Put down those worthy histories of war and pestilence, put off the self-improvement tomes until next year, and pick up a DVD set from our collection to chill out during the coming vacation. We have many series for your viewing pleasure, be your interest in murder and mayhem, family sagas, comedy or drama.
For the month of December, we’ll be featuring weekly staff picks of particular genres. Sit back and enjoy with no guilt - no calories are involved with this kind of binging.
American Horror Story: Coven DVD AMERICAN-3 SET
“Coven” centers on the witches residing at Miss Robichaux's Academy – a school for witches. Since the time of Salem witches have been hunted and persecuted; Miss Robichaux’s is a place where the coven of young witches can develop their powers away from a distrustful world. Trouble is brewing in the coven; their absentee Supreme, played with aplomb by Jessica Lange, is more concerned with immortality than protecting the wards of the Academy.
Add to the mix a voodoo queen, a Minotaur, and a slave owner-I assure you that you won’t turn off the TV until the end.
“American Horror Story” is not for the faint of heart. Be warned that scenes of torture and gore appear on the screen-you may want to avert your eyes. There’s also a lot of humor in “Coven”, compared to the two other seasons.
One of my favorite scenes was when one of the witches, tied to the stake and about to be burned alive, was asked for her last words; she shouted at the top of her lungs, “Balenciaga!” (a designer of women’s apparel). You can watch this season even if you have not seen the previous two seasons (on ghosts and an insane asylum, respectively). Virtually the same actors, led by Jessica Lange, appear in each season.
Penny dreadful (DVD Penny-1 Set)
“Penny dreadful” is set in Victorian England. It features classic characters of the horror genre and builds its tale around them. The title refers to a cheap type of serialized fiction comic book (known as a penny dreadful) which was popular in 19th Century England. The storyline introduces characters from Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray”. It follows intrepid African explorer Malcom Murray as he searches for his lost daughter Mina. Along the way, he comes across a cast of characters- each with his own secret-that lends a supernatural aura to the series. Timothy Dalton (Do you remember him as James Bond?), Josh Harnett and Eva Green star.