Playboy After Dark
Take a ride up the elevator and a trip back in time to party at the Rumpus Room with Hugh, the playmates, and hip guests including Lenny Bruce, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joe Cocker, and LeRoy Neiman. The booze was flowin' and the cigarettes were smokin' during this late-night variety/talk show/dance party that was on the cutting edge at the time, and still seems fresh and a little subversive today. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore, folks... and that's a damn shame. Please keep 'em coming, Hef! (Definitely skip the insufferable interview "bonus feature," though...)
 Cecil Taylor: All The Notes
The iconoclastic avant-garde pianist really chews up the screen in this meandering yet engrossing documentary film. However you feel about Taylor's galvanizing music, he's a fascinating and defiantly eccentric character to follow around for a while, and the filmmaker clearly knows he's hit paydirt with this guy. Cecil sings, Cecil dances, Cecil drinks, Cecil swears, and Cecil even plays a little piano now and then. "If they say boo, I'll give them something to REALLY boo about!" Nothing to boo about here, though.
 Star Trek: The Animated Series
Boldly go where the cast is mostly the same as it was in the Original Series, the sound effects and music sound vaguely familiar (but the opening theme song seems upside-down and backwards), and Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty look like botoxed, barrel-chested two-dimensional versions of themselves. Yes, ST:TAS, the red-headed step-child of the Star Trek franchise, has finally arrived on DVD! It may not be official Trek "canon," and the choppy animation is more Scooby-Doo than Spirited Away — but it's still way more fun to watch than The Next Generation or any of the other recent spin-offs. Hey, if it looks like Trek and it sounds like Trek...
 Police Squad!: The Complete Series
"Yes, I know..."
How many times can that be funny? Plenty, apparently. There are just as many rapid-fire sight gags, groaner puns, and deadpan jokes packed into each of the six half-hour Police Squad! episodes as you'd find in any of the (more dated) feature-length Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker movies. Ahead of its time in more ways than one, if this criminally short-lived series were shown on HBO or BBC today it would be hailed as a satirical comic masterpiece.
 Homicide: Life On The Street [Complete Series Megaset]
Sweet baby Jesus! Thirty-five DVDs, 122 episodes, plenty of juicy bonus features... it's all seven seasons of Homicide for less than the price of two, all packaged in a super-cool faux filing cabinet. This is one of the most critically acclaimed TV series of all time, and for plenty of good reasons. Warning: You will never want to watch another episode of CSI again. (You can thank me later.)