Recommendation of the Week:
The Office: Series One (Netflix Watch Instantly)
While everyone was quick to sneer at the American version of The Office on NBC and say "Oh, it's not as good as the original," that new show has gone a long way towards proving itself. However, they're right ... it's still not as good as the original. Now the entire British run of The Office is available on Netflix. If you haven't seen it yet, dive in here with the entire first series, then move on to Series Two and the Specials. Ricky Gervais hasn't struck box office gold yet in America (his movies Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying have fallen a bit flat), but The Office is more than good enough to make up for it.
Xbox Live Video Marketplace (Xbox 360)
Hollywoodland (360($4.50) HD, 240 ($3) SD, to rent)
Since we're giving a lot of love to the Kevin Smith Box Set in the Blu-ray section, I thought we'd balance this out with this unappreciated Ben Affleck gem. It's actually much more of an Adrien Brody starrer, but Affleck turns in a brilliantly understated performance here as the ill-fated George Reeves, TV's Superman, and it'll make you wish he was in the movie more often. If you combined this movie movie with Greg Kinnear's Auto Focus, you'd have a tremendous box set of your own, both about two troubled stars from the television of yesteryear. This one is highly recommended, despite the poor performance at the box office. Give it a whirl in HD.
Netflix Watch Instantly (Mac/PC, Xbox Live, PS3, subscription required: starts at $8.99 per month)
Farscape: Season One
I'll have to be honest and admit a bit of personal bias here. I worked on Farscape when I was at The Jim Henson Company, and I still think it's a tragedy that it was taken off of the air. The Sci-Fi Channel has made a lot of boneheaded decisions (the change to "SyFy" has been one of the latest), but yanking Farscape was just devastating. Still, thanks to the modern wonders of DVD and Netflix, the show lives on. Now you can watch the entire first season of the show on Netflix's Watch Instantly, and see why it was one of the smartest science fiction shows on television. And if you start singing the praises of Stargate, which was the one sci-fi show the channel kept when Farscape hit the skid, I might have to hurt you.
PlayStation Store (PlayStation 3 or PSP)
Mad Men - Season Three: "Sit Down. Have a Seat." ($1.99 SD to own)
Alright, I swear this will be the last time (this season) that I sing the praises of Mad Men. It's just impossible to keep quiet about it when they had such a powerful final episode for season three. Have you been waiting on Don Draper to look extremely vulnerable? Well, your wait is finally over. It's almost an entire reset back to square one on this episode as everything is turned upside down, and it looks like next season will take everyone out of their comfortable shoes and shove them into new places. New things are in store for just about everyone, and can someone please tell me what the hell happened to Sal?
Blu-ray Disc (PlayStation 3)
The Kevin Smith Box Set ($89.99, $40.99, lower at many retailers)
We know a lot of you out there are Kevin Smith fans, and this box sex is something of a mixed bag. First of all, this should have been an all-inclusive set and had Mallrats and Dogma in it. Plus where's the love for Clerks 2? What about just a Clerks box sex? The main reason this set is worth it is all the new Chasing Amy bonus material created just for it. After all, does Clerks really need to be seen in 1080p for you to appreciate the film grain? New Amy materials include "Tracing Amy: The Chasing Amy Doc," "Was It Something I Said? – A Conversation with Kevin & Joey," "10 Years Later" Q & A, plus an all new audio commentary with Writer/Director/Actor Kevin Smith and Producer Scott Mosier. Tons of extras (except on Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, which gets shorted), great transfers, amazing sound ... now bring on Mallrats already. It got an HD-DVD release, so where's the Blu-ray love?
What are you watching?