Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Best Buy: Valencia, and Sony's Bullcrap

Two nights ago, Dad, Meridith and I went to Best Buy in Valencia to look at other Acer computer monitors and compare it to the new one we got to replace a Dell monitor that had been with us for a few years and was dying, based on the greens looking yellow.

Tonight, we went back with Mom for her to look at the monitors and see if we could live with the one we have. There's been a lot of debate over the past week about it, and learning that square monitors are no longer made, only widescreen ones.

Passing OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware, which is exclusively Californian) and heading to the Best Buy parking lot, we saw tents already set up for Black Friday. This is Occupy Best Buy: Valencia. They're waiting for the deals. They're certifiable. It's much colder now at night than in past weeks and they're going to brave that for a cheaply priced TV? I know it may be simplistic to consider it like this, but exactly why is the government deeming our country to be an economic shitpile? What's this then?

Two nights ago, I had looked at all the DVDs and dug into the $4.99 DVD bin, thinking about getting The Wackness and Elegy, both with Ben Kingsley, because I hadn't seen them and Ben Kingsley is one of my favorite actors. I held those DVDs and The Notebook (which was being sold for $3.99, and I was thinking about it because I like Rachel McAdams, and Sam Shepard, one of my heroes, is also in it), considering it, and then didn't need them. I'll see them some other time.

Then I spotted the complete series set of Married with Children. $44.99 for 261 episodes on 32 discs. A pretty good price. I weighed it, but decided not to get it because I've spent a good deal on books as it is, and it would be nice to let my savings account grow a little again.

Dad went into Best Buy tonight with the Sunday ad, the section with monitors covered in pen markings with Acer model numbers and other information. But he forgot the front pages, which supposedly had more monitors listed, and Meridith and I went to get another copy at the front of the store. Keep in mind that the last day this ad was valid was today, tonight for me.

Meridith found the monitors for Dad in the ad, and while she was flipping, I spotted the DVD section. She handed it to me and my heart started racing a bit: The Married with Children set I saw the other night was actually on sale for $29.99, and this was the last night for it. $29.99 for 32 discs? Yes! The chance to have my favorite episode, "Movie Show" from the 7th season, on DVD along with the Christmas episodes, the pilot, and, of course, "No Ma'am!"? Oh god yes yes yes!!!

However, I remembered how Sony had packaged complete series sets of Norman Lear shows such as Sanford and Son. The DVDs were stacked one on top of the other. After picking up the Married with Children set, I jiggled it a bit, and it sounded like it hadn't been stacked that way. Where was the room in what looked like a smaller set? Meridith thought the DVDs might be stored in thinpack cases. I asked an employee if they knew anything about how this might be packaged inside, and they didn't know. But I wasn't going to miss out on this. I wanted this badly.

We got home about 20 minutes ago, I opened the set, and I'm pissed. What is with Sony's thoroughly shitty way of packaging these complete series sets? 32 discs are stacked on top of each other in two sections. To get to season 4, for example, you have to take out DVD after DVD and place them carefully on a surface that won't scratch them. And to do this also to put that particular DVD back? Screw this!

I'm not going to return the set. Otherwise, each season set is $9.99 at Best Buy (for now) and it would cost me far more that way than this. I intend to get a storage binder for this set, to not have to deal with this every time and to make sure they're well-protected. This is one of my favorite shows and I want to have these DVDs for a long time to come. But what does Sony find so wrong with charging just a bit more to properly package these sets? Warner Bros. does a fine job with its sets, such as The West Wing and Gilmore Girls sets, and what about the refrigerator packaging that was done for the Seinfeld set? This deserved the same consideration.