It's time to take your lumps, people! Lumps of coal for liberals, lumps of sugar for conservatives! At least, that's the probable tone of A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All ($19.99), starring Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Feist, Willie Nelson putting the THC back in Xmas, and Jon Stewart singing (startlingly well!) that new holiday chestnut, "Can I Interest You in Hanukkah?"
Kiefer Sutherland junkies can quit jonesing for the new season and January by watching 24: Redemption ($26.98), whose cliffhanger horrors take place in the two hours between last season's events and the next. Glad to see Jon Voight's on hand. We need him more than his plump-lipped, baby-acquiring progeny.
We may not strictly need The Doris Day Show: The Complete Series ($159.98, individual seasons $39.98), but she looks utterly amazing for a middle-aged dame circa 1968, and the extras features are interesting, because she's a luminous pop-culture presence. What we really need: a TV movie on her real life, rife with jazz stardom, men who blew her money and a son who produced the Beach Boys and darn near got murdered by Charles Manson. No wonder she prefers dogs to humans.
A zillion shrieking fans definitely need Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series ($69.99), one of the best shows about high school ever made, by Judd Apatow and costarring Seth Rogen, who went on to conquer Hollywood feature comedy. If you're a total F and G freak, get the Yearbook Edition for $169.98, which contains a yearbook and even more extras; but the regular edition packs in enough deleted scenes and commentaries to keep all but the most rabid fans happy.
Aaron Spelling hit pay dirt with The Mod Squad: Season 2, Vol. 1 ($39.98), about hepcat kids who become undercover cops to save other kids from the '60s. Johnny Depp started out in a similar role early in his career, but he was no cooler than this classic trio was in '68. You'll wish you'd gone undercover with the incredibly pretty, Paul McCartney-boinking Peggy Lipton, everybody's favorite Mod Squadder. Spelling still had his magic in 1995, when he gave us
Beverly Hills 90210: The Sixth Season ($59.98). In this one, the kids find that coke does not add life -- in 1995, cocaine was yielding to the stock market as America's life-threatening thrill of choice.
Coke probably helped shorten George Carlin's life, even though he cleaned up many years before his recent death. Let's remember him with George Carlin: It's Bad for Ya ($19.98), his last HBO special, broadcast last March. It's got a lengthy interview with him and an old clip from The Jackie Gleason Show in 1969, so you can see how his talent evolved.