Sometimes it seems like every television show that's ever aired, even for a nanosecond, has been released in a prettily packaged DVD box set .
" Voyagers ," starring a moppy-haired Meeno Peluce? Available.
The detectives-on-a-boat series " Riptide "? Also available.
" Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp "? Yes, thankfully, the crime-solving monkeys who wear real-people clothes and "talk" can be viewed in disc form. Oh, and also via totally groovy YouTube clips:
Yet somehow, a few gems -- genuinely excellent TV shows or ones that boast an exceptionally high retro-nostalgia value -- still have not made their way to either Amazon.com or the shelves of Best Buy. Here are eight that seem particularly worthy of release. Weigh in on the selections and nominate a few of your own in the comments section.
1. "The Wonder Years": Like many of these selections, the Daniel Stern-narrated, excessively sentimental Kevin Arnold story has been held back from a DVD release because of music rights. But can't they at least score enough song clearances to put out the first two seasons? The U.S. Constitution surely states that we have the inalienable right to watch old episodes like this one, complete with commentary tracks from Carla Healey and Kirk McCray.
2. "Ed": The ludicrous concept of a lawyer working at a bowling alley while living in an impossibly idyllic small town. The fantastic cast, which included Tom Cavanagh, Julie Bowen, John Slattery and Justin Long. The Warren Cheswick Experience. And of course, the $10 bets. For all these reasons and more, I want to see Stuckeyville on DVD, instead of having to watch low-quality clips with funky subtitles on YouTube.
3. "Kids Are People Too": How cool was this Sunday morning kiddie program from the '70s and '80s? Cool enough for Patti Smith to show up. In addition to the "wacka-doo" theme song, having this on DVD also would allow us to revisit some of the insightful advice offered during the "Dear Alex and Annie" segment. Anyone who wears red suspenders and bell bottoms with such confidence obviously knows what they're talking about.
4. "EastEnders": One of the most beloved series to ever come out of the UK, and a primetime soap that plenty of Americans have viewed via reruns on PBS, "EastEnders" still hasn't earned a complete DVD box set. More than 4,000 episodes of this show have aired since it debuted in 1985. Surely that's enough to meet the quota.
5. "Solid Gold": Music rights are obviously a massive issue for this '80s-era weekly pop revue. But it would be pretty hilarious to watch a few episodes again in their entirety. Frankly, I can barely get through this short video clip without doing multiple spit takes.
6. "Battle of the Network Stars": Okay, first of all, as you can see in the video below, Telly Savales is lodging a complaint about the athletic professionalism involved in a competition between TV stars. And he's doing it while wearing gold chains and smoking a cigarette. Hey. Kojak. Don't worry about who picked up the baton and when they did it. Worry about laying off the nicotine sticks before you hit the obstacle course. All of which is my way of saying: how good would it be to watch this on DVD?
"Silver Spoons" is on DVD at least. Fine. But without these two sitcoms, it's impossible to truly track a young Jason Bateman's evolution.
8. "The $1.98 Beauty Show": Honestly, after watching this syndicated cross between a beauty pageant and "The Gong Show," we really should have seen reality TV coming. This show should be on DVD not because it's great -- although the psychotic serenading of Rip Taylor did have a certain charm -- but because it proves that our television standards started to take a dive long before "The Hills" made its debut.