Nowadays, it’s so easy to watch programs online, on your phone, on your iPad – pretty much anywhere that isn’t plonking yourself down on your sofa and watching TV. But Netflix is soooo 2016, and if you want to watch some of the best retro box sets, you need to give them the retro experience. So blow the dust off your DVD player, plug it into your TV and enjoy the retro entertainment. Also, retro box sets make the perfect gifts for those who say things like “I’ve never seen all of Friends.” Like what? What were you doing as a teenager?! Anyway… Without further ado, here are the retro box sets you need to buy and binge watch…(or make somebody else binge watch).
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links which means we receive a teeny bit of commission if you buy anything after clicking (it doesn’t cost you anything). We’re saving for the 10 box sets on here we don’t already have FYI.
Blackadder Remastered – The Ultimate Edition
Ahhh, Blackadder. The period British sitcom that had us laughing our heads off back in the day. The series ran for four seasons and starred everyone’s favorite British comedian, Rowan Atkinson (although you might know him as Mr.Bean). Each of these four series is set in different periods of history, so you can even try and convince yourself to binge watch it by telling yourself it’s educational…
Charmed: The Complete Series
Who didn’t love Charmed? It had everything you could possibly want from a TV show – there was magic, there were demons, there were warlocks, there were sisters and those sisters had powers. And let’s be honest, we always used to pretend we were magical. Throughout its eight seasons, the show acquired a huge cult following, and even though we’ve watched every episode about twenty times, we still want to watch it again.
Twin Peaks: The Definitive Collection
Since the return of Twin Peaks, it seems as though everyone has been getting aboard the kooky TP train. And what better way to enjoy the new series than to rewatch the previous 29 episodes?! Twin Peaks was the ultimate murder mystery series. Following the life of Dale Cooper, an F.B.I Agent, we watch as he tries to solve the murder of the well-loved Homecoming Queen. It’s tense, to say the least.
Only Fools and Horses – Complete Series 1-7
Only Fools and Horses was another British sitcom that we just couldn’t get enough of. The series was originally broadcast on the BBC, but soon made its way across the pond – and it’s no wonder why it proved so popular. It was absolutely hilarious! The seven seasons were full of wheeling and dealing, highs and lows and many attempts to get rich quick. “Rodney, you plonker!”
Looney Tunes Big Faces Box Set
Retro box sets aren’t just all about real-life people. Oh no, cartoons are just as binge-worthy, and we will watch them All. Day. Long. This Looney Tunes box set contains four DVDs of some of the best Looney Tunes episode, and stars some of our favorite characters ever. So take a Saturday morning off, get back into your pajamas, eat some ice cream and cookies, and watch some cartoons gosh darn it. You deserve it!
King of the Hill – Season 1-5
You have to love an animated sitcom. King of the Hill first came onto our screens in 1997 and soon became increasingly popular during its twelve-year run on Fox. The series follows the life of the Hill family from Arlen in Texas – and is one of the most realistic animated sitcoms to date – which makes it even more hilarious. Don’t just take our word for it…give it a go.
Frasier – The Complete Series
Okay, so if you haven’t watched Frasier before – 1. Where have you been your whole life?! And 2. you need to buy this box set, stat. It will definitely keep you busy, considering there’s eleven seasons worth of it. The show was originally created as a spin-off of the hit TV show, Cheers, but soon became popular in it’s own right, even though it carried on the story of the popular psychiatrist.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the ultimate ‘90s TV show – and you weren’t a ‘90s kid if you didn’t watch this TV show. It had everything you could possibly want from a supernatural drama – vampires, werewolves, vampire slayers, witches and everything magical that we all loved and obsessed over back in the day. And of course, you just have to watch the show that made Sarah Michelle Gellar a huge star…
Gilmore Girls – Complete Season 1 – 7
If you neeeed, you need a box set to watch, we will follow you to the Gilmore Girls box set. If you grew up in the ‘90s, the likelihood is that you’ve probably already watched Gilmore Girls at least 6592 times. But what’s the harm of buying it for yourself and watching it another 94598 times? Answer: No harm at all, it’s perfectly acceptable to do. Follow the life of Rory and Lorelai, and wishing you grew up in Stars Hollow…
M*A*S*H – The Martinis and Medicine Complete Collection
M*A*S*H the TV show was first developed from the 1970 movie (which was adapted from the 1968 novel). The comedy drama is a definite must-see if you haven’t already watched it, as it follows the life of doctors and support staff in a surgical hospital in South Korea during the Korean War. The eleven seasons are still regarded today as one of the highest-rated TV shows in American TV history. This is one of the all-time retro box sets for your collection (and makes a great gift for any M*A*S*H lover… which should be everyone imo).
The Simpsons: Complete Season 1
We all love the Simpsons – but there’s nothing like going back to when it all started, right? When the animation was a bit dodgier than it is now, and when the characters’ voices were weirdly deeper than they are now. The Simpsons are timeless, and watching Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie makes us happy, so we’re buying ten of these box sets. Just because.
