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Help me pick out some fun dvds for a friend
September 27, 2011 1:50 PM   Subscribe

What are some good TV series released to DVD to buy for a friend on bedrest?

We don't have a television, so I'm awfully out of the loop of fun things to watch. This friend is female and recovering from major surgery, and I wanted to put some DVDs in the gift basket I'm taking her this weekend.

I know she likes the following: The Wire, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Castle, Entourage, and PBS Frontline.

Netflix is out as an option, so I need ideas. She has no preference for light and frothy vs deep programming.
posted by Nickel Pickle to Grab Bag (61 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Breaking Bad's first three seasons.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:53 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


If she liked the wire, she should check out the short series of The Corner.

Breaking bad is another suggestion.

I personally love Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bored to death, eastbound and down....these are all great comedies.

Also let me throw in Californication. Its pretty decent.
posted by handbanana at 1:55 PM on September 27, 2011


If she can deal with fantasy, and I don't know if a dvd is out yet, Game of Thrones is amazing.
posted by handbanana at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


DVDs are sort of expensive. Netflix subscription or Google plus?
posted by k8t at 1:57 PM on September 27, 2011


Has she seen The Sopranos?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:58 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I like all those show, here are some more I like: Mad Men, Bones, Homicide: Life on the Street, Rizzoli & Isles, 30 Rock, Modern Family, Veronica Mars.
posted by Requiax at 1:58 PM on September 27, 2011


> DVDs are sort of expensive.

That's a good point. For about the retail price of two sets of discs for a complete season of a TV series, you could get a cheap Blu Ray player that is internet enabled and comes with a Netflix streaming app.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:59 PM on September 27, 2011


Freaks and Geeks. Only 18 episodes, so not too hard to get through the whole thing.

Here's another list.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:59 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Breaking Bad is awesome, as is Veronica Mars (first season, anyhow). She might like The Good Wife or Mad Men. Arrested Development, maybe.
posted by jeather at 2:00 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Netflix is not an option the OP says, people. I second Veronica Mars and Mad Men. Also Six Feet Under, Dexter, Sports Night, Friday Night Lights.
posted by sweetkid at 2:01 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Modern Family
posted by nightwood at 2:02 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


As mentioned in the question, Netflix isn't an option. She'll be in a long term rehab clinic where they ask patients not to subscribe to Netflix (no idea why).

Thanks!
posted by Nickel Pickle at 2:03 PM on September 27, 2011


Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Weeds, Raising Hope.
posted by humph at 2:04 PM on September 27, 2011


I'll second Mad Men, Six Feet Under (!), Dexter, 30 Rock, and add Community.
posted by Specklet at 2:04 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seconding Sports Night, Friday Night Lights, Six Feed Under, and Veronica Mars. If she's at all interested in science fiction-y stuff, I'd add Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Buffy.
posted by cider at 2:05 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Downton Abbey.
posted by ifjuly at 2:08 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Babylon 5 best Si-Fi ever 5 years of smart, noble and ethical heros. And Kosh.
posted by Freedomboy at 2:09 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


oh, and Slings and Arrows (funny and sad, has Mark McKinney).
posted by ifjuly at 2:09 PM on September 27, 2011


Ok. Definitely at least get the first season of Breaking Bad.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:09 PM on September 27, 2011


If possible, try to get Summer Heights High. HI-LARIOUS.
posted by Leezie at 2:11 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Wire, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Castle, Entourage, and PBS Frontline

That list is kind of all over the place, but I think the best bet to tie them all together is Six Feet Under. It also has the advantage of being the best TV series of all time.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:11 PM on September 27, 2011


I would also recommend The Big Bang Theory if she'd like a few belly laughs.
posted by obeetaybee at 2:17 PM on September 27, 2011


I'd recommend the Misfits series from BBC, as well as Hustle. Only 6-7 episode seasons, so very manageable on a few days of bedrest, and they're both pretty fantastic.

