Unique for its forays into the surreal, ‘Ally McBeal‘ as a show is as conflicted as its starring character. Half feministic endeavor, half a frustratingly traditional portrayal of lovelorn women, Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) danced precariously between law dramas of a more serious nature and Bridget Jones-esque “chick-shows.” The series centered around the life of Ally McBeal, the quintessential “little girl lost,” who, after graduating with a law degree from Harvard University, found herself in a law firm populated by an extraordinarily unconventional staff, including but not limited to Billy Thomas (Gil Bellows), her high school sweetheart. Buy the complete series right here.
‘Nip/Tuck‘ is back and better than ever in the Season 5, Part 2 DVD. Though physical perfection is their business, their private lives are far from flawless. Christian is an unabashed womanizer and uses sex to fill the void left by his abusive father, while Sean continuously tries to live up to the morally righteous standard he has set for himself only to fall repeatedly into personal hypocrisy and guilt. In this season, Julian is very ill while Sean’s love life continues to confound. Get all of the episodes from the second half of season 5 on 3 discs and buy the DVD right here.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature’s most spectacular locales,
‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea‘ is a six-part, 12-hour documentary series by Ken Burns and his longtime colleague Dayton Duncan on the history of America’s national parks. This is a story of people — rich and poor, famous and unknown, soldiers and scientists, natives and newcomers, idealists, artists and entrepreneurs –who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved and in doing so, reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy. Buy the DVD right here.
Candid Camera collided head-on with Scream in ‘Scare Tactics,’ the prankish reality series from cable’s Syfy Channel. On each episode, the producers endeavored to frighten the participants out of their wits via a series of “endurance tests,” ranging from being locked in a coffin to wandering unprotected around an allegedly radioactive warehouse. The scare-ees had been selected for this ordeal by their friends and family members, and the titular scare tactics were lovingly recorded by a battery of hidden cameras. Buy the Season 3, Part 1 DVD right here.
Mary Tyler Moore Show
One of the best network sitcoms to emerge from the 1970s, ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘ starred the titular actress as Mary Richards, a single, slightly insecure woman in her early thirties who worked as associate producer for the evening news broadcast at independent Minneapolis station WJM-TV. Mary’s boss was irascible-but-lovable producer Lou Grant (Edward Asner); head writer for the newscast was upbeat if somewhat sarcastic Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod); and the WJM anchorman was Ted Baxter (Ted Knight). Buy the Season 5 DVD right here.