu-ray in 2010.

Dollhouse (2009)

Oh why, oh why, oh why – why did they have to cancel Dollhouse? Can anyone tell me? Ok, maybe I know why. Sometimes people aren’t as clever as we’d hope. They lack vision. Imagination. I can see Dollhouse not really fitting into network TV’s regular line-up, what with the inexplicable popularity of the noxious Two And A Half Men and other signs of the impeding apocalypse.

Created by writer and director Joss Whedon, Dollhouse was smart, sexy and fascinating – simply too good for TV. I’m not sure what I’m going to do without Topher Brink (Fran Kranz), Sierra (Dichen Lachman) and Victor (Enver Gjokaj) and the sublime Echo (Eliza Dushku). The acting paces that this show put its crew of talented performers through every week was insane. The ideas Dollhouse grappled with were mind-bending.

If you haven’t visited the Dollhouse yet, run don’t walk.

Blood Ties: The Complete Series

Released April 6, 2010, this fabulous crime series with bite is part hard-bitten private eye drama, part Toronto travelogue and part vampire romance. Based on the Blood Books by Tanya Huff, Blood Ties centres around tough, lovely Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox), an ex-cop turned private gum shoe who is slowly losing her eyesight. Cox is incredibly convincing as the prickly Nelson, powerful as a cage fighter with her ever-present retractable baton.

Nelson is introduced to Toronto’s seamy supernatural underbelly when she meets Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid), vampire and bastard son of Henry VIII of England. The monster-of-the-week formula, and solid performances from Schmid and Cox make for brooding, compelling episodes. Stir in some dark sexual triangle tension between Vicki, Henry and her ex-partner, cop Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal), and you’ve got something that had me compulsively coming back for more.

Look Around You (2002-2005)

Also Hacker Renders’ pick for 2010, he introduced this series to me and I haven’t been the same since. It was a moment of great pride this year when a colleague reported that on my recommendation her boyfriend – a substitute math teacher – showed his junior high class the Maths episode.  Um, I do hope the children will be ok.

Here’s a sampling of the infotainment that is Look Around You:

“But what is water? It’s a difficult question because water is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. What are birds? We just don’t know.”

Criminal Minds (2005-present)

If favourite TV series means that I can’t stop watching it (particularly because it seems to be on almost every channel), then yes, Criminal Minds gets my nod in 2010. Mostly I tune in just want to make sure the victimized teenager/mother of two/nubile co-ed/kindergarten classroom is going to be ok. Of course we know the second-to-last victim will be viscera before the 35-minute mark and only the last (last) victim is going to have a chance to run screaming into David Rossi’s arms played by the restrained Joe Mantegna.

Ok, I also tune in to see what Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) does to her hair each episode.

There’s a bigger and bigger part of me that wishes I could stop watching Criminal Minds, because of all the nightmares (missing woman soup anyone?) but I really can’t stop. No wonder Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) left the set never to return.

The Life and Times of Tim (2008-present)

Released on DVD February 9, 2010, this animated series about hapless, anguished everyman Tim really spoke to me as a hapless, anguished everywoman. Tim finds himself in the worst situations often through his own thoughtlessness and tries (unsuccessfully …and hilariously) to wriggle his way out of these increasingly horrific scenarios.

I think everyone can relate to Tim. And if you can’t, well, you can’t be my friend.

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