If she's a fan of stand-up and improv-based gameshows like Whose Line is it Anyway, I'd suggest QI, also from the BBC.
posted by TheMidnightHobo at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm seconding Summer Heights High (as Leezie mentioned - HILARIOUS!). Also, Extras.
posted by Falwless at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


oh, and for laughs andnalso that funny-sad poignancy, Party Down! (Veronica Mars reminded me)
posted by ifjuly at 2:27 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


where they ask patients not to subscribe to Netflix

I am totally guessing here, but their internet may not have the bandwidth, especially not with a lot of bored patients.

In answer to your question --

It's time to play the music
It's time to light the lights
It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!
posted by endless_forms at 2:31 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Arrested Development.*

These are three of the greatest shows ever that you didn't already mention.


*There is not a single person that has started the pilot episode of Arrested Development on DVD and stopped before the end of the finale.
posted by General Malaise at 2:41 PM on September 27, 2011


Seconding Homicide, Life on the Streets. Not a bad price used for all seven seasons, and great for somebody who enjoys the Wire, but may not be up for something as unrelentingly heavy-duty as a rewatch of the Wire -- Baltimore, genuinely flawed cops, genuinely charismatic baddies, and extra interest if you've seen the Wire because you can start tracing the beginnings of the Wire in Homicide. Also, witty dialogue like in the Gilmore Girls, and walk-and-talks and current-ish events like in the West Wing.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:57 PM on September 27, 2011


I second EXTRAS. The episodes with Warwick Davies and Ian McKellan are absolutely brilliant.
posted by Leezie at 2:57 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm cheap. I'd subscribe to netflix, get the DVDs, rip 'em and give them to her on an ipad.
posted by k8t at 3:08 PM on September 27, 2011


I can't believe no one has suggested House of Cards!
posted by ambrosia at 3:24 PM on September 27, 2011


Echoing House of Cards, Arrested Development, Downton Abbey, and Breaking Bad. I'd also throw Deadwood in there, since no one's mentioned it yet, and if she'd like BBC dramas, I'd recommend Sherlock, The Hour, and The Last Enemy.
posted by tautological at 3:33 PM on September 27, 2011


The Big Bang Theory. Seasons 1 through 4 are available.

(There's a reason why Jim Parsons won the Emmy 2 years in a row)
posted by watch out for turtles at 3:50 PM on September 27, 2011


Yes, Babylon 5!!!

Yes, Game of Thrones. Also, The Tudors.

It's kinda dark, a bit, but I think The Shield was the best TV series I've ever seen. Acting was so great. I've yet to see The Wire, tho. I hear these shows are on par.

I actually loved Party Down, comedy about a catering company in LA produced by Starz. Ditto a comedy about a celebrity therapist they did (google?) Good fun, both of them!

I've loved every season of Curb Your Enthusiam up until this last one.

And hell, I really got into Entourage by the end of their run. Also more upbeat/fluffy.

Compelling TV might not be great for healing and recovery. Still, I'd give a lot to be able to enjoy The Shield for the first time all over again.

Babylon 5 is actually very compelling and I think goes well with healing.

I've also loved loved loved the first reboot of Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. The somewhat recent redux of Battle Star Galacta was pretty great, too!

I say "no" to Weeds. Especially after last night's season finale. Too dark, with a lead character you fall completely out of love with because she's becomes less and less redeemable as the story arcs over several seasons.


I love serialized television. Great question!


OMG.

Community. Is. Brilliant. Comedy.

And just started watching 30 Rock again from the beginning. Holds up!
posted by jbenben at 3:52 PM on September 27, 2011


Arrested Development
Veronica Mars
Mad Men


Yes to all. Can't believe I forgot. Especially Arrested Development!
posted by jbenben at 3:55 PM on September 27, 2011


The IT crowd.
posted by Sphinx at 4:00 PM on September 27, 2011


Law and Order UK - good police procedural, great wigs.
posted by Mr Mister at 4:20 PM on September 27, 2011


If she likes Gilmore Girls and Castle, I'm guessing she'll also like Pushing Daisies and Sports Night.
posted by kbar1 at 4:24 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Peep Show
Black Books
(British) Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes
Doctor Who
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:37 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The late lamented....

Friday Night Lights.

