I want my BBC! But in the face of my cable company's hesitance to add the channel to my selections, I can at least take comfort in a growing trend, to release shows on DVD either simultaneously with broadcast or soon thereafter.
That's why we have "The Office Special" ($24.98) only a couple of weeks after it was broadcast in the United States.
Originally shown on the real BBC last Christmas in two parts, this is the capper to the two-season sitcom that can, without reservation, be called one of the best TV shows of any description, ever. Some things are worth waiting for, of course, and that list begins with the first official release of "The Andy Griffith Show" ($38.99), a four-disc box containing complete versions of the 32 episodes (10 more than usual these days) of the 1960-61 season of the much-beloved sitcom. Some of these episodes have been issued before, having fallen into public domain, but without the opening credits. And although they've been constantly seen in syndication, they were always shorn of the kicker -- those 90-second epilogues that allowed for a reiteration of the episode's folksy message.
Two of the more down-to-earth TV fantasy series are updated this week with the release of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- The Complete Seventh Season" ($59.98), a six-disc, 22-episode compendium of the final season that is loaded with commentary, extras and eulogies; and "Smallville -- The Complete Third Season" ($59.98), with the same specs (save the goodbyes).
Also out is "Frasier -- the Complete Final Season" ($59.99), 23 episodes on four discs (with the goodbyes). For a more outre sort of TV viewer, the box of the week will surely be "The Kids in the Hall: Complete Season 2" ($59.95). -- Terry Lawson,
Knight Ridder Newspapers