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My So-Called List
by Denise DuVernay

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Yeah, Jenna's my friend. She totally knows who I am.

Yeah, Jenna's my friend. She totally knows who I am.
I struggled a bit with the topic for today's column. I have a couple ideas floating around that I plan to get to in the coming months (Spoiler alert! I will reveal my girl crushes and discuss some cult classics that need to be on your queue). Part of me wants to tell you to buy nothing creative until the writers are assured their due. I cringe a bit when I think of all the DVDs and legally downloaded shows I've enjoyed since the rise of the DVD and the Internets. I've been hearing lots of viewpoints on the subject of the writers' strike, but for me it's really quite simple: if a company is benefiting financially from someone's creative work, the author and other creative types deserve a fair cut. But my job (thus far) has not been to proselytize, politicize, or even criticize. I support the writers, and have been enjoying Jenna Fischer's MySpace blogs about the subject, but my main service to you, Dear Reader, has not been to preach but to provide recommendations for DVDs. And suggest I will continue to do.

I celebrate Christmas. And by celebrate, I mean that I love giving and getting presents and I really love all the chocolate and alcoholic beverages that are in abundance at the end of December. Of course, I respect those who fest in a different way or even not at all. But let's face it; the recession has brought Christmas even sooner than usual this year, and this coming Tuesday is a goldmine of DVD offerings; so despite the writer's strike, I'm going to suggest to you some things you can order for the loved ones and other obligations on your list. You don't need to do it this minute, of course, but let's not scramble to the stores on Christmas eve this year.

RECENT DVD RELEASES have included Scrubs Season 6 (Yay! The musical episode!), Season Part 2 of The Sopranos, (finally, that's all over, thank God), and the complete My So-Called Life, with bonus disc and book
I just love the way he leans.

I just love the way he leans.
with contributions by Joss Whedon (don't be so surprised; you should know he's a fan) and Janeane Garofalo. I can finally get rid of the VHS tapes from when MTV was showing it sometime in the late 90s. High school is captured in all its horrible beauty by Winnie Holzman, and as I once read in an interview with Jared Leto, no one can cry like Claire Danes. Or maybe he said that no one can make you cry like Claire Danes. Okay, so I don't remember what Jared said, or where he said it, but I'm certain it was true. And to this day, I have yet to see anyone who leans quite like Jordan Catalano.

NOVEMBER 13 is a rockin' day for box sets! The Addams Family complete series will be released, as will the OCEANS trilogy (which I only enjoy for that hilarious Eddie Izzard) and the MIAMI VICE COMPLETE SERIES, which has to be the perfect gift for the right person. I'm not sure who the right person is, but I don't think he's on my list. (I think he'd have to be a he, though). Maybe he's on yours. And who wouldn't love to receive Christmas Time in South Park or the complete Northern Exposure? If your parents are anything like my parents, and I know mine are, they'll love receiving Northern Exposure. For a couple of years there, I was giving my dad a season for each birthday and Christmas. The episodes are great to rewatch, and has there ever been a more charming town than Cicely, Alaska?

Why, yes, there is, actually: Stars Hollow, Connecticut, and it just so happens that not only does the Gilmore Girls final season arrive in stores Tuesday, but the complete series is also available in one lovely, plucky set. I almost wish I didn't have seasons 1 through 6 already so that I could get the set. It's true that the final season lost something when the network died and the Palladinos were lost, but if I can excuse the first season for not having its stuff together (Sean Gunn wasn't
Have you wished anyone luck strorming the castle lately?

Have you wished anyone luck strorming the castle lately?
"Kirk" yet, but rather a fellow named Mick, a virtual stranger to Lorelai, and there was a bowl of apples on Lorelai's table. Apples!), certainly I can chill out on the seventh. The magic of Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel holds the final season together enough, and I'll admit that I cried at the end of the last episode.

Rob Reiner's masterpiece THE PRINCESS BRIDE's 20th anniversary edition also comes out Tuesday. Has it really been 20 years already? Geesh, I am getting old.

I know I would love to receive the Johnny Cash Christmas special of 1977, which is also available on DVD on Tuesday. Interestingly, Christmas tunes are just a small portion of the special's offerings; it features several gospel tunes and appearances, including Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison. Reviewers are calling it fantastic (well, it is Johnny, so duh) and one reviewer says it's so clear that it could have been recorded yesterday.

SHREK THE THIRD is coming out, and while I have not seen it, nor the second, I can say with confidence that those who loved the first two will probably like the third. I should really get on this, as I've read that Tom Waits' "Little Drop of Poison" is featured in the second film.

As for myself, with money being as tight as it is, I'm being more creative this year and a little less materialistic with my gift-giving. Instead of flashy gifts, I'm going to go a more personal route: small contributions to charities specially chosen on behalf of loved ones, small, homemade or handcrafted gifts (although the plan to teach myself how to sew and crochet isn't quite moving along as planned). Perhaps I'll package homemade cookies or hand-stamped stationery. I'll make everyone feel loved without hitting my credit cards too hard.

But to make things easier on my friends and family, I will be updating my Amazon wishlist, in case you were wondering. It's just the thoughtful thing to do.

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Take Your Queue From Du
Every other Sunday

Semi-wholesome Midwestern girl and certified Geek Magnet offers her suggestions - often new, sometimes classic - for DVDs that are definitely queue-worthy.

Other Columns
Other columns by Denise DuVernay:

Goodbye, Du

Du Chats Movies With Comics Author Lonnie Millsap

Du Reviews ALPOCALYPSE by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Another Piece Praising BRIDESMAIDS

Friendship Films and DVD Picks for May 17

All Columns

Denise DuVernay
9 out of 10 librarians think Denise is a hoot. The 10th one couldn't corroborate because she was dead.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Denise DuVernay by clicking here.

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