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Holiday Gift Guide: Television DVDs.

Over the next few weeks, we will offer up some gift suggestions for the Holidays. Today, we will look at some television sets:

AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE THE GERALDINE McEWAN COLLECTION (Acorn Media) is something that works for the reader of traditional British mysteries. Geraldine has gained considerable praise for her portrayal of the Christie icon. This set has a SRP of $99.99 and contains the following stories:
The Murder at the Vicarage; The Body in the Library; A Murder Is Announced; 4:50 From Paddington; Sleeping Murder; By the Pricking of My Thumbs; The Moving Finger; The Sittaford Mystery; Towards Zero; Nemesis; At Bertram’s Hotel; and Ordeal by Innocence.

Also included is an hour-long backstage feature with cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, history of Miss Marple adaptations, photo galleries, Agatha Christie biography, and cast filmographies.

Fans of historical mysteries will want to check out CADFAEL: The Complete Collection (Acorn Media). Sir Derek Jacobi starts as Cadfael, a crusader turned monk. Sir Derek is an amazing actor and his performances here are no exception. This series is based on the mystery novels of Ellis Peters and is set in worn-tron medieval England. This set from Acorn Media retails for $99.99 and contains the following stories: One Corpse Too Many, The Sanctuary Sparrow, The Leper of St. Giles, Monk’s Hood, The Virgin in the Ice, The Devil’s Novice, St. Peter’s Fair, A Morbid Taste for Bones, The Raven in the Foregate, The Rose Rent, The Pilgrim of Hate, The Potter’s Field and The Holy Thief. B003YCI1UC

Extras include audio commentary from Sir Derek Jacobi as well as a production scrapbook and historical notes.

Fans of high definition vulgar westerns can rejoice as HBO has released DEADWOOD: The Complete Series on Blu-ray. DEADWOOD snagged Emmy and Golden Globe awards and deserved every damn one of them and many more. Ian McShayne and co present the west (Well, South Dakota) in a way that is unique and delightful.

The set includes all 3 episodes as well as The Meaning of Endings: David Milch on the conclusion of Deadwood, The Real Deadwood: Out of the Ashes: historical featurette, Q&A with cast and creative team (courtesy of The Paley Center for Media), Deadwood 360 tour and the Al Swearengen audition reel (as performed by Titus Welliver. MSRP is $209.98.

Shout! Factory has released THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW: The Complete Series. From 1992 to 98, Larry Sanders (Garry Shandling) ruled the nighttime airwaves. Larry was as vain and neurotic as he was popular. The series was a smart satirical look at the late night talk show. Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor also starred as did dozens of special guests, often playing over the top versions of themselves. Especially good are the episodes with David Duchovny. This set retails at $149.98 and is loaded with extras. Among the extras are: Intro By Garry, All-New Deleted Scenes, All-New Outtakes, Garry Lectures At USC, 60-Page Collector’s Book, The Making Of The Larry Sanders Show: Feature-Length Documentary, Garry Shandling And Judd Apatow On “The Writer’s Process”, Interviews With Cast and Garry Shandling’s Personal Visits With Guest Stars Alec Baldwin, Sharon Stone, David Duchovny, Tom Petty, Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld And Carol Burnett.

I can’t recommend Larry enough. The show is smart and brutally on target. This set is even more interesting when you Consider the late night battles in the last year or so. I loved the hell out of it when it was on TV and was a little nervous that maybe my memory would be more than a little generous. But my fears were unfounded as TLSS stands up and still is wickedly funny.

The Emmy-award winning THE PACIFIC (HBO) miniseries is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The 10-part miniseries offes up a very realistic picture of the World War II Pacific Theatre as seen through the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines – Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. MSRP is DVD for $79.99 and Blu-ray is $99.98.

I have watched the blu-ray and it is breath-taking. While I certainly have no idea of what it was really like to be there, I certainly believed this to be an accurate portrayal. The BD release also contains some fascinating interactive features that connect to all ten episodes. History buffs will be enthralled.