Column: DVD not for me

By Eric Naing

Addiction is a terrible thing. People all over the world have certain vices that often take over their lives. These can include cigarettes, alcohol or even shopping. As for me, I’m addicted to DVDs and I think I need help. This past holiday season I received two types of gifts: DVDs and money, which I subsequently used to buy more DVDs. I’m caught in a sickening trap that forces me to devote my life to procuring these little plastic discs.

DVDs have caused more harm to society than Fox News and techno music combined. They drain us of our money and of our free time, but to what end? Is it so you can impress that special someone with your long, swollen DVD shelf? Face it, DVDs are nothing but a waste and it’s high time that we learn to wean ourselves off them.

But what about all those fantastic extras that they include on DVDs you ask? I say they’re worthless. When was the last time you actually sat down and listened to the director’s commentary on Shaquille O’Neal’s 1996 hit movie Kazaam? If you see the movie once, you don’t need to see it again with some pretentious jackass talking though the whole thing. Watching a movie with commentary is for film snobs that call it “cinema” instead of movies, not for real people.

And what about those deleted scenes that you didn’t get to see in theaters? In all honesty, they are a total waste of time. I regrettably just watched something called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy. This is a movie compiled entirely of deleted scenes from the movie Anchorman. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Anchorman and can recite lines from it by memory (“It’s so hot… milk was a bad choice”) but Wake Up, Ron Burgundy was an awkward, unfunny disaster. It reminded why deleted scenes are deleted: because they weren’t good enough to be in the movie the first time around.

Another useless DVD extra is the blooper reel wherein the actors of a movie are shown repeatedly messing up their lines to a supposedly comedic effect. I’m sorry but the “I screwed up my line” joke isn’t funny anymore. Home Improvement drained that well years ago. If a studio has to include a blooper reel in a DVD, they might as well make it something the audience actually wants to see, like including a boob slip reel on the Mean Girls DVD.

DVDs are also responsible for reviving the worst aspects of our culture. Does anyone remember the sitcom The Jeff Foxworthy Show? It starred Jeff Foxworthy and had Haley Joel Osment as his son. Anyone remember? No? Good. The Jeff Foxworthy Show was excruciatingly bad and deserved to be banished to sitcom hell. Unfortunately, some unknown studio executive out there thought it was necessary to reintroduce all those banal redneck jokes through the magic of DVD. Other abominations that have found a second life on DVD include cancelled television shows such as Just Shoot Me and The Man Show.

Even as you read this, movie studios out there are planning their next big thing. Sometime soon, our beloved DVD will be replaced by something more expensive and more addictive. If you want to get technical, it wil be Sony’s Blu-ray or its competitor HD-DVD. Either way, we’ll be suckered into buying all the movies we already own just because someone wants to cram another making of documentary into the extra special edition of Booty Call.

We’ve got to stop the madness. DVDs are sucking up time and money that could be better used studying or trying to get laid, whichever you prefer. This is a vicious cycle that won’t end until we make it stop.

I plan on starting an expatriate community dedicated to watching only VHS tapes. Is anyone with me? No? Fine, but don’t come running to me for help when the DVD apocalypse happens.