Series that you went into cold on DVD

What is at least one series on DVD that you went into cold but that then became a red-hot favorite of yours, and why?

I have at least five, and I’ll do my best to explain the reasons:

Hawaii Five-O (the original): This is mainly because the original versions of McGarrett, Danny, Chin Ho, et al. are far preferable to the new ones, at least to me.

Hart to Hart: It was the very believable love affair of Jonathan and Jennifer Hart (Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers) that has this ranking up there pretty high; the opening theme wasn’t bad either, and neither was Lionel Stander as Max.

CHiPs: This is on the list because of its premise of two CHP officers (Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada) patrolling around the sprawling highways of L.A.; they do this so much that it gives it a travelogue feel that I really enjoy.

Perry Mason: Although I went in cold on this one (having not really seen any full outings of it), after half-a-season’s worth, that famous defense lawyer and his team are starting to grow on me somewhat.

Hardcastle and McCormick: One more I went in cold on, it also grew on me, basically because of its premise of an ex-con racecar driver and a retired L.A. Superior Court judge as they worked together to capture old criminals who got out of the judge’s courtroom on technicalities. This was begrudging at first, then by the end, when Mark’s parole ended, they seemed to have become very good friends.

If one season counts as a series, Freaks and Geeks and Firefly. I think Freaks is the best representation of high school/being a teenager/parent of a teenager ever, and Firefly is, well, Firefly.

More recently, a Canadian series, Durham County, is satisfying my appetite for twisted crime drama.

I guess I didn’t go into these shows “cold” though – I’d at least heard about them. But I didn’t see them until I got the DVDs.

I had on my computer as wallpaper/backdrop last year a nice image of Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke in character as Homes and Watson from the 80’s Granada Television series. A woman who works here at the office noticed it, and told me that I may like this new series from BBC setting the stories in the present time. She brought me in the DVDs for Sherlock, which I had never heard of and went into it completely cold. At first watching, I didn’t care for it a bit, as I was a hard-core traditionalist. Then, for some reason, I gave it another go, and something clicked.

I’m now as hard-core a fan of the new Sherlock series as ever I was for the old one, maybe even more. Down came the Brett backdrop and up went the ugly wallpaper from the current flat at 221B. Poor Jeremy Brett has been eclipsed by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Some good points there! And yes, one-season wonders do count as “series,” IMHO.

Others of mine:

Marcus Welby, M.D.– because of Robert Young’s caring Santa Monica GP by that name and his loyal assistant Dr. Steven Kiley (James Brolin).

MTM– it was an excellent comedic portrait of a major television newsroom and the characters (most notably Mary Richards) who inhabited it and worked together to bring their viewers the news.

Firefly Went in cold other than knowing it was sci-fi and that it was well liked by people that watched it. Been through the DVDs twice now, big fan.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Went in cold beyond knowing it was a somewhat raunchy comedy series. Big-ish fan, not one of my all-time favorites but I’ve seen all seasons available on DVD and watch the edited version on broadcast TV.

Justified No knowledge beyond hearing Terry Gross’s interview with the lead actors and looking for something new to watch. Big Fan.

This is mine. By “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”, I was hooked.

Not on DVD, but I went in cold to Dexter when the first two seasons were on Showtime on demand, watched them both over the course of about two weeks. Likewise for the first season of True Blood on HBO on demand.

I went into *Firefly *almost cold. The only bit I ever saw on broadcast was a single scene in which River decided to improve Book’s Bible by literally cutting out passages that were self-contradictory or unscientific; I saw him come into the room and watched till he said, “You don’t fix faith. Faith fixes you.” The line annoyed me, so I stopped watching. My mistake.

The Wire for me. Lots of my friends loved it and so I gave it a try. I was sucked in almost immediately. Why? The acting, the storylines, and the subject matter are all compelling? My favorite thing though is Michael K Williams as Omar. How can you not love Omar?

What do you mean by “cold”? If it means “never saw an episode until you got the DVD, but you did read a review/get a recommendation” then I can count 99% of the series I’ve watched in the past 10 years. I don’t watch anything live - I always get things on DVD (or, more recently, streaming from the Internet), after I read about them and decide it sounds good enough to check out.

I do this lots with BBC shows and Netflix. The latest one was* Luther*.

I think that this is what I meant by cold: reading reviews, but not seeing any outings. I saw parts of outings of Hawaii Five-O before I got the first release of it, but since then, I’ve gotten the first 8 of the releases (2/3 of the series), and also the final one (which was okay, but not as good as the others). I just today have read reviews on #1 of House, and I might actually end up taking a chance on it. I’ve been risk-averse to most of today’s series because of worries that said series might have been objectionable in one way or another (sex, violence, etc.) or that the releases might have been deficient in some way (packaging, A/V, etc.).

I ordered the first disc of Battlestar Galactica’s first season from Netflix solely because of Dwight talking about it on The Office. Talk about going into a series cold-we started to wonder if the disc had been mislabeled or something like that. We enjoyed it enough to watch more of it, including the miniseries so we could get a proper intro to it.

Angel, Buffy, Firefly (in that order). The first episode I saw was the one in Angel where they drive Angel’s car through the portal in the time/space continuum to get to Pylea; I was watching over my daughter’s shoulder and it was such a bizarre combination of 1960’s TV sci-fi and things I could not follow at all that I had to keep watching it to figure out what was going on.

By Firefly I was a Joss groupie entire. I also think it is the best he’s ever done, so yeah, brown coat all the way.


Somehow, I avoided pretty much everything about this show until about 2004. My wife and I got the chance to get the entire series on DVD for $40 total. I took a gamble that we’d like it and bought it.

Loved it.

Firefly (in case no one has mentioned it yet).

Deadwood picked up the first season at a 1/2 price sale. Went back the next day and bought seasons 2-4.

Red Dwarf had never seen any episodes but had read one of the books when it first started. Borrowed season 1 off a friend & never looked back (until season 6).

I don’t have any of the pay cable stations so I don’t see series like Deadwood, The Sopranos, or Weeds until they come out on DVD.

Depends on what you call “cold.” I was aware of Community’s popularity, and a couple of the stars in it, but didn’t know anything about it, not even it’s premise. I bought the DVD of season 1 on the buzz that it was suitably nerdy (“Inspector Spacetime? What the heck?”). Fell in love with it almost instantly, probably the Jack Black episode was the one that turned me into a rabid fan, or whenever it was that “Troy and Abed In The Morning” began, and I was finished with season 2 within a week later.

Moonlighting…flawed in many ways yet fun and funny to watch and unlike anything ever on TV.

Firefly, Freaks and Geeks - as others have already mentioned.

Dexter, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, for series still in production.