DVDs in Review #1 - Futurama: The Complete Collection

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I thought I'd kick this off with a look at one of my favourite shows and as I'm watching it again right now this seems sensible.

Each of the four seasons of Futurama is packaged in their own season box, which consists of three or four seperate dvd cases. The whole thing comes in a cardboard box that keeps them all together tidy. Essentially you get all four individual season boxes and another box to keep them in. Really this isn't much better than buying them individually. But the Outside box has a lot of original artwork and is quite nice looking.

It's worth noting that the box is rather cumbersome, but that is mostly because I bought the older version of the Complete Collection. The newer one is considerably smaller and I find myself annoyed that they didn't use the smaller size in the first place. As such I have to keep my Futurama collection ontop of my DVD shelving rather than actually on one of the shelves.

Each individual season is a cardboard 3/4 box that the DVDs slide into, wrapped with a plastic sheath which is pretty robust. This means the season dvds can take the odd knock and do just fine when removed from the shelf/big box. Of course, individual dvd boxes, inside another box, inside a sheath and inside a box isn't the most practical way to have a complete collection. But there is original artwork on each of the boxes and the outside boxes so they are nice to look at.

Each season of Futurama has quite a lot of features to it. The first two seasons sadly are missing the "Play All" selection on the menu. This is quite an oversight, but seasons 3 + 4 do have "Play All" so it's possible later versions of Season 1 + 2 have corrected this error.

Other features include deleted scenes, draft copies, amusing single frame easter eggs (Season One are movie posters) and concept sketches. There's plenty to keep you occupied and interested if you want to look at it. The deleted scenes are quite nice.

But the crowning jewel in the features/extras section for Futurama are the commentaries. Every single episode has commentary on it including the writers, animators, composers, creators and voice actors. There are plenty of appearances from John DeMaggio and Billy West plus a few from others like Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phill LaMarr and even Dan Castallaneta. All of the commentaries are infomative, interesting and quite often funny. The highlights of the commentary often come from the voice artists, my favourites include "Dueling Professors" and "Dr. John Zoidberg Comments". It's some of the most enthralling commentary and it adds a whole new layer to watching the show.
9/10 (I'd give it 10 but the easter eggs aren't that interesting, where's my easter egg version of the game Fry plays in the first episode?)

Futurama is a classic show already, it remains fresh even to this day and hasn't had a truely poor moment yet. I can only identify two episodes that I'm not that keen on "A Fishfull of Dollars" and "That's Lobstertainment", but even those episodes have their great moments and remain watchable. The score I give this show is pretty much predictable. It's perfection.

Sadly you make no extra saving for purchasing the seasons together. £80 for the complete season or £20 per season. There's no benefit to grabbing the entire collection these days. You get 72 episodes for this price, each episode is approximately 20mins so you end up paying about 5p per minute of watching - just under a pound per episode. Factor in the fact that every episode has excellent commentary and the Futurama seasons are exceptional value for money. The only problem is, the complete collection doesn't really represent any additional value beyond buying each season seperately.
If you're a fan of the show, the DVDs are must haves. The only problem with the Complete Collection is it's not really an improvement over owning the seasons seperately. The box takes up slightly more space and is impractical for atypical DVD shelving. So it's better to purchase each season seperately.

Packaging: 8 Features: 9 Show: 10 Price: 8 Overall: 87.5%


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