Everyone on your gift list would be thrilled to find one of these DVD boxed sets under the Christmas tree or in their stocking this holiday season.
Documentarian Ken Burns once again crushes it with his subject matter—in this case, the roots of “America’s music.” Burns does a deep dive focusing on biographies of country music royalty and its original trailblazers: the Carter Family, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and more. The documentary traces the history of the genre from its early years in the 1920s when country music was called “hillbilly” music, to when Hollywood B-movies started the fad of singing cowboys, to the rise of juke joints after WWII, which changed the style of the music completely. The set includes more than three hours of extra bonus footage not aired during broadcast.
Robin Williams: Comic Genius [22-DVD] (Time Life)
This 22-disc set features 50-plus hours of Williams’s most memorable stand-up and television performances spanning his 40-year career. It features all of his HBO specials (1978’s Off the Wall; 1983’s An Evening with Robin Williams; 1986’s An Evening at the Met; 2002’s Live on Broadway and 2009’s Weapons of Self Destruction), as well as never-before-released shows, including Williams’ full MGM Grand Garden Arena stand-up from 2007 and the Montreal stop on his last tour in 2012. Also included are his best talk show and late-night TV appearances, 11 episodes of Mork & Mindy, including the two-part pilot, James Lipton’s Emmy Award-nominated 90-minute interview with Williams on Inside the Actors Studio, plus deleted scenes, newly produced featurettes and other exclusive interviews.
The classic late ’40s/early ’50s comedic duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello found themselves paired in a string of films with Universal’s classic monsters. These four films find Bud and Lou meeting Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Mummy. Their co-stars include horror legends Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr.. This set consists of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. Extras include theatrical trailers and feature commentary with film historian Gregory W. Mank.
The Best Of The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Edition [21-DVD] (Time Life)
For fans of a certain age, The Carol Burnett Show was appointment viewing and the epitome of must-see TV before the term was ever coined. This set brings together the best of the best from Burnett’s landmark 11-year run—60 hand-picked episodes covering every season. Composed of three volumes, this comprehensive 21-disc set features more than 58 hours of pure entertainment including Burnett’s question-and-answer openers, the final show “A Special Evening with Carol Burnett” and exclusive bonus features specially-created by the Time Life TV DVD archivists including exclusive interviews, a cast reunion and a backstage tour of Studio 33, as well as never-before-seen outtakes and featurettes.
After you watch Tom Hanks in the Fred Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, get a taste of the real Rogers via this four-disc set featuring 30 iconic episodes from the beloved children’s series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Featuring material hand-selected by Fred Rogers Productions, classic episodes include getting along with others, dealing with different feelings and caring for your family. Viewers will also enjoy visits from myriad guests including the music group STOMP, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Olympian Suzie McConnell. This set also includes a special bonus episode from Mister Rogers’ visit to the crayon factory.
The Master of Suspense gets his due here via 15 iconic films featured in this Blu-Ray-only DVD set from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career. This set includes Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo and North by Northwest, plus a range of limited edition extras including blueprints of the infamous Psycho house, movie poster art cards for all the films, and a booklet about his work. Extras include more than 15 hours of bonus content including documentaries, expert commentaries, interviews, screen tests and much more. Two bonus discs contain seven television episodes from Alfred Hitchcock Presents and three television episodes from the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Series [37-DVD] (Warner Brothers)
Yet another successful sitcom by Chuck Lorre, who has arguably become his generation’s Norman Lear. This set includes all 279 episodes with nearly 12 hours of extras plus an additional disc with three never-before-seen featurettes including a retrospective, a premium lay-flat book with pop-up art featuring the entire cast, a 32-page episode guide with an introduction from creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre and a digital copy offer for every episode.
No doubt, there will be plenty of fans hate-watching all 73 episodes of this wildly popular, eight-season HBO series. There’s plenty to sup on, including the Game of Thrones: The Last Watch documentary, 10 audio commentaries, five never-before-seen deleted or extended scenes from season eight and “Histories and Lore,” 15 hours of bonus content and new animated pieces giving the history and background of notable season eight locations and story lines. The Collector’s Edition (only available on Blu-Ray) is comprised of a “visually stunning wooden shadow box case, featuring beautiful, multi-layered panel designs by Robert Ball (the artist behind the ‘Beautiful Death’ series) that summarize the Game of Thrones story. Each season is represented by a different layer, showcasing iconic characters and memorable moments from the show.