Seeking the Comfort of a Box Set

There’s something very comforting about having a DVD box set of a favourite television series, isn’t there?  When I used to be a frequent business traveller I think ‘The Sopranos’ kept me sane, by providing immersion entertainment on train rides and in many hotel rooms; sometimes I took my laptop with me solely for the purpose of watching the DVDs.  There is such a feeling of both anticipation and security knowing that there are always more episodes in the box.

There was a feeling of real loss each time I reached the end of a season, and near heartbreak when the series came to an end.  On a couple of occasions when I failed to properly ration the number of episodes I watched at a time, I went back and rewatched programmes I’d already seen, and even listened to the crew commentaries.

But I was fickle; very soon after I’d watched the abrupt end to The Sopranos’, I moved onto ‘The Wire’, and was soon totally immersed in the world of Baltimore drugs factions and policing.  Each subsequent season elaborated and broadened the canvas and totally engrossed me.

Ever since the end of ‘The Wire’, I’ve been looking for something new; but nothing has quite filled the vacuum; everything feels a bit thin.  But I keep on trying……

Since starting to maximise my use of the Lovefilm DVD rental service I’ve had a different sort of experience with box sets.  You can rent them, but they eke them out to you one disc at a time; in order, but not necessarily straight away. In between disc 3 and 4 of ‘In Treatment’ Season 2 they sent me a film.  OK it was a film on my list, but I didn’t want to watch a film, I wanted the rest of the box set.

I started to take steps to try to force them to send only the series discs, by setting everything else on my list to low priority.  But the strategy was only partially successful.  I guess that someone else was also trying to watch the set at the same time as me.

The same was true of ‘Treme’.  I had such high hopes for this one, as it’s by the same team as that behind ‘The Wire’, including some of the actors.  I did quite enjoy it, but the main problem for me was that it wasn’t ‘The Wire’, notwithstanding the presence of  Wendell Pierce, and Clark Peters. But even so, I’m a bit too impatient to like the way I had to wait for the discs to arrive.

It was a bit of a surprise, after all the messing about I did with the list prioritisation that the next thing they sent me was the first disc for ‘The Big C’, which I’d put on the list on the recommendation of a friend; then another friend told me she thought it unlikely that I would like it: it’s a comedy.

Then Lovefilm sent me disc 2 before I’d even embarked on the first one.  It was all far too easy; it seems I had no competition for this one.  Of course then it wasn’t anywhere near so much fun.   How can it be any good if it’s too easy?

Actually, now I’ve got around to watching some of it, I’m finding  it quite entertaining; there’s quite a lot of charm in the black humour of it.  Then, what a lovely surprise when Idris Elba appeared on screen.   I’m hooked; and I’ve already got all the discs from the set.

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