Even though we rely more and more on streaming for our entertainment these days, the market for DVDs (and Blu-rays) is still strong — especially when it comes to gift-giving.
DVDs remain a great way for people without cable or streaming services to see shows they’ve missed out on, and limited edition box sets are high on the wish lists of superfans and collectors.
We’ve put together a short list of TV shows on DVD that would make great gifts this year.
The retail prices are listed here, but keep in mind that those prices will likely be deeply discounted wherever you buy DVDs.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’
If you have a Trekkie on your shopping list, this one is a no-brainer. The series debuted last fall on CBS All Access, which is a pay streaming service. Not everyone subscribes, so this could be the first chance for some “Star Trek” fans to see the series, which takes place 10 years before the William Shatner-led original, during the Federation-Klingon War. It stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones and Jason Isaacs. Both the DVD and Blu-ray sets have all 15 episodes plus more than 2 hours of special features. The DVD retails at $41.99 and the Blu-ray is $50.99.
‘The Good Fight’
While we’re talking about CBS All Access, we can’t overlook the network’s first scripted series. This spinoff of CBS’ “The Good Wife” stars Christine Baranski in her Diane Lockhart role, along with Cush Jumbo, Delroy Lindo and others. In the series, Diane retires from her old firm before discovering she has been Bernie Madoff-ed out of her life savings. When her old firm won’t take her back, she’s forced to join Lucca Quinn (Jumbo) at a new firm led by Adrian Boseman (Lindo). The writing and acting are superb. Season 1 is $19.95 and the recently released Season 2 will run you $22.
‘Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series, 35th Anniversary Collector’s Edition’
For the kids (of all ages) on your list, try Jim Henson’s “Fraggle Rock” collection. This offshoot of The Muppets was described by Henson as “a high-energy, raucous musical romp” and ran on HBO in the U.S. for five seasons. The show tackled serious issues like prejudice, social conflict and the environment with a silly, fantastical spirit. All kids need some Henson magic in their lives. The 10-disc Blu-ray set has all 95 episodes in addition to a 13-episode animated series, plus a retrospective. It’s packaged like a scrapbook with photos, script pages, handwritten notes, a map of Fraggle Rock and much more. It retails for $75.99.
‘Robin Williams: Comic Genius’
This is the ultimate Robin Williams collection. It contains the late comic’s five HBO stand-up specials, unseen concerts, USO shows, talk show appearances (with Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey and Graham Norton), “Saturday Night Live” appearances, 11 of the best “Mork & Mindy” episodes, an “Inside the Actors Studio” interview, new interviews with close friends (Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and others), never-before-seen clips (like Williams delivering a toast to Richard Pryor while he’s dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire), early stand-up bits and other raw footage. It’s 22 DVDs and more than 50 hours of pure joy — until you remember we no longer have him. The price is $200, and you can only buy this at RobinWilliams.com.
‘Westworld: Season Two, The Door’
Throw some local love to Raleigh native Evan Rachel Wood with the Season 2 set of HBO’s “Westworld” (and you might as well spring for Season 1, if you don’t already have it). Wood has been nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes for her performance in both seasons of this Western-fantasy series, which also stars Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins. The collection has more than two hours of bonus material, including interviews with cast members and featurettes on the creation of the show. It retails for $36.99 for Blu-ray and $32.99 for DVD.
‘The Shield: The Complete Series’
This is one of the best TV series of all time — with one of the best series finales of all time — and it’s finally on Blu-ray. Prepare to enter — or re-enter — the world of Vic Mackey, Shane Vendrell and Curtis “Lemonhead” Lemansky. Experience the highs and the lows, the heartbreaking betrayals and the moral angst of pulling for truly bad guys. This one will leave a mark on your soul. I still can’t talk about Lem without getting choked up. It’s released Dec. 18 and retails for $229 — and it’s worth it!
‘2018 World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox Collector’s Edition’
Baseball fans — Red Sox fans in particular — get all five games of the 2018 World Series in this collector’s edition set, plus the pennant-clinching American League championship game and a bonus disc of Game 4 versus Red Sox nemesis New York Yankees. This will keep them occupied until Spring Training. It retails at $79.99 for the Blu-ray and $59.99 for the DVD.
‘Batman: The Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition’
I’m more of an Adam West live-action “Batman” fan myself, but this 10-disc set of the entire run of the Warner Bros. animated series is a must for “Batman” fans. The 1992-1995 series is remastered for Blu-ray for the first time, and it also comes with a digital code, so you can watch it anywhere. The set includes mini Funko figurines of Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn. The Blu-ray + Digital set retails for $112.99 (The DVD set is from 2008 and is not remastered).