2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Television

Television fans must love the holidays, because it’s the one time of year when studios unleash a host of massive box sets collecting their favorite dramas and comedies. This year is no different, with several critically acclaimed shows getting the complete series treatment. But while we like to devour an entire TV show just as quickly as the next person, sometimes a little self-discipline is required, which is why we’ve also included some less time-consuming (and more affordable) suggestions as well.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series

Is there anything more to be said about the late, great “Breaking Bad” at this point, other than the fact that it was one of the greatest TV series of all time and that, although it went out in a blaze of glory, it’s left a vacuum that’ll be damned hard to fill? Nah, that about sums it up. But if you’re a fan and you’re continuing to mourn, then Sony has put together a set that’s so awesome that it’s almost too much to handle… but not quite. The 16-disc set includes all 62 episodes and more than 55 hours of special features, including an all-new documentary which chronicles the making of the final season, and, of course, all of the bonus material from the previous season sets remains intact too. The whole thing comes packaged in a barrel, as well a series about a meth manufacturer should, along with a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, a collectible booklet featuring a letter from Vince Gilligan and a commemorative Breaking Bad challenge coin. We don’t actually know what a challenge coin is, but we do know that it was designed and created by Gilligan himself, and dammit, that’s good enough for us.

Dexter: The Complete Series

Loosely based on Jeff Linsday’s popular series of crime novels, “Dexter” is probably the biggest hit in Showtime’s history, which only makes its steady decline over the years that much more maddening. Though the last four seasons were incredibly uneven compared to the show’s first four years, “Dexter” continued to be appointment television every week thanks to Michael C. Hall’s brilliant, Golden Globe-winning performance as the titular antihero. It also featured an excellent rotating cast of guest stars that included John Lithgow, Keith Carradine, Jimmy Smits, Julia Stiles and Jonny Lee Miller, and at times, some of the best writing on TV. It’s actually quite amazing that a show with a serial killer as its protagonist was able to last as long as it did, and though it faltered a bit in the end, there are plenty of diehard “Dexter” fans that would kill to own this complete series set. Designed to look like the character’s iconic blood slide box (with every Blu-ray case featuring a blood drop on the bottom), the 25-disc set – which features all eight seasons and a bonus disc filled with over five hours of never-before-seen extras – is definitely one of the cooler collector’s items on the market.

Weeds: The Complete Collection

HBO has long been considered the undisputed leader of premium cable, but without shows like “Weeds” and “Dexter,” Showtime never would have become the worthy competitor that it is today. Though Jenji Kohan’s dark comedy series suffered a drop in quality during its later seasons, it delivered more than its share of subversively funny moments (as well as those of the WTF variety) over the course of its eight-year run. Constantly reinventing itself after Season Three’s game-changing finale, “Weeds” may not have always succeeded in the risks that it took with the storytelling, but it’s one of the few shows with the kind of punk-rock attitude to even consider taking such risks. And throughout its numerous highs and lows, the core cast never faltered, especially star Mary-Louise Parker, who made “Weeds” must-see TV for her crazy/sexy performance alone. For those that haven’t yet seen the series, or just never got around to picking up each season individually, now is the perfect time with this complete series set, which comes packaged in a nifty, translucent green box and features new bonus material like a cast roundtable, interviews with fan-favorite recurring characters and more.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Ron White Still Loves His Scotch, But Now He’s Talking Tequila, Too

RonWhiteALU1

Earlier this month, I had a chance to chat with comedian Ron White – you probably know him best from his work on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour - in conjunction with his latest round of tour dates featuring a night in my home town of Norfolk, Virginia. We chatted for quite some time…enough time, in fact, for me to pull together a piece for the Pilot (“Interview: Comedian Ron White Prefers His Shows Live“), an altogether different piece for AntennaFree.TV (“Pilot Error: Comedian Ron White Reflects on ‘Señor White’ and Takes Us Through ’12 Miles of Bad Road’“), and still have a bit more material left over.

Image ALT text goes here.

It’s not really “left over,” though, as I made a point of keeping this portion of the conversation for Bullz-Eye. I mean, come on: if Ron White talking about the tequila company he co-owns with his brother-in-law, fellow comedian Alex Reymundo, isn’t something that’s got “Bullz-Eye” written all over it, I don’t know what does. 

Once upon a time, White was quoted as saying, “There were years when I was a beer and tequila guy, then I got real fat. And then I found that you could actually go on a diet and drink scotch. Then I got hooked on scotch, and if you get hooked on scotch, then everything else just tastes wrong.” Apparently, he’s changed his tune a bit on tequila now that he’s selling the stuff. Then again, from the sound of it, this tequila probably tastes a hell of a lot better than the stuff he was swigging back then.

The topic of tequila came up somewhat offhandedly, when I asked White about his writing regimen. In the process of explaining that he writes most of his material on the road, getting input from the team of folks who travels with him, he began listing off the travelers by saying, “I’ll have an opening act, usually my brother-in-law, who’s also my partner in my tequila company. He and I own a company called Number Juan Tequila. Best tequila in the world.” He didn’t mention it again after that, but having thrown that tidbit into play, I decided to pick it up and run with it a few minutes later.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Car Review: 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4×4

jeep_patriot_1

With the onslaught of crossovers hitting the North American car market, Jeep has kept true to its SUV heritage, and the nimble 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4×4 is no different. For 2014, the Jeep Patriot boasts improved on-road performance with compliments of a new six-speed automatic transmission. With unmatched Jeep capability in all weather conditions and favorable fuel economy, we were anxious to spend a week behind the wheel of this Jeep.

