Dish Of Salt: Top 10 Emmy DVD’s (August 24, 2006)
First Published: August 24, 2006 1:16 PM EDT Credit: Access Hollywood
-- Ever wonder what makes me qualified to sit here and write to you as if I’m some kind of authority on television? I may very well be breaking a cardinal Hollywood rule, about letting people know how old you are, but let’s just say I’ve been in the business of entertainment for almost 15 years. Holy moly, that’s actually a scary thought. I’ve told this bit of trivia about myself before too many people that growing up I used to always say, “I don’t want to be a star, i just want to interview them.” Ever since the ripe old age of say 6, i’ve been a dedicated TV watcher. I pride myself on knowing a little bit about a whole lot of TV shows. TIVO and DVD’s are my best friends. Hallelujah to whomever invented this stuff.
I’m telling you this now because it was recently brought to my attention that some folks around here at this show don’t feel that people who work on our show can qualify as “Experts.” They would rather use an industry person from a magazine like TV Guide or Entertainment Weekly to tell you what TV show you should be watching. I’m not saying that what they have to say isn’t worthwhile, I just believe those of us who have dedicated our lives to entertainment news shows are just as qualified and “in the know” about what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to TV watching.
Good. Now that we have got that out of the way, the Emmys are coming up this Sunday on NBC in case you haven’t heard. (insert sarcasm here). So, being the TV expert I like to think I am, i’ve compiled a list of what I think are the most under appreciated shows among the Emmy nominated lot. I’m cheating a little bit here because some of these shows are only nominated in technical categories but this is my list, so I get to put on it whatever I want! These are the shows that now thanks to DVD you can get caught up on or just newly discover. It’s the first annual Dish of Salt “Top 10 Emmy DVD’s.”
1. Arrested Development - Nominated for Best Comedy Series, this show is hands down the funniest sitcom to come out on television in a decade. It’s like they updated the classic 70’s sitcom, “Soap”, for the millennium. Sadly, the show’s high brow humor never quite found a big enough audience on FOX and it was cancelled after three seasons this year. Narrated by Ron Howard, the show is the story of a privileged and highly dysfunctional family that lose everything after the family’s patriarch (the brilliant Jeffrey Tambor) is sent to prison on tax evasion charges. It’s up to his one slightly level headed son, Michael played by Jason Bateman to try and keep the family and the finances in tact. Portia de Rossi is hilarious as his spoiled sister and David Cross steals the show as her clueless husband, Tobias. Will Arnett picked up a much deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as Gob Bluth. Seasons One and Two are available on DVD and season three will be in stores on August 29th.
2. Weeds - Showtime’s hilarious look at suburbia through the eyes of a pot dealing mom puts the Desperate Housewives to shame. Ok, sure its probably a bit of a stretch that a soccer mom is dealing drugs right in her manicured neighborhood, and getting away with it, but the show doesn’t go down that same campy soap opera road the Housewives take. The show is also about family relationships, friendships and the everyday monotony of living the suburban life. It boggles the mind how Mary Louise Parker was passed over for an Emmy nomination, in the lead actress category, in favor of Stockard Channing for a CBS show that noone watched (and was cancelled). The only consolation is that Elizabeth Perkins, who steals the show as the despicable yet oddly likeable neighbor, Celia Hodes, is up for Best Supporting Actress. Wait until you see the episode where she switches her daughters chocolate bars for laxatives. It’s so mean but wickedly funny. The season one DVD is available now. You can also download it on I-Tunes.
3. Sleeper Cell - If you are a fan of shows like “24” and “Prison Break” then I promise you will not be disappointed in this intense Showtime drama. Considering what’s going on in our world right now it made watching this show, about an FBI agent that infiltrates a terrorist cell, even more disturbing. Nominated in the Outstanding Mini-Series category, the show was not intended originally as a series but was so well received that is has actually been picked up for a second season with stars Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr returning. The season one DVD is available now. You can also download it on I-Tunes.
4. Family Guy - Now here is a case where DVD sales actually resurrected a cancelled show after it developed a cult following (mostly among young men). FOX decided to bring back this hilarious animated comedy after sales of its first three season DVDs were phenomenal. The show was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program but lost to the aging “The Simpsons.” I’m sorry but Peter Griffin is funnier than Homer Simpson any day. It’s Stewie, the British talking - intent on world domination - baby that steals this show. Family Guy Volumes 1 - 3 are in stores now and Volume 4 will be available in November.
5. Scrubs - Here’s another show who’s highbrow humor made it a tough sell. I find it funny that NBC is running promos touting the show’s Best Comedy Series nomination considering NBC shelved the show many times, moved it all around the schedule and stuck it on for mid-season this year. Sadly, this year will probably be the last for fans to appreciate this wacky medical sitcom. The show’s star, Zach Braff, is ready to move on to bigger and better things since the success of his film “Garden State.” Season’s 1 -3 are available on DVD and now and season 4 is in stores October 10th.
6. Nip/Tuck - I’m a believer that watching this show on DVD is actually the best way to view it. That way i can fast forward through the icky plastic surgery scenes. The whole “Carver” storyline kind of lost me last season (which is most likely why the show only got technical nominations this year) but season four promises to get back to the way it was… a wickedly evil look at the dirty business of making people beautiful. Season Four premieres September 5th on F/X. Seasons 1 and 2 are available now on DVD and season three will be in stores August 29th.
7. Entourage - Two words: Jeremy Piven. The show’s only major nomination is for his spot on portrayal of ruthless agent, Ari Gold. I finally realized while watching this summer that the show is really “Sex and the City” for guys. Just like Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda… everyone has got a little, E, Turtle, Drama and Ari in them. If you want to know what its like to be a Hollywood scenester, then this is the show to watch. Seasons 1 and 2 are in stores now.
8. 24 - Nominated for Best Drama Series, the show is now going into it’s sixth season and truthfully starting to show its age. I mean there is only so many times Jack Bauer can save the day. Who knows maybe the still have a few tricks up their sleeves we have yet to see. However, I will say if you are looking for something to do on a rainy day there is nothing more pulse pounding then an afternoon spent watching a “24” marathon. My personal favorite season was number four. Seasons 1 - 4 are in stores now. Season 5 will be in stores in December.
9. The Comeback - I just love the title of the DVD. “The Comeback: The Complete Only Season.” Personally, this mocku-reality series was so irritating to watch I don’t know if I could have sat through a second season. So, why watch ? Well, It’s almost like car wreck TV seeing Lisa Kudrow’s as has been actress, Valerie Cherish, (nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy), painfully try to break back into the business. Having been in this business for awhile I can name about a dozen actresses this role was based upon. The DVD is in stores now.
10. Grey’s Anatomy. - Another show I don’t actually watch. I put it on the list because it simply can’t be ignored. Nominated for Best Drama Series, the show’s fan base is growing exponentially and ABC is banking on Grey’s to anchor their Thursday night line up this season when it premieres September 21st. Expect the emmy red carpet coverage to be dominated by the show and it’s stars. Season 1 is in stores now and season 2 hits stores September 12th. I guess i’ll have to buy it too.
NOTE: Be sure to check the Dish of Salt page beginning Sunday afternoon for live updates from the Emmy Red Carpet!
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