5 Boffo TV Boxes

These small-screen DVD collections will keep on giving long after the holiday season


The only thing messier than death, Alan Ball's drama taught us, is life. The story of the Fisher family, who ran a funeral parlor in Los Angeles, began as a trenchant, slightly preachy story about façades--how people put up false fronts, the way an undertaker paints makeup on a corpse. It grew into one of TV's best family dramas ever, embracing the Fishers in all their unruly contradictions: artistic, egocentric Claire; repressed, brave David; idealistic, obnoxious Nate; and straitlaced, adventure-seeking Ruth (above, from left, Lauren Ambrose, Michael C. Hall, Peter Krause and Frances Conroy). By the...

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