One answer, as usual, is that I’m a lazy bastard – but the other is that I just don’t find it that exciting. All eight series, vanilla release, in one box? Think: my initial reaction to Just The Shows, x100. Oh, sure, the artwork is gorgeous, with the black cover and red foil logo I can imagine being hugely striking – possibly more striking than any other DVD cover I own. And the inside graphics look great. But as much as I’m a packaging freak, I can’t bring myself to buy the release just for that.
So, what about the casual viewers? The thing is, they’ve already had their release – the two Just The Shows volumes. Now, certainly, I’d rather own this than Just The Shows, if only for the convenience of having one box, but… y’know, Just The Shows is already out there! (A release that, in the end, I did come round to – it served an audience.)
The answer, of course, lies in big letters on the cover – the word “anniversary”. This is clearly intended for people who don’t own any of the current DVDs, but have seen Dwarf is coming back, and want to catch up. Which is great, of course – and with the new visitors to this site, and the masses of coverage on the net (albeit mainly repeating what’s already been announced with “great!” or “not great!” attached to the end), there’s clearly renewed interest in the show. But with the Dwarf DVDs being some of the best selling BBC comedy DVDs ever, how many of these people don’t already own the episodes in some form? I don’t have an answer to that – I’m just putting the question out there.
(Incidentally, anyone who thinks this has been released purely to screw the fans into buying the episodes one more time should remember that Dwarf fandom really isn’t in good shape at the moment. There aren’t enough people who would buy a DVD purely for collectors reasons to justify such a release. It was the same with Just The Shows, and it’s the same now.)
In the end, though, I’m left cold. Selling the episodes once? Great. Selling the episodes twice? Fine. Selling the episodes three times? Blah. The market supports what the market supports, of course, and this is clearly being targeted at a different audience than the previous two releases – but I can’t help but wish that 2|entertain had found something different to release instead. Something that hasn’t already been released. New people to the franchise already have a choice of two different releases that are already out there, on shop shelves, RIGHT NOW. Do they really need a third?
November 10th is the date, people. Buy it… or don’t.