An opening title for FuturamaImage via Wikipedia
People often imagine the future as a utopia — a time when there will be peace and order. Simpson’s creator Matt Groening has a very different outlook on the future, and together with writer/producer David X. Cohen, he brings you Futurama.

Instead of imagining what the future would be like, Groening and Cohen are inspired by science fiction, such as Star Trek and Arthur C. Clarke. The result of this imagination is a unique comedy from black humour to surreal, on to slapstick and a satire on modern times against a futuristic backdrop.

Phillip J. Fry (Billy West) is a young pizza deliveryman who inadvertently gets sent to the future by a prank phone call. After being resuscitated from his cryogenic state, Fry wakes up to find the world filled with aliens, robots and technological wonders. Here he makes new friends Leela (Katey Sagal), a strange one-eyed alien, who is a starship pilot and Fry’s love interest. Bender (John DiMaggio) is Fry’s best friend; he is also a robot who is an alcoholic and despises all humans (except Fry). Bender is to Futurama is what Homer is to The Simpsons. There’s just never a dull moment when he’s on screen, as his antics are priceless.

Futurama is the story of galactic adventure mixed with many funny moments. The box set comes with many special features, including commentaries on every episode. Fans of sci-fi will definitely appreciate the homage, and new viewers will find this as a refreshing and a very funny look into the future
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Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: The Original SeriesImage via Wikipedia
“Space… the final frontier.” No other words come close to describing Star Trek and in 1966, this science fiction show took audiences where no one had gone before.

Starring in the roles that made them all science fiction legends, William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and DeForrest Kelley (Dr McCoy) embark on a five-year mission to strange new worlds and encounter even stranger aliens. The storylines of this first season were not commercially successful for the studio, however they are considered to be some of the finest science fiction writings.

So much, in fact, so that they were nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award (an award given by the World Science Fiction Society) and won two years in a row. The show was also nominated for Emmy Awards and the recognition does not end there, as Star Trek is considered to be the first TV show that spawned a cult following.

The aspects of the show were ahead of its time, as the writers and producers masked political and social issues of the time into a science fiction theme to portray them. Issues like racism was a flashpoint in American history as was the Vietnam conflict, and Star Trek tackled them by portraying mankind’s mistakes and how they learned from them, instead of ignoring them.

The first season box-set comes with cast interviews, text commentaries and features that highlight the season’s best moments. Star Trek: The Original Series is a must have for fans everywhere, especially Trekkies.
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Casino Royale - The Score

Bond is back! After a four-year hiatus, 007 hit the big screens last year much to everyone’s delight. And following the movie, the score was released and achieved equal success with fans and critics alike. This is composer David Arnold’s fourth venture into the Bond-verse, along with his regular collaborator and conductor, Nicholas Dodd. And while Bond was dramatically re-worked and re-booted for Casino Royale, the soundtrack isn’t any different from the previous Bond scores.

Arnold captivates action as we find out in African Rundown and Fall of a House in Venice by not only mimicking the pace on-screen but by also using native percussions in African Rundowns. If you are just listening to the soundtrack and not watching the movie, you know that this is taking place in Africa. Intricacies like these add a whole new aspect to each track, capturing the moments on-screen, yet individually emanating a unique element of their own. This soundtrack encompasses nearly all of the classic Bond moments — from the action, the cars, the gadgets to the lighter moments — making it an overall decent score.

One thing that it does lack, which I was hoping they would add, is the Chris Cornell track, You Know My Name. Instead, it was released as a separate single, a shame really because it is a worthy track especially in a James Bond album. Only hardcore Bond enthusiasts or score fanatics would appreciate this album, which is quite good.
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The Chappelle Show

Before getting his own show, Dave Chappelle played minor parts in many Hollywood blockbusters as the token black comedian. It was in 2003 that Comedy Central decided to bank on the young star's comedic talents by giving him his very own stand up show — the aptly named Chapelle’s Show — and the results are hilarious to say the least.

Co-created by Neal Brennan, each episode of Chapelle’s Show is also co-written by him and Chappelle. Between the two of them, they have written most of the first season’s skits. The format of the show is very traditional as Dave begins with a stand up routine in front of a live audience. The rest of the skits are then shown to the audience and instead of a traditional laugh track, the show supports the laughter of the audience present. This gives an authentic and realistic feel to the act.

Popular skits include Frontline and Charlie Murphy’sTrue Hollywood Stories (a parody of many television newsmagazine programes like 60 Minutes). There is one where Eddie Murphy’s real-life younger brother takes a not-so-conventional look at Hollywood’s other side and another that includes crazy character sketches such as Clayton Bigsby (a black man who is a white supremacist).

This first season box set comes with commentary tracks on some episodes by Brennan and Chappelle, who offer insight into the show’s insane sketches. The show is a treat for all those who like Chappelle’s style of comedy, which is a blend of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy
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Arrested Development.

From left to right:  GOB, George Sr., Lindsay, Tobias, Michael, Lucille, George Michael, Maeby, and BusterImage via Wikipedia
Jason Bateman (Teen Wolf Too!) portrays Michael Bluth, who has just taken over his family’s business after his father got arrested, and the only thing that stands in his way is his family.

Arrested Development is a documentary style comedy narrated by the show's co-creator Ron Howard, which looks at the life of a dysfunctional family, the Bluths.

The show takes comedy to a new level as we see the Bluth family struggle to come to terms with one another, society and life. Take Michael’s younger brother for instance, George Michael (Will Arnett). He is a failed magician and tries hard to undermine Michael at every opportunity he gets. Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter), Michael’s mother is extremely conniving and uses every opportunity to try and get Michael on her side.

Michael’s twin sister, Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) only cares about shopping, which he hates. The performance that steals the show every time belongs to Michael’s brother-in-law, Tobias Funke (David Cross). An out of job psychologist, Funke (along with everyone else) slowly begins to question his own sanity which ends up creating some of the show’s most memorable moments.

The first season of Arrested Development is loaded with special features which include bloopers, behind-the-scenes and cast commentaries on episodes. Packed with special features, this box set is not to be missed as you will find yourself quite amused with the antics of the Bluth family.
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Based on the play by the same name by American playwright Tony Kushner (Pulitzer winning author), this HBO mini series is directed by famed director Mike Nichols (Closer and The Graduate).

The mini series is broken into two parts, as per the play, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika. Winning the Golden Globe and Emmy for best mini series in 2003, Angels in America is about inner turmoil where characters struggle with their beliefs, the norms and their self-identities. This conflict is examined through dark humour and tragedy.

The play is set against the Reagan-era of the ‘80s, and has currents of philosophy and politics. Accompanying these are some amazing dialogues by Kushner, raw, philosophical and compelling and delivered by a spectacular cast comprising Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, James Cromwell and Mary-Louise Parker to name a few.

Each actor has multiple roles which add certain dynamisms to the play. Pacino and Streep both won Golden Globes and Emmys for their prospective roles. Play adaptations hardly rely on their set locations but with Angels in America, the locations play a significant role, ranging from the San Francisco valley and Central Park, New York to Antartica.

Angels in America is a close examination of an era when perceptions were changing amid dark times looming on the horizon. The DVDs contains behind-the-scenes features and interviews with the cast, writer and director. Nothing spectacular, but you'll hardly miss special features with such an amazing main feature
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