Are you trying to find just the right gift because last year's coupon for the Chocolate-Covered-Meat of the Month Club was a flop? Skip the traditional tie, toy or candy, and consider the one gift that keeps on entertaining (without adding pounds): A DVD set of beloved TV shows.
There's a wide variety from which to choose this holiday season. The following is a list of DVD sets you can pick up in stores or online. The suggested retail prices are listed, but the actual cost may be lower.• “Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set” ($249.95): You don't have to own a Tardis to travel through time to buy the complete seasons of the latest incarnations of the long-running science-fiction series. Included are six seasons featuring Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith as the Doctor.
Along with 70 hours of programming, there are three specials, three original art cards, a 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver and the comic, “Doctor Who at Comic Con.”• “Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season” ($99.97): Fans of the brilliant and brutal HBO series can pick up the entire freshman season in this set that includes a Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy. There's also a bonus disc that looks at the first episode of season two.
It comes in a collector's box that features the sigils of the four main houses and a dragon egg paperweight.• “Friends: The Complete Series” ($279.98): What better gift to give a friend than all 236 episodes of the NBC comedy featuring the lives and loves of Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Rachel? Besides the more than 110 hours of the series, there's an additional three hours of bonus features.
To make it easier to sort through the 21 Blu-ray discs, a 32-page episode guide is included.• “The Fugitive: Most Wanted Edition The Complete Series” ($226.99): This series is worth owning because it has one of the best endings in TV history. After 120 episodes of watching Dr. Richard Kimble run for his life after being accused of murdering his wife, the series ends with the real killer — the one-armed man — being caught.
David Janssen and Barry Morse turn in outstanding performances.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection” ($99.98): Cowabunga! It's a totally tubular 23-disc set featuring all 10 seasons of the original animated series about four turtles who become the crime fighters Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.
As if that wasn't enough for all the “Turtle” fans, the set comes in a plastic “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” party van.
“Desperate Housewives: Complete Collection” ($149.87): For eight seasons, residents of Wisteria Lane faced more life, death, lost love, found love, twisted plots and creepy characters than a full year of a daytime soap. You can catch up on all the antics of the housewives through this 46-disc set of all 179 episodes.
True fans will recognize the discs come in a replica of Mary Alice's infamous steamer trunk.
“Entourage: The Complete Series” ($249.99): Doug Ellin created this cable series based on his friendship with Mark Wahlberg. It's the often quirky look at the life of a rising film star (Adrian Grenier) and his three longtime buddies.
The set features all 96 episodes. If you want the complete series on Blu-ray, it costs $50 more.
“Carol Burnett” ($295.95): The box set of 50 episodes of the long-running variety show has several of Burnett's favorite skits, including “Went With the Win!,” a parody of “Gone With the Wind.” Guest stars include The Jackson 5, Steve Martin and Betty White.
There are 20 hours of bonus material.
“JAG: The Complete Series” ($199): The set packages 10 seasons of the military legal drama starring David James Elliott and Catherine Bell with a bonus disc of interviews, a Challenge Coin, and a 40-page JAG manual. “NCIS” fans will want to pick up the set since this series is a spinoff of “Jag.”
“The Jagged Edge” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the series that aired from 1995-2005.
“Mission Impossible: The Complete Television Series” ($359.99): This appears to be the most explosive set for the holidays — the 56-disc set comes in a package that looks like a massive stick of dynamite.
The series follows the adventures of the Impossible Missions Force on their secret spy missions around the globe. Included are all 171 episodes of the original series that aired in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, along with the two revival seasons in the late ‘80s.
“All in the Family: The Complete Series” ($199.99): This series may seem tame by today's standards, but when it was broadcast in the early 1970s it was the first show to push the boundaries of language and topics on TV. Creator Norman Lear's groundbreaking work opened the door for many of the gritty and realistic dramas and comedies on the air today.
Included are the original and second “All in the Family” pilots.