Sure, if you're a TV-on-DVD/Blu fan, you usually want complete runs of your favorite series. Sometimes, though, especially if it's a long-running series with major, arguably detrimental cast changes, or has altered in tone or quality due to a new producer or writing staff, or had just worn out its welcome, 'jumping the shark', you only want a subset of the overall run. Or perhaps you have some nostalgia for a show, and just a season or two scratches that itch.
This thread isn't intended to disparage the dyed-in-the-wool series completists; I myself tend to get full series runs more often than not. It's also not meant to slag on fans of later seasons of series that I no longer enjoy or stopped caring about. In a lot of cases, a later season generally considered 'inferior' yields some good, or even 'best of series' individual episodes. However, it might be an interesting exercise to see where we, as individuals, draw the line with some TV shows on the format.
THE BENNY HILL SHOW - I thought the humor took a nosedive during the disco era/Hill's Angels years; when I think fondly of Benny Hill, it's always his 1960s/early-1970s work, so post-1974 is where Hill and I part ways.
BEWITCHED - I never thought the show was truly all that funny, but the cast was great, and nostalgia from watching reruns as a kid makes it good 'comfort TV' for me today. I like the show a lot more when it was trying to be a semi-sophisticated comedy about a newlywed couple coping with rampant magic, Dick York was Darrin, and Alice Pierce was a rubber-faced human cartoon as the original Gladys Kravitz. Once Tabitha was born, and the show went to color, it steadily became more and more kiddie-oriented, Dick York's off-camera injury takes its toll, and my interest in it wanes. So, my cut-off point is Season 3: the preferable two B&W seasons, and a solid, token color season for me.
THE F.B.I. - I have vague memories of my father watching this in reruns in the early 1970s, but this was pretty much a blind buy. I like it, but seems best suited as a 1960s show, so the jury is out as to whether I'd want to eventually collect it into its early-1970s seasons. I might change my mind as I watch more, but right now, I see myself only picking up season 2 or 3 in the future.
HAWAII FIVE-0 - Another 'jury-is-out' situation, since I'm only really appreciating the show now on DVD, having taken it for granted in its years of syndicated reruns. I know Kono eventually leaves the show, and Chin Ho and Danno much later, and I've heard some say that the series loses its luster after Season 6, so that is my current cut-off point.
I DREAM OF JEANNIE - Similar situation as BEWITCHED (surprise, surprise); it seems fresher in its first couple of seasons, so my cut-off point is after the color Season 2. I might change my mind as I revisit the end of that season, but I doubt it.
LEXX - The first 'season' was actually four movie-length episodes. They seemed to have somewhat larger budgets, the plot (cheesy as it was) seemed more interesting, and most importantly, it had Eva Habermann as 'Zev'. She stuck around for the first couple of episodes of Season 2, but morphed into 'Xev' (Xenia Seeberg). Xenia was a rather stunning-looking gal, but the magic of 'Zev' was gone, and the show became sort of a cut-rate, latter-day LOST IN SPACE. Fortunately, when I was collecting the show on DVD, Season 2 was split into individual volumes for sale, so my cut-off point was Season 2, Vol. 1.
THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. - Seasons 1, 4 and most of Season 2 played things relatively straight, but Season 3 was really bad, cartoony camp, in its efforts to duplicate BATMAN's success. Fortunately, Time-Life released season sets after the Complete Series set debuted, so I was able to side-step the dreaded Season 3. Cut-off point was Season 2, resume point, Season 4.
MANNIX - I like MANNIX, but I don't love it. It was, like HAWAII FIVE-0, something I mostly ignored and took for granted as a kid. I pretty much get what I want out of the first two seasons, when he was working at 'Intertect', and then as a regular private eye in Season 2, which is my cut-off point, unless the show still really grabs me by the end of that season.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - Like THE F.B.I., this seems to fit the 1960s better than the 1970s, but the departure of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, plus the original head writers, have me losing interest after Season 3, which is my cut-of point for MI.
THE SIMPSONS - Lost much of its comedy mojo after Season 8, a common complaint, so that's my cut-off point. I know there were some good (and great) episodes after that, but not with the same consistency as in the earlier seasons.
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE - When Season 1 was announced for DVD release, I realized that all the episodes I essentially had any fond memories of were in that initial season, and tended to be in the first half of that season. I also remember that the later seasons seemed to look even cheaper than the already-bargain-basement 1st season, and stories were often more whimsy than horror, so I severed relations with TALES after Season 1.
So, where do YOU draw the line?
Edited by Peter M Fitzgerald, May 15 2013 - 03:08 PM.