‘Tis the peak of the season for couch potatoes everywhere. Some of the best TV-watching days are ahead of us, when ABCFamily even counts down to their 25 Days of Christmas countdown with riveting made-for-TV films like The Search for Santa Paws and Lifetime’s gems like Undercover Christmas. God you guys, I hope they find Santa Paws! Not to mention multiple networks airing the holiday movies we’re more proud to claim we watch on repeat: Elf, Home Alone 1 & 2, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Love Actually.
But what to get that special couch potato in your life? Here are a few gift ideas to encourage their addiction to TV, like a bad reality show promo. They’ll need it once Food Network stops airing Battlefield Cupcake Challenge Christmas War Top Next Baker Boss, or whatever it’s called.
1. An entire series on DVD…or at least the seasons that didn’t suck
This is the most obvious one for a couch potato because it allows them to watch their favorite TV show — whether it be cancelled or not — whenever they want! I mean, what other technology allows that? Oh, besides a DVR, on-demand TV services and the Internet. But you can’t wrap the Internet! So go old school and actually purchase a great (or not-so-great, but guilty pleasure) TV series on DVD as a gift. Best Buy, Amazon.com and stores like Newbury Comics have a wide selection of classic shows as well as brilliant-but-cancelled series to choose from.
2. Couch potato mobility with online streaming service
Let’s face it: couch potatos cheat on their TVs a lot nowadays with access to their favorite shows on their smartphones and computers. So a perfect gift that would allow them to discover a huge catalog of shows without having to buy them (or do an archaeology dig at an ancient Blockbuster location) is to subscribe them to an online streaming service. Despite Netflix screwing up, reverse-screwing up and apologizing for apologies this year, a Netflix Instant account at $7.99 a month is the best gift you can give right now with the news of their exclusive deal to stream new episodes of Arrested Development. But if your friend or family member gives away their Netflix password, just warn them, “Watch out for hop-ons. You’re gonna get some hop-ons.”
Hulu Plus is also another streaming option that gives you access to more shows and movies that work on multiple devices, like an iPad or hooked up to gaming consoles. Check out the benefits over regular Hulu here.
3. Bobbleheads, hoodies and mugs galore
Once you know the couch potato’s favorite shows, you can find merchandise relating to episode references and other relatively useless stuff (except to a couch potato) from the networks’ stores. If you can’t make it to the store location (most of which are in New York City or Los Angeles near the big studios), you can simply shop online. Choose anything from Bored to Death binoculars from the HBO Shop, a Parks and Recreation Swanson Pyramid of Greatness (hint to anyone looking for a gift to buy me) from the NBC Store, a Lost hoodie (if you feel you “have to go back!”) from the ABC Store or a Family Guy Evil Monkey iPhone case from the Fox Shop.
4. Put that useless information to use…trivia and board games!
Couch potatos aren’t losers. At least not in a game that involves knowing dialogue to episodes by heart. So make them feel like a winner by purchasing them a TV trivia and board game, such as Saturday Night Live: The Game, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia game, The Office Monopoly, Seinfeld Trivia Game, Cash Cab Trivia Game, CSI: The Board Game, Star Trek Scrabble, Scene It? Deluxe TV Edition and Trivial Pursuit: TV Edition
5. You’ve got cheesy blasters!
“You take a hot dog, stuff it with some jack cheese, fold it in a pizza…you’ve got cheesy blasters!” (cue Meatcat flying away on skateboard after kids thank him) If you’ve never seen this bit from NBC’s 30 Rock about this grotesquely delicious “food” option, then I suggest you purchase season 4, watch all the episodes in one sitting and worry about your couch potato friend’s present later. This is one of Liz Lemon’s terrible go-to snacks while she tries to keep her TV show afloat on 30 Rock. If you made these for the couch potato in your life, you’d probably be considered the best worst friend ever. Here’s the recipe, if you dare.