Rhyme & Reason


By Shawn Robare


So, something else that I thought I’d mention about this blog and my DVD collection is that it truly is a collection and not just a bunch of DVDs that I buy.  I’ve spent the better part of my life collecting one thing or another, whether it’s toys, stickers, baseball cards, comic books, or now DVDs, there has always been some project or another sucking up all my spending money and time.  Collecting is important to me, besides being a hobby, it keeps me focused on the future (to the eventual end of a collection) and provides nice little ticks in my time line that I can both look back on and seek out.  Sounds sort of stupid I guess, but how many people do that?  I mean how many times have you thought of where you were or what you were doing at some important date to you?  Where were you on 9/11, or what were you doing when your first baby was born, etc.


So my current obsession, collecting-wise, of course is DVDs, but there is sort of a theme going.  Of the movies and TV shows I own, at least half were purchased to complete a collection.  Basically I’m working on owning at least one episode of every TV show I used to watch when I was a kid, as well as all the movies I’d watch over and over.  Pretty much this is relegated to the 80′s, but there is some spillover into the 90′s like Aeon Flux or the Tick cartoon.


I have a list of about two or three hundred films and about two hundred TV shows that I’d like to get someday.  This is what started my interest in TV on DVD and keeping up with the latest news and stuff.  This is also one of the reasons that I love the DVD format so much.  I remember in the 90s, when I first started buying movies and stuff, it was pretty rare to find a TV show released on VHS.  Of the shows that were released, most were anime and the rest were newer action or sci-fi shows like Highlander, the X-Files, Star Trek, Xena, and Hercules, and all of them were so expensive that it became cost prohibitive to buy them.  Take Highlander for example.  There were six seasons of the show released on VHS and each season was broken down into a 10 video box set, that you could buy together or separately.  Each tape was about $15 apiece, which put the entire season at about $150, not to mention that it too up like 3 cubic feet of shelf space.  Owning the entire highlander series would probably take up the majority of one of those cheap-o Wal-Mart bookcases.


For me, just getting out of high school and working nights at a local grocery store, that was out of the question.  There was no way I was going to spend an entire paycheck on a TV show.  Every once in awhile a studio would release either a best of or like a tape with the first couple of episodes on it like Kids in the Hall or the Tick cartoon, but those were few and far between.  Basically what I’m getting at is that it was damn near impossible to afford or attempt to get a lot of TV episodes.  DVD on the other hand has been a blessing for television shows being re-released to the public, though it was a bumpy road to begin with.


The first shows I remember getting a DVD release were the X-Files and Star Trek and both were just as expensive if not more so than their VHS counterparts.  For one, the X-Files was only released as a box set so you had to plunk down $120 all at once.  With Star Trek, it was released two episodes to a disc, individually priced at about $25 apiece.  As the years went on though and DVD purchasing caught on like wildfire, you noticed TV sets being released cheaper and cheaper, $45-$60 or so, and then a series of older shows came out that set a new bar for TV on DVD.


With the release of shows like Sanford and Son, Good Times, Soap, and Mork and Mindy it was all of a sudden possible to get an entire season of a show for around $30.  That’s when I started buying ‘em. Anyway, DVD has been a blessing for TV on DVD and now it’s pretty normal for a show to be released for $20, sometimes for even less.  So like I said six thousand paragraphs ago, my plan is to try and get at least one episode, if not a season, of every show I’ve ever loved on DVD as well as every movie.


The other day I looked at the list and was surprised to see that I’ve almost completed the films, and have just about caught up to what has been released for TV, series-wise.  One of the high water marks I’ve been trying to get to is being caught up with all the current releases, so that I’d just have to pick up a set every once in awhile when they were released.  I think sooner or later I might chuck the list up as a post on this blog so that I can share the progress and anyone reading can see my horrible taste in TV and movies…

  • Paxton Holley

    Very good article. I also talked about my compulsion to collect things on my blog here. You touch on a lot of the same ideas that I have about collecting things. It nails down feelings and emotions from a time before, when things were different. It’s a look back. Something I enjoy doing a lot. Very well said. And I too have horrible taste in TV shows and movies. :-P