Hearing the great news about Parker Lewis Can’t Lose launched me on a mission to find other forgotten television show gems that aren’t yet available on DVD.
Very few worthy lists of this nature exist online, and even this excellently argued stab falters (is anyone really clamoring for a China Beach DVD?). Also, the number of worthy programs egregiously missing from the DVD aisle is rapidly dwindling: 2009 alone saw the DVD releases of parts or entire series runs of The State, Family Ties, WKRP in Cincinnati, Silver Spoons and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. Still, some gems have been forgotten.
I came up with the following list of five fantastic series that have either not yet been made available on DVD at all or whose current DVD state is woefully inadequate. Please use the comments section to point out shows you’d like to see released on DVD — even if you’re the world’s only living fan of Babes.
The Six Million Dollar Man
I’ve always said that my life would have been markedly different had the 1974-78 sci-fi action series The Six Million Dollar Man and its bionic noises never existed. But Universal doesn’t care, considering that no DVD collection has ever been released in North America. (Nor is any scheduled, although that might be because of a rights issue.) Dorks like me long to hear commentary about this scene, in which bionic Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors) rips the arm off of Bigfoot (Andre the Giant).
On the Air
While the groundbreaking soap opera Twin Peaks is a key part of any good conversation, no one talks much about On the Air, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s other quirky, short-lived early 1990s series. Only seven episodes were produced, and ABC only ever aired three of them. But given Lynch’s massive cult popularity, it stands to reason that this brief and bizarro series set at a TV network in 1957 would sell better on DVD than Small Wonder.
Made even more frustrating by the recent death of Ken Ober, MTV’s failure to release this groundbreaking 1987-90 game show on DVD is further proof of the network’s disregard for its non-reality-show past. Adam Sandler and Colin Quinn goofing around. Kari Wührer walking around like a sex panther. Hilarious pop-culture trivia. Awesome hair everywhere. Where’s the love?
It’s Your Move
As long-time readers of mine (hi, Mom!) are well aware, I have lamented the cancellation of this 1984-85 sitcom endlessly since NBC unceremoniously axed it after just 18 episodes. While the show is mostly available in piecemeal on YouTube and as a collection of VHS and VHS-to-DVD transfers on eBay, it has yet to receive the grandiose archival treatment it deserves — which is curious when you consider star Jason Bateman’s dizzying ride to the A-list.
Get a Life
Chris Elliott’s unconventional sitcom about a newspaper delivery man-child still living with his parents has one of the stronger cult audiences in recent TV history, plus a big supporter in David Letterman. So why no DVD action, beyond a dinky, out-of-print eight-episode, two-disc collection devoid of Elliott commentary?