Londonist is as addicted to buying DVDs as everyone else, so it made sense that we should start a regular column to highlight the little laser-etched treats coming your way over the next week or so. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Well folks, it's getting to the time of year when the likes of Chegwin, Biggins and Daniels descend begrudgingly upon [enter the name of your hometown here] to switch on the Christmas lights.
How do we know? Well, apart from the shorter days and longer trousers, there’s the glut of upcoming DVD releases cynically aimed at exploiting the fact that your Aunt Beryl won't have a clue what to get you. So over the coming weeks you can expect to see fewer ‘normal’ releases (i.e. things you might buy for yourself), and more ‘crap’ releases (i.e. things Aunt Beryl might buy you), all aimed at making you part with those well earned Choice Vouchers your boss gave you because he/she’s too tight to give you a proper Christmas bonus.
Kicking things off next week is the second series of Little Britain. Personally we have a problem with any comedy our father-in-law knows all the catchphrases to, especially when he insists on screaming them at us all the time. He’s a lady you know...
On the other hand some of the characters are dark and twisted enough to provoke the odd giggle. We particularly like the Walliams character who fancies his mate's Gran (we’ve all been there, after all) and you can’t help but like Lou and Andy (especially once you know they’re based on Lou Reed and Andy Warhol). Is it just us, or is David Walliams the campest heterosexual male in the history of histories ever?
Another big TV release that you can expect to see on many a girl’s "Dear Santa" letter this year is Desperate Housewives Series 1.
How, we wondered, could Channel 4 fill the horrible void that the demise of Sex and the City opened in our meaningless little lives? With a cross between Knots Landing and The Golden Girls, that’s how. Still, there’s enough intrigue brewing behind the twitching lace curtains of Wisteria Lane to keep most people entertained, and if you get bored you can always check out the extras, which include the top ten backstage cat fights (probably), plus commentary in which the rest of the cast discuss how much they love Teri Hatcher (unlikely).
Next week also sees the release of CSI: Grave Danger. These are the episodes directed by Quentin "I used to be good" Tarantino and make up the climactic season finale of the mega-successful police procedural.
If you haven’t seen CSI, then all we can assume is that the cave you live in does not pick up Channel 5. What with CSI: New York, CSI: Miami, CSI: Las Vegas and now CSI: Milton Keynes in the pipeline, it seems we're all going CSI doolally.
Turning to films, it’s a very poor week for the cinephiles among us.
Getting the Special Edition treatment next week are The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, in which Catherine Deneuve sings a bit and looks saucy, and Flash Gordon in which Brian Blessed shouts a lot and looks not so saucy (no change there then).
Also making its way on to DVD for the first time is Vincent Gallo’s Brown Bunny, and after the mauling it received at Cannes two years ago, we're surprised this bunny’s not roadkill.
The version Gallo premiered at Cannes was a work in progress, however, and this newer, slicker bunny purports to be a different kind of beast. Expect mumbled dialogue, motorcycles... Oh, and Gallo being piped off (well, if you were a film maker, wouldn’t you give yourself the best part while also demanding maximum realism from your co-stars?).
Finally, although not a new release, Peter Fonda’s dazzlingly poetic western The Hired Hand gets reissued at the bargain price of £5.99 on Monday. Starring Fonda himself, alongside the late great Warren Oates, this slow-paced, hypnotic slice of Americana couldn’t be further removed from Easy Rider (although drugs obviously played a part in the conception of both), and it manages to be both surreal and affecting at the same time - and all for the price of a London lager. Highly recommended.