Her Husband Already Got her Twin Peaks
December 2, 2013 4:27 PM   Subscribe

So I need help with Christmas shopping for my awesome sister. I got her hooked on Battlestar Galactica when pregnant with Baby #1 I got her hooked on Doctor Who when pregnant with Baby #2 I got her hooked on The State Within last Christmas I need a new DVD series to get her started on with Baby #3 and Christmas.

Some guidelines for her personal tastes - she doesn't do gory very well, so Walking Dead/Breaking Bad/Dexter seem out of the picture.

She will probably be watching this with Hubby, who likes the sci-fi/action elements - so Mad Men/heavily dialogue driven shows are out

Fantasy is on/off (Loves Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings, isn't into Buffy/Supernatural)

Hive Mind - I turn to you for your best DVD series that will keep her entertained this holiday and throughout the pregnancy. She will probably be watching one episode a day after the kids are in bed, so lots of seasons can probably get her through to Baby #3. What new series can I get her for Christmas?
posted by Suffocating Kitty to Shopping (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Game of Thrones
The Sopranos
Star Trek anything (Star Trek Enterprise, or the original 1960s Star Trek)
Veronica Mars
posted by hush at 4:35 PM on December 2, 2013

What about The X Files?
posted by xingcat at 4:35 PM on December 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer -> Angel OR
X-Files OR
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. OR
The A-Team
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:36 PM on December 2, 2013

Justified is amazing. There are 4 seasons I think now so enough to watch for a while
posted by fshgrl at 4:39 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Babylon 5! Yay! It's a precursor to Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Battlestar Galactica. Sci-fi with an multi-season story arc, I think she/they will love it.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 4:45 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

The BBC's Sherlock--it's presented in movie lengths, but she could split them into halves. It's charming, dry, thinky, a little weird, and funny.

And there's a new season starting at the end of the year.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:45 PM on December 2, 2013 [6 favorites]

Fringe has the sci-fi and action elements; it's five seasons long and it's complete (off the air). Alias is older, but also a lot of fun -- basically a spy thriller with an unfolding scifi plot (also five seasons). They both seem like shows your sister and her husband could watch together.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:46 PM on December 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Firefly followed by Serenity of course. Sadly, only one season.

Classic Dr Who, Tom Baker era?
posted by K.P. at 4:47 PM on December 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Sports Night is quite good and manages to avoid the gory angle. It is dialogue-heavy, but my dialogue-heavy show disliking +1 really enjoyed it. The dialog is quick moving.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:50 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

If she's not into gore, I would skip Game of Thrones - especially in Season 3, there were multiple times I had to go in the other room and have my boyfriend call me back after a scene was over! :) Definitely way more gory than Dexter.

I also like Fringe, as well as Covert Affairs (no sci-fi element, but action-y without being gory). Also would recommend Homeland - super suspenseful but minimal gore, as I recall.
posted by rainbowbrite at 4:54 PM on December 2, 2013

The A-Team, Quantum Leap, Stargate, Knight Rider and The Big Bang Theory are all good. Also there's Airwolf.
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! at 4:55 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:55 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're getting several shorter series, I really enjoyed Orphan Black, which is SFnal, woman-centered, and probably has enough action for hubby. It's not gore-heavy--I wouldn't watch a zombie show either--but there is some medical squick due to the subject matter, plus SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER one instance of injury of a child in case that matters. S1, 10 episodes, is on DVD and S2 will be on BBC America starting in April.
posted by immlass at 4:57 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Red Dwarf
posted by willnot at 5:04 PM on December 2, 2013

Alias is great. The plotlines can get a little bit outrageous later in the series, but it's fun to watch.
posted by papayaninja at 5:05 PM on December 2, 2013

MST3K has a nifty 25th anniversary box set.
posted by vrakatar at 5:06 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

OOOH!!! Warehouse 13. Quirky, funny, fun characters, sci-fi. Just plain good.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:36 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I second the X Files.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:38 PM on December 2, 2013

Oh! Max Headroom!!!!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:38 PM on December 2, 2013

I think Fringe is totally perfect. I'd warn away from other Joss Whedon properties (ie, Firefly) if she didn't like Buffy I'd add the first two seasons of the BBC series Misfits, too.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:44 PM on December 2, 2013

Yes: Veronica Mars
Yes: Torchwood

I want to love Doctor Who and yet I am ambivalent, but Torchwood was great! And Veronica Mars can be viewed on several levels, so it's good for the whole family.
posted by janey47 at 5:48 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Shield was a great "bad cop" series...
posted by keep it tight at 5:56 PM on December 2, 2013

It's not science fiction, but the funeral home setting may keep Six Feet Under intriguing enough for him, and it's also like the best TV show ever, so there's that.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:10 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Canceled after only two seasons, but Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a great, thoughtful, character-driven show. (Plus the requisite SF action scenes, of course.)
posted by McCoy Pauley at 6:11 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Stargate SG1 / Atlantis / Universe

More seasons than you can poke a stick at, great for guys and gals, easy to watch, and hey it has Michael Shanks. What more could you want?
posted by Youremyworld at 6:15 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

What more could you want?

