I smiled inwardly. Here was a man who had been plunged into the valley of the shadow, been tempted by a host of DVD boxed sets, resisted their grim ministrations, and come out the better for it. Perhaps, then, there is a value to these things, after all. Boxed sets of Rescue Meand Dextermight not actually be designed for entertainment but may instead be crucibles that test our souls with fire, and like escapees from the gulag we emerge from the inferno with our wills forged into steel. Some of us, however, will not survive the boxed-set era—and for those who succumb there is a small consolation in the fact that their coffins can easily be constructed from Seasons 1 through 11 of ER. And if they're extra-tall individuals, Season 12 will be out in January.
Correction, Dec. 1, 2009: This article originally misspelled Jodie Foster's name. (Return to the corrected sentence.)