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I am – Hercules!!

A meditation on outsider friendship that beat “Freaks and Geeks” to TV by a couple of years, “Daria” was easily one of MTV’s finest scripted series, a spin-off of Mike Judge’s “Beavis and Butt-head” that Judge had nothing to do with. (Beavis and Butt-head themselves never appeared in the series and are only fleetingly referenced -- as “those two” -- in the first episode.) It was co-created by “Butt-head” writer Susie Lewis Lynn and Glenn Eichler, a National Lampoon writer who worked on “Butt-head” and is these days writing for “The Colbert Report.” Centered on a self-consciously nonconformist, brainy, sardonic, Garofalo-esque high school girl, it ran five seasons comprising 65 episodes and two TV-movies, all of which ran from 1997 to 2002. Everything is included in the new set, albeit with almost entirely different incidental music due to licensing costs. (Music issues are apparently what kept this series off DVD for so long. I can’t say my memory is good enough to be bothered by the substitutions.) In “Daria” we quickly learned things about the title character never hinted at during her appearances on “Butt-head,” including the fact that she had a pair of distracted parents and a shallow kid sister named Quinn. In the first episode of her own series Daria arrived in suburban Lawndale, far from Beavis’ digs in presumably less-affluent Highland. Daria quickly found a like-minded artist pal named Jane Lane, and developed a reluctant secret crush on Jane’s guitarist brother Trent. Jane and Daria enjoyed the television show “Sick, Sad World” (a title that never fails to amuse me). EXTRAS: * “IS IT FALL YET?” (72:18) A 2000 TV-movie, set between seasons four and five, follows Daria and Jane as they go their separate ways over summer vacation. * “IS IT COLLEGE YET?” (65:58) The 2002 TV-movie, focusing on Daria and Jane on the eve of graduation mulling their post high-school plans. It serves as Daria’s final adventure. * CHARACTER PROFILES include concept art for Daria, Jane, Quinn, Mr. DeMartino and others. Most of sketches from 1995 make the characters much uglier than they eventually became; I would not be shocked if they were drawn by whoever created the looks for Judge’s “King of the Hill” characters. * PILOT: “SEALED WITH A KICK” (5:24) A crude storyboard-ish animatic sequence tracking Daria’s mock-pursuit of footballer Kevin. Daria and Jane sound like themselves, but different actors may be playing supporting characters. * MUSIC VIDEO: “FREAKIN FRIENDS” (2:38) An animated music video for a tune by Trent Lane’s band, Mystik Spiral, demonstrates why the group never really got anywhere. * DARIA AND JANE TOP TEN COUNTDOWN (5:52) The girls introduce animated videos produced for Alice In Chains, A-Ha, Tool, Michael Jackson, Radiohead, Dire Straits, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. We don’t actually see the videos. * PILOT SCRIPT FOR SPINOFF “MYSTIK SPIRAL.” Penned by Eichler shortly before MTV got out of the scripted programming business entirely, the never-made pilot would have relocated Trent’s band to a town presumably possessed of a better live-music scene than Lawndale. You’ll need a computer with a DVD-ROM drive and Adobe Acrobat Reader to read it. * CAST INTERVIEWS (6:21) Cast members Tracy Grandstaff (hot!), Wendy Hoopes (hot!), Alvaro Gonzalez (bald!), Ashley Albert and Marc Thompson, creators Glenn Eichler, and Susie Lewis, writer Anne D. Bernstein, and supervising director Karen Disher discuss the creation of the show. Learn “Daria” was actually part of a wave of shows focusing on teen girls that included “My So-Called Life.” Learn Hoopes provided the voices of Jane, Quinn and Helen. Learn Thompson voiced Kevin, Mr. DeMartino and Mr. O’Neill.

The third season of “thirtysomething,” broadcast 1989 and 1990, was my favorite, with enigmatic ad titan Miles Drentell looming larger than ever in the lives of Michael and Elliot. (Interesting how takeover efforts are so central to both “thirtysomething” and the current advertising-agency “Mad Men”). Hope’s magazine, Synergy, became the object of a takeover and Hope herself contemplated infidelity. Nancy battled cancer and reconciled with Elliot. Gary became a father and quit teaching. Melissa got involved with a younger man. Ellyn got involved with a married man. Brad Pitt turns up in 3.2 as a babysitter’s boyfriend. The set comes with all 24 episodes, a 12-page booklet, and … COMMENTARIES 3.2 “Love & Sex.” Episode director Marshall Herskovitz and episode writer Liberty Godshall 3.6 “Strangers.” Episode writer Richard Kramer. 3.13 “Post Op.” Actor Patricia Wettig and actor and episode director Peter Horton. 3.18 “The Other Shoe.” Episode writer Joseph Dougherty. 3.21 “Arizona.” Episode director Edward Zwick. 3.22 “Going Limp.” Actor and episode director Melanie Mayron. 3.24 “Samurai Adman.” Episode writer-director Joseph Dougherty.
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The amazing third season of “Mad Men” is momentarily $17.99!! 64% Off!!

