Cult TV A-Z: 26 Semi-Obscure Shows We’d Like To See On DVD

Three years ago, I did a piece for Bullz-Eye entitled “TV (No-)Shows On DVD,” where I took a look at the top 15 shows that the Bullz-Eye staff had wanted to see released onto home video in full-season or complete-series sets. From the series cited on that list, we’ve gotten “Newhart: The Complete First Season,” five seasons of “Family Ties,” seven seasons of “Beverly Hills 90210,” and “WKRP: The Complete First Season” (a laughable title, given how much was excised from the original episodes), with “The State: The Complete Series” scheduled for release on July 14. We’ve also been pleased to see that a couple of the kids shows we cited – “Groovie Goolies” and “Josie and the Pussycats” – have made it into stores, and we were beside ourselves at the emergence of a couple of our pipe-dream series, including “Quark,” “Fastlane,” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.”

Quark“? Really?

I’ve got to be honest with you: I loved that show with a passion when I was seven years old, but not in a million years would I have bet on that series ever coming out on DVD, and yet you can order a copy from Amazon at this very moment. That’s what led me to compile this A-to-Z list of shows that I’d like to be able to experience again…or, in some cases, for the first time. Yes, some of the series on this list are obscure, and it’s likely that almost none of them will ever make their way to home video, but I felt the same way about “Quark” three years ago, and…well, look what happened there. I’m sure you’ve got your own favorites, and I’d love to know what they are, so please feel free to leave your picks below. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my list…and the accompanying YouTube clips, too.

A. “AfterM*A*S*H” (1983 – 1985): Given that all of the seasons of the original “M*A*S*H” series have long since made it to DVD and proved to be a rousing success, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t seen the release of the post-war exploits of Sherman Potter, Max Klinger, and Father Francis Mulcahy. Few would claim that the show ever lived up to its predecessor, but there were only 31 episodes produced; you’d think that a complete-series set would be a no-brainer, since the diehards would surely snap it up, what with the additional guest appearances by Col. Flagg and Radar O’Reilly. Indeed, should such a collection ever come to pass, let’s hope someone also thinks to tack on the failed pilot for “W*A*L*T*E*R,” where Radar moves from Ottumwa, Iowa, to St. Louis, MO, in order to become a police officer. And, yes, I’m serious.

B. “BJ and the Bear” (1979 – 1981): Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I just can’t imagine that there’s not a connection between the fact that, in December 1978, a movie about a trucker with a monkey (“Every Which Way But Loose”) was a huge success, and in February 1979 this series – which is about a trucker with a monkey – premiered. Some may say that Greg Evigan’s most lasting pop culture footnote is co-starring with Paul Reiser on “My Two Dads,” but he’ll always be B.J. McKay to me.

C. “CPO Sharkey” (1976 – 1978): With the amount of appreciation Don Rickles has gotten in recent years, most notably with “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project,” it’s hard to believe that no-one’s tried to make a buck or two by offering up the release of this series. Maybe it’s because Rickles’ comedy in the series wouldn’t exactly come across as politically correct nowadays. Sharkey’s company consists of an African-American, a Polish-American, a Jewish-American, an Italian-American, and a Hispanic-American, and…well, suffice to say that he probably didn’t need nearly as many hyphens within his preferred choice of terms for them. Frankly, though, I just want to see the episode which features a guest appearance by the Dickies!

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