Friday Night Lights.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

Don't believe for a second that it's about football. It is one of the most realistic, moving and poignant depictions of marriage and family and relationships between adults and teens ever seen on TV. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
posted by Ginesthoi at 4:37 PM on September 27, 2011


Yes, definitely Community. Also, I would say to try Better Off Ted, Wonderfalls, The Middleman, and The Lost Room.
posted by gudrun at 4:47 PM on September 27, 2011


The first nine seasons of The Simpsons. Excellent episodes, very good commentaries on most of the episodes, plenty of extras and amusing menues.
posted by moxiequz at 5:22 PM on September 27, 2011


if she is going to be in a shared room with someone who might be offended by nudity/strong language, i would not recommend six feet under or californication (not sure about dexter, but since it's pay channel based i'm guessing it might also be heavily nude and sweary) unless she's wearing some kind of headphones and can pull a curtain or something. if she's got a private room, rock on.
posted by koroshiya at 5:29 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


private room or a laptop. duh.
posted by koroshiya at 5:31 PM on September 27, 2011


I would like to make a plug for Studio 60.
posted by janepanic at 5:42 PM on September 27, 2011


Came back to recommend the first season or two of MI-5/Spooks.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:47 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


So many good shows above, especially Freaks and Geeks. Some I haven't seen mentioned yet that I think your friend would like:

Big Love
Undeclared
Rome
The L Word
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:51 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since she likes The West Wing, the best TV series ever, I second the rest of Aaron Sorkin's stuff: Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (although Studio 60 was really short and the cut off is disappointing).

Definitely Six Feet Under!

I think watching medical dramas in a hospital would be hilarious... maybe that's just me, but if she likes them, I'd suggest ER and Grey's Anatomy. I didn't see ER when it was on TV and really enjoyed watching the first 10 seasons on DVD later... it has the benefit of being really long, and I bet you could find used DVDs for cheap.
posted by snorkmaiden at 5:52 PM on September 27, 2011


if we're going with hospital themed shows there's Lars Von Trier's Kingdom (probably too messed up), Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital (a friendly remake) and Garth Merenghi's Darkplace (a hilarious parody)
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:53 PM on September 27, 2011


(Sports Night is still good even if she, like me, does not have any interest in sports.)
posted by snorkmaiden at 5:55 PM on September 27, 2011


The Shadow Line, The Killing and Silk are 3 that I have watched recently and they are all fantastic.
posted by unliteral at 6:16 PM on September 27, 2011


What, no love for Justified?! It's like a modern-day western with great characters, actors and stories. That would be my second suggestion after Breaking Bad.

If you have access to hulu I highly recommend Whites. There are only six episodes, and it's hilarious, but I think it's only available via hulu for now.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:23 PM on September 27, 2011


In a similar vein as Entourage, The Larry Sanders Show. There's five seasons of it, so it's great for someone with a lot of time to kill.

Also, nthing Arrested Development.
posted by creepygirl at 6:42 PM on September 27, 2011


Carnivale - HBO series. only had 2 seasons but man, soooo good.
posted by sio42 at 6:59 PM on September 27, 2011


Firefly?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:12 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


If she liked Gilmore Girls, she'll like Psych and Samantha Who? - both have snappy, witty dialogue.

Rehab center probably wants to discourage people from having Netflix accounts because streaming would kill their wifi (if they have it).
posted by puritycontrol at 8:28 PM on September 27, 2011


Denis Leary's pre-Rescue Me tv show is good.-- The Job
posted by calgirl at 10:00 PM on September 27, 2011


Can't think of anything that has not been recommended up thread. The series dvds tend to get a little expensive. Is your friend within driving distance? You may want to check out your local library for dvds. Bring her a fresh batch every week and return the viewed one.
posted by JujuB at 10:01 PM on September 27, 2011


old DVDs are cheap, like the original Office or 30 Rock.

if she likes Castle, check out Bones. it's Castle starring Angel instead of Mal.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:07 PM on September 27, 2011


The Jesse Stone series of made-for-cable movies.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:07 AM on September 28, 2011


Thank you all so much! Between Amazon, a local used book store and the library I ended up with:

Sports Night
Pushing Daises
Babylon 5
The Good Wife
Freaks and Geeks

She loves them all.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2011


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