Jason Momoa! which atlantis has!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:19 PM on December 2, 2013

Oz (though maybe a bit violent for your sister)
House of Cards
Six Feet Under
posted by analog at 6:39 PM on December 2, 2013

I'm here to second The Shield.
posted by Fukiyama at 6:52 PM on December 2, 2013

What about 6 months of Netflix? It's the gift of 100s of DVD series (many mentioned above).
posted by saradarlin at 6:54 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you to all the great answers so far!

She loved X-Files while it was on, but re-runs aren't really her thing.

I would love to give the gift of Netflix - but they don't do trial runs for DVD delivery, and unfortunately Awesome Sister's internet is not up to streaming movies.

I should have clarified this above - I need a DVD set I can buy that she can watch on the DVD player after the kids go to bed.

I forgot about how awesome Stargate is - definitely going on the potentials list. Plus bonus Jewel Staite in Atlantis - Awesome Sister rejected Buffy on vampire/supernatural premise - she's a big Firefly/The Avengers Joss Whedon fan.

Ooh, maybe the two seasons of Dollhouse
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 7:28 PM on December 2, 2013

Agreeing with Firefly/Serenity and Veronica Mars (and bonus, Veronica Mars movie will be coming out sometime in the first half of 2014)
Friday Night Lights (I guess it's dialogue-heavy (?) but it's one of the best shows ever)
posted by kochenta at 7:29 PM on December 2, 2013

Farscape! Orphan Black. Fringe.

Max Headroom hasn't aged too well, I'm afraid: the pacing and editing are really slow.

If she likes things which are silly, try The Middleman or the live-action The Tick.

Eureka is a nice option: it's very lighthearted, with a fun premise.
posted by suelac at 8:50 PM on December 2, 2013

Nthing Veronica Mars. I've lent the DVDs to a bunch of people and not one told me they didn't like it. Yay to the movie!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:08 PM on December 2, 2013

Northern Exposure. It has never been shown as a rerun on TV but I have noticed it for sale on Amazon.
posted by cairnoflore at 9:17 PM on December 2, 2013

Ooh, I just remembered the first season of Continuum is out on DVD. It's amazing action scifi, both set and filmed in Vancouver, BC, has a group of people from the future battling it out here and now. Very fun to watch (not unlike Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but with less clarity about who is evil).
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:08 PM on December 2, 2013

Yes to Veronica Mars, and Orphan Black!

I also really, really, really think The Wire is the bestest thing ever, so I can't stop myself from recommending it. But its probably too violent for her and too wordy for him. Dammit.
posted by Joh at 10:23 PM on December 2, 2013

Ooooh seconding Justified. Its a bit different from other suggestions here in that its a modern Western. The characters and scripts are just superb and its a delight to watch the characters develop over the series. Sister will love it because Raylan is damn sexy (season 4 mullet not withstanding, wth Tim?). Hubby will love it because Raylan is very cool.
posted by Ness at 2:00 AM on December 3, 2013

posted by professor plum with a rope at 3:11 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fringe season 1 had at least one "oh yuk, look away" moment of gore in most of the episodes, if memory serves. Thankfully they moved away from that in the later seasons, and it was probably no worse than in some of the X-Files episodes - but if you have Netflix streaming, you might want to check out a couple of episodes if you're considering picking it.

I'd vote for Lost - or Veronica Mars, but that's shorter, just three seasons. Maybe Heroes, though that tailed off a bit as the seasons progressed (confession: I never actually finished watching the final season). Or you could combine Wonderfalls (one season), Pushing Daisies (two seasons) and, though it's not quite on the same level, Being Erica (four short seasons): they're all whimsical fantasy series set in the real world. Not much action, but they're witty and fun.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:16 AM on December 3, 2013

How about Spooks? Better known as MI-5 in the U.S.

Long-running (so lots of episodes to keep her occupied) British spy series. Very gritty, in a way that reminds me strongly of Galactica, particularly in the way the characters must struggle to keep their souls intact despite the corrupting nature of their work.

Lots of personal/character stuff rather than the more plot-driven, empty-suit procedurals that we see so often these days.

Do be warned that it's not above doing horrible things to characters we've come to care about, occasionally in rather nasty fashion. Very early on they killed a character quite graphically and generated a pretty big kerfuffle from an audience that assumed the point was for the heroes to rescue her in the nick of time. But I think it's worth it - it's not like Galactica didn't put people we loved through the ringer.
posted by Naberius at 7:34 AM on December 3, 2013

Response by poster: I went with Orphan Black and some seasons of Fringe - hopefully that will get them through the winter. Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 5:43 AM on January 5, 2014

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