EXTERIOR

Our test model looked serious in maximum steel metallic clear coat paint and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The overall body design is still all Jeep, and with the black side roof rails, halogen headlamps, fog lamps, deep tint sunscreen glass and power heated mirrors, this is one good looking SUV. The 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude model offers the standard features of the Sport model, as well as the following exterior standard features like illuminated keyless entry and body color exterior door handles.

INTERIOR

The cabin of the 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4×4 is straightforward and to the point with a no-frills feeling. In addition to the standard features, the 2014 Jeep Patriot offers an array of clever features consumers will appreciate whether commuting to work, exploring out-of-the-way places or driving in challenging weather conditions. A Uconnect Media Center with iPod interface, SiriusXM Radio, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link, power sunroof, a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers, articulating lift gate speakers, and fold-flat rear seats are some of the available features that make the 2014 Jeep Patriot the perfect compact SUV, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy any adventure.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Car Review: 2013 Buick Encore FWD Premium

buick_encore_1

Buick has taken a major step forward by entering the small luxury crossover market with the all-new 2013 Buick Encore. In the U.S., sales of compact crossovers are expected to grow more than 360,000 units by 2015 as buyers’ needs and priorities evolve. While many luxury brands offer similarly sized vehicles in other countries, Buick is one of the first to offer one to U.S. consumers. We spent a week driving the 2013 Buick Encore FWD Premium and now understand why this market is on a growth path.

EXTERIOR

The 2013 Buick Encore FWD Premium might be considerably smaller than the traditional Buick vehicle, but there is no mistaking Encore for anything other than a Buick. Encore’s sculpted and elegant styling identifies it as a contemporary Buick. Signature cues include a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels. Standard body-color door handles with chrome strips and a styled, stainless steel exhaust tip add to the premium look. Blue-accented halogen composite projector-beam headlamps and detailed tail lamps further enhance the Encore exterior, and 18-inch, five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard. Seven-spoke chromed aluminum wheels were on our test Encore and they really elevated the appearance. Our test model also boasted deep tinted glass, outside heated and power adjustable body color mirrors, chrome door handles and roof rack with side rails.

INTERIOR

My first reaction after entering the cabin of the 2013 Buick Encore FWD Premium was a bit of surprise at how much space was available for both the front and rear passengers. With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space with the rear seat folded, the Encore offers substantial cargo capacity along with its confident, higher driving position. Encore’s distinctive styling carries over to a flowing instrument panel that wraps naturally into the door panels. A prominent central instrument panel houses the seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display for the standard IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the GPS-enabled navigation system. An all-ebony or contemporary mix of dark and light tones distinguishes the cabin, which is accented with ice-blue ambient lighting, select use of bright chrome and wood grain trim.

Premium seats feature high-density foam for greater comfort on long drives. They are trimmed in either a contemporary cloth/leatherette or available premium leather. The 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders. We were impressed by the comfort seating and upscale feel of the leather seats.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Product Review: Evolution Man Shaving Cream and Face Wash

evolution

Is it a shaving cream? Is it a face wash? The new shaving cream and face wash from Evolution Man is literally both, combined into one.

In a natural progression based on a man’s need for clean skin and an effective shaving cream, Evolution Man was born. If you have to do both anyway, why not just combine them? This is the foundation that the brand was built on.

When I first applied the cream into my hand, I feared it may be overly gloppy. But the thickness allowed it to function as a facial scrub for cleaning, which in turn softened and opened my skin for shaving.

After my shave, my skin felt crisp and exfoliated, even beyond the normal feeling that I would typically experience after a shave. It was potentially the fastest shave I have ever completed. Not because speed is king, as it is in the NFL, but because there was no mess and my razor seemed to move with atypical ease.

Several hours post-shave, my skin retained a baby-like smoothness and felt tingly, like it was energized somehow. Even on areas I didn’t shave, like my forehead, the cleansing effect it had on my skin was noticeable.

All the oil my forehead had accumulated after a long two days of wrenching on my kitchen sink was removed effectively, beyond what even a cold, saturated wash cloth could accomplish. And it didn’t dry my skin out — it wasn’t that kind of tightness. Instead, it was the kind you get that leaves you feeling fresh with the confidence that you look good.

The orange scent of the product was a nice touch. The aroma of the essential oil left me feeling relaxed and happy. The cream is “derived from the peel of fresh oranges it work as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant super star.”

The product itself isn’t the only thing that has evolved; the packaging it came in also represents the next phase in men’s grooming products, as each tube is made with post-consumer recycled materials.

Is it a shaving cream? Is it a face wash? EvMan’s Shaving Cream and Face Wash is a high-end, highly effective grooming product that is pushing the limit of what we expect from our shaving and skin care experiences. Strike the “s” from ‘experiences”; they are now one in the same.

To order or to find more information, follow the link to www.evolution-man.com.

  

Related Posts