Will & Grace Seasons 1-8 Complete Box Set
Will & Grace are the ultimate friend goals – and we’re so glad they’re back! Whenever we used to watch this show we would get major friend envy and wish we could hang out with Will, Grace and the clan. Alas, we just had to watch from a TV screen – but we still loved it. During it’s run from 1998 to 2006, the show received critical acclaim for being one of the most successful American shows with a LGBT character. Go, Will!
Ally McBeal: The Complete Collection
If you love crime-drama, you’ll love Ally McBeal. The show first appeared on our screens in 1997 and ran until 2002, so for quite some time! It follows Calista Flockhart as Ally McBeal, a young lawyer who goes about her daily life in a law firm, and lives with fellow lawyers. Obviously, there’s so much more to it than that…but we don’t want to give too much away.
Sex and the City: The Complete Collection
Who did you relate to the most? Carrie? Samantha? Charlotte? Or Miranda? Of course, we were Carrie. Naturally. Sex and the City first aired on our screens in 1998 and ran until 2004, and then made way for two spin-off movies (although the third was canceled, waaaah) – so you could say it was a pretty big deal. It’s become the kind of series that we all have to watch at some point in our lives as it’s full of femininity, men, relationships, shopping and so much more. If this retro box set isn’t in your collection then who even are you?
Keeping Up Appearances: The Essential Collection
Keeping Up Appearances first aired on the BBC in 1990 and lasted for five years, during which it ran for five seasons and 44 episodes. The British sitcom focused and followed the life of the snobbish and extremely eccentric character of Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bouquet though darling, not bucket) and her race to the top of the social ladder. Ideal for a few laughs and we’re willing to bet you have met a few Hyacinth’s in your time… Right?!
Dynasty – Complete Season 1-9
Dynasty was the ultimate ‘80s soap opera. The show follows the lives of the Carrington family from Denver, Colorado. Initially, when the first season aired, it wasn’t kindly received. But from the second season onward, the ratings went up, and it became hugely popular in America. You can definitely tell the difference between the seasons, so why not take a look for yourselves…
Angel: The Complete Series
If you get the Buffy the Vampire Slayer box set, you just have to get the Angel box set too. Because they just go together like vampires and vampire slayers. Basically, you can’t have one without the other. Angel was the spin-off from Buffy, and features (of course) everyone’s favorite Buffy hunk, Angel played by David Boreanaz. Swoon! It’s a definite must-see.
Quantum Leap: The Complete Series
Okay, so if you love science – you’ll love Quantum Leap. The series was first aired on NBC in 1989 and continued for five incredible seasons! The show follows the life of Dr.Sam Beckett, a physicist who travels through time and space to change the historical acts of other people to correct their mistakes. It was kinda like the American version of Doctor Who – but better. Seriously, you have to watch this!
The X-Files: Complete Seasons 1-9
We dare you to name a better duo than Mulder and Scully. We bet you can’t do it because they are the best! The X-Files became such a huge hit that they’ve even brought it back, because there was such a demand for their science fiction drama and paranormal cases. So you’ll need to get yourself up to speed before you watch the new series and this box set includes the movies too. Epiiiiic!
The Carry On Collection
Okay, so Carry On was amazing. Like, truly amazing. The series was first released in 1958 until 1992 and consisted of 31 mini movies, Christmas specials, and a full TV series. So this one will keep you busy. But it will also keep you laughing, so that’s okay. The best part of The Carry On Collection is that you’ll see some of your favorite British actors like Barbara Windsor, Sid James, and Peter Butterworth being all “oo-er missus” and generally hilarious.
The O.C: The Complete Series
The O.C was like your own high school life – but waaaaay more dramatic. So much happened to these kids! Nevertheless, as much as it was dramatic and intense, it became a staple of our ‘90s viewing, and we couldn’t help but re-watch the whole series after we’d seen it on TV. And now we want to watch it again. And again. And then maybe again for luck.
Full House: The Complete Series Collection
Full House proved so popular that they’ve now got a spin-off show on Netflix, Fuller House. But we don’t care about that – because nothing will be as good as the original. The original TV series was released in 1987 and ran for eight seasons. For us, there was nothing better than following the lives of the Tanner family and his adorable (most of the time) kids. A definite must-see, even if it’s just for the tiny Olsen twins.
Friends: The Complete Series
Could this be any funnier? Answer: no. Friends were the ultimate ‘90s TV, but sometimes watching the re-runs on Comedy Central in a completely illogical order just doesn’t float our boat. All we really want to do is sit in front of the TV in bed watching a season a day. That’s possible, right? Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Monica will get us through it… You could say, they’ll be there for me… (sorrynotsorry).
Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Full Journey
Okay, so is there anyone out there who doesn’t love Star Trek? Well, in our opinion, The Next Generation was the best. Of course, there are always going to be people who disagree, so if you don’t believe us then binge-watch this box set. Then watch all of the other Star Trek TV shows (although you might need some time for that). This will always come up on top, fact!
Columbo: The Complete 10 Season Collection
We all love a crime show – and Columbo is no different. The show ran from 1968 until 2003 and became one of the longest running shows ever – so it might take you awhile to get through these ones. But it will be so worth it to follow the life of a homicide detective (Columbo, ovs) within the Los Angeles Police Department.