With the Blu-ray version of “Twilight Zone” rolling out later this year, the Twilight Zone Definitive DVD Seasons sets, $69.99 two weeks ago, are momentarily Less Than $31/Each!!

“Farscape: The Complete Series,” $129.49 last year, is momentarily $76.49. That works out to less than $19.13 per season!!

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week According to Jim 2.x Bullshit! 7.x Bullshit: Seven Season Pack Dirt 2.x Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora Doctor Who: The Monster of Peladon The Facts of Life 4.x Freud: The Complete Miniseries Honeymooners: Valentines Special Honeymooners: Second Honeymoon Iron Man: The Complete 1994 Series Iron Man Armored Adventures 1.x Invader Zim 1.x Invader Zim 2.x Invader Zim 1.x/2.x Man Vs. Wild 4.x Marcus Welby 1.x The Murdoch Mysteries Movie Collection On The Road With Charles Kuralt Vol. 2 Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s Vol. 1 Tracey Ullman's State of the Union 2.x Voltron Lion Force Part I Voltron Lion Force Part II Wolverine and The X-Men Vol. 5 X-Men Vol. 5
This Week

Daria: The Complete Series

The Deadliest Warrior 1.x

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 5.x

Kung Foo Magoo

Mr. Magoo in Sherwood Forest

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thirtysomething 3.x
Next Week Animal Stories: The Complete Series The Barbara Stanwyck Show Vol. 2 Border Wars 1.x Defenders of the Earth: The Complete 65-Episode Series ($22.49) Ghost Hunters: Military Investigations Greatest American Hero 1.x ($6.99) Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series Hunter 2.x The Jeff Dunham Show: The Complete Series Law & Order: Criminal Intent 5.x Legend of Prince Valiant: The Complete 65 Episode Series ($24.98) Mr. Men Show: Mr Bump: Planes Trains & Dillymobiles Minder 1.x Minder 2.x 30 Days 3.x 30 Days: The Complete Series 21 Jump Street 2.x The Whitest Kids U Know 3.x
May 25 Flashpoint 2.x George Gently 2.x Leverage 2.x Lonesome Dove 1.x The Real Housewives of New York 1.x The Real Housewives of New York 2.x Royal Pains 1.x Top Chef Masters 1.x Trinity 1.x True Blood 2.x True Blood 2.x (Blu-ray) TV Western Classics The Virginian 1.x Waiting For God 5.x
June 1 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Vol. 7 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Vols. 1-7 Band of Brothers: The Complete Miniseries Band of Brothers: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)

Burn Notice 3.x The Cleaner 2.x The Cleaner: The Complete Series Drop Dead Diva 1.x Drop Dead Diva 1.x (Blu-ray) Emily of New Moon 3.x <--- NEW!! Emily of New Moon 4.x <--- NEW!! Emily of New Moon: Collector's Edition <--- NEW!! Foyle's War Vol. 6 Ghost Hunters International 1.x Vol. 1 Hope Springs: The Complete Series Life: The Complete BB Series Life: The Complete BBC Series (Blu-ray) Live Nude Comedy: The Complete Series Midsomer Murders Vol. 15 Mister Ed 3.x Peanuts 1970s Vol. 2 Rescue Me 5.x Shaun The Sheep Vol. 6 We'll Meet Again
June 8 The A-Team: The Complete Series Curb Your Enthusiasm 7.x Family Matters 1.x Ghostwriter 1.x Hot Wheels Battle Force Five 1.x Vol. 2 iCarly: iSaved Your Life Ice Road Truckers 3.x (Blu-ray) Jim Henson's Dog City Nip/Tuck 6.x Oceans: The Complete Series Return to Lonesome Dove Tales of the Gold Monkey: The Complete Series Z-Rock 2.x
June 15 American Dad Vol. 5 The Best Years 2.x Everwood 3.x Family Guy Vol. 8 HawthoRNe 1.x Here's Lucy 3.x Johnny Bravo 1.x Leave It To Beaver 3.x Leave It To Beaver: The Complete Series MacGyver: The TV Movies My Three Sons 2.x Vol. 2 Raffles: The Complete Collection Sanctuary 1.x (Blu-ray) Sanctuary 2.x Sanctuary 2.x (Blu-ray) Secret Life of the American Teenager 4.x
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