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Beyond the Lone Islands

Monday, 25 January 2010

Collector's Madness

Are you a Collector of anything? I mean, are you really possessed by that Collecting Mania that makes you want "the complete set" of whatever-it-may-be?

So far, I have not thought of myself as one. I guess I have some collector's instincts, but in my own opinion they were never really all that strong. I do have a lot of books, and quite a few CD's and DVD's. With books, if there is a series where the individual books connect to each other with an ongoing plot (and if I like them), I do of course like to have them all. However, most of my books are paperbacks, or bought on sale; I'm not really a collector of valuable First Editions or The Complete Works Of.

In later years, DVD boxes of old TV series have become very popular. My brother does have quite a nice collection, and he is more of a proper Collector than I am - which I benefit from, since I get to borrow them, or get copies! And when he does buy a DVD series, he usually wants the whole set - seasons one through whatever.

My own collection is smaller, and more random. When a true Collector looks at my collection, he may approve of my owning a number of first seasons of various series; because a first season can be seen as a beginning to be followed by more. What the Collector finds much harder to understand, is why someone would have just season 4 out of 9 of  Seinfeld, or seasons 4-6 of M*A*S*H (out of 11). When a Collector sees a lonely season 4 out of a much higher number, something within him is deeply disturbed. Eyebrows go up, forehead gets wrinkled; something is not quite right in the world...

Until just recently, I owned only one Complete Series of that Many-Seasons kind. And even that collection is not quite right from a Collector's point of view, because I have seasons 3 and 4 recorded from TV (with one episode missing), and then bought the rest (1,2,4,5,6,7). The series? Gilmore Girls. My absolute favourite American 21st century series (2000-2007), starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. (The dialogue is marvellous, which to me means I can watch it over and over and pick up new things every time. And funny without ha-ha studio laughter.)

Last week, however, I must have got a stroke of collector's madness.

Looking in on one of the websites from where I sometimes order things, there happened to be a sale. As a result,I can no longer brag about being completely free of collector's syndrome, and hold up my seasons 4-6 of M*A*S*H as evidence; because today I received a package containing not only seasons 1-3, but also seasons 7-11.(There will always, however, be some evidence left that I did not buy the whole series at the same time, because while my old seasons 4-6 came in the old-fashioned thick kind of covers, seasons 1-3 and 7-11 arrived in the slim kind of covers...)

If I wasn't insane before, I probably will be after watching them all in one swoop. Do I really want 11 seasons of dirt-coloured Army Hospital humour??? Well, that remains to be seen...


rae said...

Great post! It got me thinking about our movie collection:

There's a DVD "bargin bin" at the local Wal-Mart, where they toss all the DVDs that are phasing out of inventory. The bin is a mix of recent releases and forgotten "classics."

EVERY TIME we go to WalMart my husband has to talk me down from buying armfuls. It turns out I have a terrible memory and will buy multiple copies of the same movie (over time) if left to my own devices.

DawnTreader said...

I know what you mean. They have those bargin bins at my supermarket too... Since I have no husband, I have to try to check myself! I have not yet come home with something I already have - but been very close to! LOL

Pan's Island said...

I'm a terrible collector - it drives me batty having incomplete collections. I too have the complete Gilmore Girls Series, all the extended versions of Lord of the Rings, and a very of other books and DVD series. Beyond this, I also collect bookmarks, coins - whatever strikes my fancy. And I think you're right - there is something comforting about have a "complete" something. When so much of our lives can be in pieces it's nice to have a whole something - even if it's just a DVD set.
On a related subject can you watch a current TV season out of order? Can you miss an episode and still keep watching?

DawnTreader said...

Glad to see you, Pan! Hm, I guess you have a point there, my sudden need for the complete series of MASH might well have to do with too much else in life being in chaos lately! At least now I have these guys in my control...

It depends on the kind of series if I find it worth watching even if I miss an episode or two. Familiar soap operas and sitcoms I quite easily drop in and out of. A mini-thriller where I feel I've lost track of what is going on and who's who, that I usually give up.

Series I really don't want to miss, I usually record. (That does not mean I save everything I record.)


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