Secret Agent A.K.A Danger Man: The Complete Collection
I've always loved the projects that showcased Patrick McGoohan's slow boil, his two-fisted auto-didacticism and his ferocious but undogmatic morality. DANGER MAN is not THE PRISONER, but nothing [no one (no #1)] is. The reason why the closest I've ever gotten to James Bond is the GOLDENEYE Nintendo64 game and a John Barry Greatest Bond Hits LP is because I know in my balls that those movies can't come close to McGoohan's spy series.
Dogfights: The Complete Season One
The ongoing series doesn't thrill me the way that the original 90-minute "pilot" still does, but they're growing on me. I'm not surprised to hear that this series has been a massive surprise hit for the History Channel -- if they could harness computer animation and editing as efficiently and compellingly as DOGFIGHTS does in all their programs, the H would be a destination for channel surfers instead of the station you settle on after running out of viewing options elsewhere.
The Kids in the Hall: Complete Series Megaset 1989-1994
I really need to rewatch the last season -- I could be mistaken, but somehow the Kids overcame the last-season bummer that hits even the best sketch-comedy shows, even Python. I'm a fan of the late-'80s Rivoli Theatre footage spread over the set's disks; you don't have to like that stuff but if you don't love the Kids, you are dead to me.
This is a fine, bulky overview of the 43 POTUS that somehow presents a surprisingly detailed sketch of each President, although they start fudging right around the first Prez you remember from your childhood. It's a great series to have on while you work. [If I had nothing better to do, I would write a screenplay with leads for Edward Herrmann, Penn Jillette and James Earl Jones, just so I could hear the voices of the History Channel, Comedy Central and CNN converse.]
Victory at Sea - Complete Series
I'm not big on naval war, even in WWII, but this series is amazing, albeit more as a document than as a documentary. Richard Rodgers laid down the law on how to score this kind of material; it's easy to understand why it's been repackaged and represented in so many different soundtracks/albums since.
World at War - 26 Episode Series Collection
I love this show -- it's the rarest of documentaries; one that knows how to shut up. Laurence Olivier's minimalist narration, the rare and often startling images and footage, the eyewitness interviews, the Carl Davis score and the surehanded poetic touches [like the "A Song To My Son" recitation in, I think, the "Red Star" episode], all of it adds up to a kind of vision of war that you rarely see even be attempted. As an added treat, producer Jeremy Isaacs provides short introductions to each episode that often end in him making an angry lemon face [you can almost hear him grunting "oh, fucking hell!" through gritted teeth] when he thinks the camera's been turned off. I assume those were takes where he stumbled over some comment but they, I don't know, didn't have enough film for any do-overs. Those moments make nice minute or so of respite sprinkled over hours and hours of somber, serious film.