Complete Series Repackaging Obsession


While as I’ve said before, many shows are never finished on DVD, studios really, really like it when they are able to complete a show on DVD. Why? Because then they can sell it all back to us as a bulky “complete series” set. Today’s TV Shows on DVD announcements list no fewer than five upcoming complete-series packages from Time-Warner: three HBO favourites — The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood — and two popular animated series, The Flintstones and Batman: The Animated Series.

Is the complete-series set a cynical marketing ploy that totally shafts the people who collected the series the first time around? Of course it is. The point of releasing a complete set of The Sopranos with two additional discs of bonus features (including one feature I think is really a good idea: a collection of Sopranos parodies from other shows) is to, a, force people who already have the complete series to buy the new set if they want to see the bonus features, and, b, disincentivize people from buying the old sets at low prices as they become increasingly available at discounts and in used-DVD stores. It’s cynical, but it works.

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Complete Series Repackaging Obsession

  1. I hate this relatively recent phenomenon. But interestingly, one of the first studios to do it (that I know of, anyway) is also one of the only studios to throw fans a bone. 20th Century Fox released the MASH complete series set, complete with bloopers, documentaries and special features so woefully missing in the individual season sets. Also came with a price tag of around $200, IIRC. The fans who’d been buying the series all along cried foul, and rightly so. So, Fox came out with a separate release, of just the series finale (Goodbye, Farewell and Amen), and included on that all the special features it had included with the complete series set. This disc was priced at a very reasonable $24.95 or so. It was a nice move on the part of Fox, but, sadly, none of the other studios seems to have followed suit.

  2. I’ve been telling friends for a while now that I’ve been waiting for a Complete Wire set, assuming that it would contain the extra extras. Now the only question is whether I can afford the damned thing.

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