Red Right Hand: TO PLAY ALL OR NOT TO PLAY ALL? THERE IS NO QUESTION.
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

TO PLAY ALL OR NOT TO PLAY ALL? THERE IS NO QUESTION.

What the hell, Fox Home Video?

Look, I watch a lot of TV, and when there ain't crap on...I watch TV on DVD. I have amassed a more-than-respectable collection and when I'm writing or just around the house, I like to have something on even if I'm not exactly watching it (background noise). What I hate doing is having to attend to the DVD every 42 minutes. It's called "play all," FHV and what's worse is I know you know what it is.

Now, I have a great respect for Fox. They were out there very early pushing the whole TV on DVD thing into the mainstream with their (originally) ridiculously priced X-Files sets. (Still a little bit of irritation that they maintained the price points on those until the whole run was out, even as the industry settled down at 33% percent of what those things' SRP had been). I'm also very pleased that they are willing to put out less than popular series from their vaults (Tru Calling and Harsh Realm for instance) and that they have been able to recognize great opportunities (Firefly). That said, I just completely fail to understand their aversion to using the "play all" feature.

They use it on sit-com and animation releases like M*A*S*H and The Simpsons. I'm very happy they do. Having to find the remote and restart the DVD every 22 minutes would be a real pain when I want to throw one of those in and walk away from it. So I know they know how to use it. So why not put it on The Shield? I think it would fit extremely nicely on the 24 discs.

As a result, I find myself using discs from Warner, Buena Vista and Universal much more frequently. My West Wing and Sports Night discs get a hell of a workout, as do my Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. Battlestar Galactica gets a healthy number of spins, as has Lost. And I thank Sony for including the feature on Rescue Me.


I find the feature to be of particular use when I'm working on a spec for a show which I also happen to have on DVD. Rescue Me is a recent example of that. I'll leave it on all the time, along with recordings of recent episodes (see that's fair use and I have every right to do it, stop trying to break my A/V junk, Hollywood). I use it to let the rhythm of the dialogue and the character's idiosyncracies to sink in. I'm not terribly inclined to have to interrupt writing to navigate from one episode's menu to the next.

I'd be inclined to gripe a bit on HBO discs, but they can't even put together a decent menu structure, so I'm giving them a pass.
©2016 Michael Patrick Sullivan