Looking to buy gifts for friends or family who are fans of current TV comedies? Why not check out the many TV comedies now on dvd? Dvd versions of past seasons of My Name Is Earl, The Office, and other recent hits make are great gifts for new fans trying to learn the basics and for diehard fans who like to rewatch old favorites.
Some dvd sets cost forty dollars or so, but if you shop around, you can find discounts on Ebay or overstock.com. (and in mint condition; I’ll never pay full price for a dvd set again…). Do some comparison shopping to find your best deal.
My Name Is Earl, Season 1. One of the few sitcom breakouts of the last few years, My Name Is Earl stars Jason Lee as a loser turned embracer of karma out to undo the wrongs he’s done to others over the course of his life. Also starring Jamie Pressley, Emmy nominated for her role, season one of the series gives us our first look at Crab Man, Earl’s brother Randy, and all the other oddballs that populate his life. You may reverse some of your own bad karma giving this set as a gift to comedy fans on your list.
The Office, Season 1 & 2. After a so-so start, NBC’s version of the Brit-com The Office has launched into major success. Winner of the 2006 best comedy Emmy, this mocumentary stars Steve Carrell, Rainn Wilson, and whomever it is who plays Pam and Jim, as employees at a paper company in Scranton, PA. Beautiful Scranton. Carrell’s Michale and Wilson’s Dwight often work in tandem to make complete fool’s of themselves as the camera and their officemates look on with amazement. Anyone who works in a real office will recognize these characters (and maybe themselves…) and enjoy this gift.
Arrested Development, Seasons 1-3. Also an Emmy winner, this sitcom, just cancelled last season on Fox, was a critic’s darling, and a cult hit. Jason Bateman stars as the only sane member of a rich but insane family. Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross and Jessica Walter are among the relatives he has to keep at bay. Guest stars over the seasons included Liza Minelli, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, and even Bateman’s sister, Family Ties star, Justine. Rapid fire comedy permeates the series as each scene seems to have a few layers of bizarre jokes. Not the best gift for the fan of traditional sitcoms, but people who appreciate the offbeat will love it. Also a must for fans of the show who miss it dearly now that it’s off the air.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 1-5 (available individually or as a package). If Seinfeld were on HBO might be a good way to describe this series, though it’s different in many ways from that NBC hit. The brain behind it is the same, Larry David, mutliple award winner and deadpan comedy writer. David and Cheryl Hines lead a cast in a series built, like Seinfeld, around David’s fictional life. The improvised feel of the show isn’t for everyone and some may find it ‘ a show about nothing.’ But then again, there’s clearly nothing wrong with that.
Weeds, Season 1. Mary Louisa Parker has earned critical praise for her role as a pot-dealing suburban single mom on this Showtime series. It also stars Elizabeth Perkins (Big) and Kevin Nealon (SNL). A comedic look at what happens in all those seemingly tame suburban neighborhoods- sort of in the vein of Desperate Housewives – though very different in style and approach. If someone like Parker on The West Wing, for example, he or she will probably enjoy this series as a gift.