Get ready to dust off the old DVD player, break into television studios and steal the master tapes, or harness the power of the internet (but don't tell the feds we said to, because we'll deny EVERYTHING) and join us in revisiting a trio of classic television shows this summer. Because otherwise we'll be stuck doing episodic coverage of summer garbage like Wipeout and The Choice.
Instead we'll look back at the last decade with three delightful series that you may have missed, would love to re-visit, or didn't get to watch because you weren't born yet when they first aired. We thought we'd give you the heads up today so that you could do what you need to do to watch along with us, and we'll get started with our discussions over the next week or so.
So what are we watching?
Originally aired: September – December, 2010
What it was: The FX dramedy Terriers, considered by many to be one of the best series of 2010, starred Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James as unlicensed investigators in San Diego and was gushed over by critics and an incredibly passionate (and unfortunately small) fan base. Unfortunately, the general public didn't watch with the same fervor and it was canceled after one season.
How it's available: This one is on Netflix Instant, as well as iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. However, it still isn't on DVD yet.
How we'll cove itr: It's a single season of 13 episodes, so we'll do two episodes per write-up, plus a single article devoted to the finale. That's seven weeks if you're doing the math. Look for a new story from Ryan Sandoval every Tuesday.
Originally aired: March – April 2004
What it was: The quirky Fox dramedy Wonderfalls lasted all of four episodes (even though all 13 that were originally ordered were produced); its cancellation is one of the greatest crimes in TV history. It starred the delightful Caroline Dhavernas as Jaye, a recent college grad who found work at the gift shop at Niagara Falls. Her drab life took a turn for the interesting when the tchotchkes in the shop started talking to her and telling her to do unusual things, tasks that often helped out people in town in a bizarre, circuitous way. But did this gift make her the blessed vessel of a benevolent god or a cute college girl on board the crazy train? Wonderfalls was created by Todd Holland and Bryan Fuller, who would also go on to create the similar cult hit Pushing Daisies.
How it's available: DVD is your best bet! But several episodes can also be stitched together on YouTube.
How we'll cover it: Again, we're looking at a single, 13-episode season. So two episodes per write-up plus one dedicated to the finale. Every Wednesday, I (Tim Surette) will post a new story.
Special note: Fox aired a few Wonderfalls episodes out of order, so I'll follow the order as laid out by the DVD set (the first four episodes will go like this: "Wax Lion," "Pink Flamingoes," "Karma Chameleon," and "Wound-Up Penguin").
Originally aired: September 2004 – May 2007
What it was: The cult-favorite WB and The CW series Veronica Mars followed teen detective Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell in her breakout role) as she solved cases in her hometown of Neptune, California. Its claim to fame was being a much smarter series than typical high-school dramas, and it also used elements of film noir to make it stand out from the rest of television. Veronica Mars was also a goldmine for young talent, so look for early work from Amanda Seyfriend, Max Greenfield (New Girl), Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter, and Leighton Meester.
How it's available: All three seasons are on DVD, plus you can find them on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Certain episodes are also available for free on TheWB.com.
How we'll cover it: Price Peterson has already started his re-watch; we've linked the stories below so you can catch up. Starting this week, he'll cover four episodes per write-up. Look for the first Season 2 write-up on Friday.
Unless your idea of quality television is watching people blow out their ACLs on giant obstacle courses or allowing themselves to be filmed while living in a glass house, it's probably a good decision to join us as we give these gems a second look. And feel free to list additional shows you'd like us to re-watch in the comments...if we have time, we just may add a couple more!
Ed. note: Longtime commenters may recall that we started a Summer DVD Club last summer, too, and then up and quit it halfway through. That won't happen this time; we promise!