Miami Vice: Season Two

"Miami Vice" is about as far from the gritty realism of a "Law & Order" or a "Homicide" as one can get, but neither does it exist in the cartoonish world of "The A-Team", where 16,000 rounds are fired per episode but no one ever gets hit with a bullet, and villains can survive having their helicopter crash into the side of a mountain with little more than a torn shirt and a scuffed forehead.

Law & Order - The Fourth Year

It's a premise that's diametrically opposed to the current trend of heavily serialized storytelling evidenced by shows such as "Lost", "Battlestar Galactica", or "24". Those shows benefit enormously from the DVD format, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in plotlines and character arcs that stretch over many seasons, and actually make that "Play All" option worthwhile. By comparison, sifting through a season's worth of "Law & Order" is a bit like chowing down on an economy-size package of Oreos: tasty, to be sure, but after a while, you've got to taste something, anything, other than an Oreo.

American Gothic: The Complete Series

Some folk would tell you Buck's an evil man, but he prefers to think of himself as a devoted peacekeeper with a liberal interpretation of that whole "protect and serve" clause. He'll do whatever it takes to protect Trinity, whether through badge, bullet, or black magic…so long as it aligns with his own agenda. And that agenda gets spun clean off its axis one stormy night when a young girl named Merlyn Temple (Sarah Paulson) is nearly murdered by her drunken father. The sheriff shows up in just the nick of time and – well, that'd be telling.

The Munsters – The Complete Second Season

Nostalgia for childhood afternoons spent watching Herman and company back-to-back with "The Addams Family" will carry you far, but you may find your mind wandering to questions like "Why doesn't Lily burst into flames when she goes outside during the day?" or "Why would Frankenstein's monster and a vampire produce werewolf offspring?"

Alias: The Complete Fourth Season

The argument seems to be that it's too hard for audiences to catch up with a complicated mythology and heavy serialization to which I offer Exhibit A ("Lost") and Exhibit B ("24") or damn near any new network drama this year. Serialization is the flavor of the moment, and by abandoning what worked before, "Alias" runs the risk of alienating long-time fans (as they did with this one). In turn, those initial "self-contained" shows of the season needed to be at the top of their game if they were to lure in new viewers and court the forgiveness of the old ones. Sadly, this ain't the case.

The L Word: The Complete Second Season

We'll call it "The O.C. Effect" so the kids out there have a pop-culture anchor they can cling to, though the phenomenon stretches all the way back to Michelle Green and Amanda Donahoe's lesbian liplock on a 1991 episode of "L.A. Law". Sure, there have been plenty of punchlines about mullets, flannel, and women's golf, but by and large the TV lesbian tends toward the lipstick variety, and their job description is no more innovative nor insightful than Paris Hilton's moronic catchphrase: "That's hot."

House, M.D. – Season One

House tells mothers who complain about the price of childhood vaccinations that they should instead invest in "teeny tiny baby coffins." He is, to borrow a phrase from great American philosopher John J. Rambo, every hospital administrator's worst nightmare.

Once and Again: The Complete Second Season

"Once and Again" is one of the best portraits of the complications of modern family life to hit the small screen in years. The first season focused primarily on the difficulties of finding new love, and the challenges of fitting that new relationship into family dynamics still shaken by divorce. By season two, Rick and Lily's relationship has lasted long enough to gain the acceptance, if not the approval, of their children.

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