Good thing, bad thing: episode 1

Good thing:  Twin Peaks DVD Box Set – The Definitive Gold Box Edition

Twin Peaks DVDAbout once every other year, during the middle of winter, I would find (or make) a nice 3 day weekend during which I would stock up on doughnuts and coffee, perhaps invite over a close friend or two, and begin my Twin Peaks marathon.  Of course, this involved dusting off VHS tapes, hoping the tapes still worked, and trying not to be too disappointed at the quality.  By and large, this ritual was the main reason I even still own a VCR.  A few years back the first season was finally released on DVD, and while it was a beautiful box set, it became evident that the rest of the series would still be a long while off, so I sold them.  But now the days of “tracking” and shotty, warbled VHS audio are long gone (at least for watching Twin Peaks). 

The set has all 29 episodes of one of the best, most inventive shows to ever come on television.  In addition, the set promises great extras, including commentary by David Lynch and other cast members (I’ve yet to pick the set up, but hope to do so very very soon).  I have high hopes for this, though, because any David Lynch fan can tell you can often be a fickle and touchy guy when it comes to things like this.  This is, after all, the same guy who completely scrapped doing Eraserhead on The Criterion Collection (perhaps the best of the best among great films getting great DVD production – I’ll rant more on Criterion at some later date) after it leaked that Criterion planned to do his film.  A number of other similar rumors abound, including Lynch nearly giving up doing this DVD set over things like access to props and ways he wanted it to be presented.  I’m not saying any of those are unreasonable, but instead merely stating that if David Lynch himself has a big seal of approval stamped on the set – which he does – than I imagine it was made with much care and the same amount of passion that fans of this show wanted it to get.  (** update: I did indeed purchase this the following day I wrote this, and yes, it delivers on every level)

So, Diane (an in joke), make a note: go get this DVD set, and set aside a weekend for great television that includes prom-queen cokeheads, pies so good they come from pie-heaven, demons named Bob, sheriff Harry S. Truman, a one-armed man, completely silent drape-runners, the Canadian criminal underbelly, the beautiful Audrey Horne, and the star of the show – Agent Dale Cooper. 

Bad thing: Gamefly

I so very much wanted this to be a good thing, I really did.  But after three months, I have canceled my subscription.  For those that don’t know, Gamefly is the video game equivalent of Netflix; you pay a monthly charge to rent games, and don’t have late fees. 

I will qualify my criticism and first say that it is very likely Netflix has spoiled me, and set my standards too high.  While Netflix can turn around movies in a matter of days, Gamefly often took a week or more to get a game to me.  I also guess that if I lived closer to a distribution center my time between games would decrease.  But still, half of the games I sent back did not show up in their system as returned until at least 10 days after being dropped in a mailbox.  Their queue rotation is not as reliable, either. 

I realize that not only do games cost more than DVDs, but also demand/supply ratios are probably much more slanted; however, it is hard to justify 22 bucks a month, when it is hard to even get more than 3 games to arrive in a month.  I’m not a serious, or even moderate gamer; I have a 360, and only a handful of games interest me.  Perhaps if I played more, and had a higher subscription rate, my experience would be much different.  But as it stands now, I can’t recommend Gamefly. 

I’m hoping that they will continue to grow, and that they can both streamline their shipping/receiving, and get more distribution centers.  If they did, this would be a great service to have.  But right now, don’t expect the turnaround time, or the reliability, that Netflix has made us expect from rent-by-mail systems.

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