On the first day of my Christmas gift guide,
My true love of TV DVDs
Is what I want to share with thee.

So hark your heralds and deck your halls later, people. We've got more box sets than all those maids a'milkling and drummers drummin' combined to cover this month. And nothing makes the season brighter than a shiny pile of TV shows, no matter who's on your gift list.

For your sci-fi friend
Star Trek: The Next Generation Holy Starship! The complete series in one Borg-tacular cube may be too much for even the most geeeked-out Trekker. 49 discs, 176 episodes, Picard doing all sorts of "Make it so." It's stunning. And quite powerful, lemme tell you. Having never watched the show back when it was on because, you know, I was out doing messed up stuff to ruin my life, the phenomenon escaped me. Well, no more! I now get what the big whoo hoo is about with this one and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Not that I'm booking a trip to one of those conventions in my near future, but I'm not judging anyone who is.

For your sassy, fast-talking gal pals
Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series For seven seasons (some great, some eh), Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were the zippy, quippy and uber-cutesy Stars Hollow mom-daughter team to beat. Just like pizza and some sex, even when they were bad, they were still pretty damn good. And trust me, there were some lean hours over the Girls' run (if you think I'm blaspheming here, ask Ausiello what he really thinks of the finale's Rory-Logan split). Overall, though, this set- 42 discs bearing 153 quip-filled episodes, all bundled up in a faux doll carrier- is a GG fan's dream come true. And the Complete Guide to Gilmore-isms included in the set proves that the series was, in fact, loaded with more great lines than should be legal on network TV.

For your slutty, fast-dancing boy pals
Queer As Folk: The Complete Series Oh, roll your eyes somewhere else, prudes. This Showtime groundbreaker is the perfect antidote to the myth that gays lose their mojo the older they get. Because not only does the storytelling improve exponentially over the five seasons, so do the performances. Even Hal Sparks, who I could swear, spends the first 22 episodes with a perpetual Charlie Brown frown, had me rooting for his everyhomo Michael Novotny by the time the Pittsburgh posse signed off. That 90% of the cast shows up (guess who skipped?) for the bonus-feature reunion chat is a testament to the family that was built by show no other network was brave enough to tickle, i mean, tackle. Just be warned that the skin is on display at every turn, twist, bump and grind, and that Gale Harold's bitter pounce-toy Brian Kinney never ever lightens up. So don't expect him to get all warm and fuzzy. That dude doesn't even do hot and hairy, mmmkay? Oh, and yeah, the package is delicious. All white box, sleek lines, minimal imagery. In the words of Sharon Gless' tacky PFLAG mom Debbie, it's @%*!ing gorgeous! (See also the British original. The accents are tough, but the cast rocks.)

For your buddy with the best taste in crime dramas
The Wire BEST. SHOW. ON. TV! Seriously, this is not something to joke about, guys. Dense, complicated and completely cliché-free, this salty, sophisticated look at Baltimore's mean streets and messed-up politics could not be better. Each of the four seasons available on DVD now (the fifth and final year debuts on HBO in January) are mini epics that can both stand on their own and fit into an even greater whole. If you know anyone who gets their kicks from labyrinthine storytelling, plots that don't get wrapped up in 55 minutes and earthy, unflinching portrayals that reflect what's really going on out there, these titles are so totally what they're gonna want under their tree.


OK, that should keep your shopping list tight for now. So get out there, grab 'em up and wrap 'em up. It's the season of giving, after all!

Next week: More knock-out stocking stuffers. Until then, don't hog the remote and check out my girl Rhoda's Survivor: China blog!