TV-Lover Gifts Abound: 'Mad Men' Opus to Roku to Slanke | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Holiday Gift Guide 2016

TV-Lover Gifts Abound: 'Mad Men' Opus to Roku to Slanke

A holiday guide to gifts that TV addicts can wear, read or use to make the viewing experience better

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Have your pick at gifts for the TV lovers in your life.

    The TV lovers in your life deserve holiday gifts that recognize their passion. 

    There's lots of ways to achieve that, with creative goods that lets fans flaunt their series allegiances or products new and old that adds to the ease and pleasure of TV viewing. 

    Former 'Bachelor' Star Jailed After Deadly Iowa Crash

    [NATL] Former 'Bachelor' Star Jailed After Deadly Iowa Crash

    Former 'Bachelor' Chris Soules was arrested and jailed after authorities accused him of fleeing from the scene of a fatal traffic accident. A tracter driver was killed after a pickup truck slammed into his tracter from behind in Buchanan County, Iowa. 

    (Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017)

    Another solid choice: TV-related books that provide good reason to make time for reading even in the "platinum age" of superb television, as one of the authors has labeled it. 

    Here's a list of some appealing picks to consider, with prices as found online. We're leaving the bargain hunting and naughty or nice decision-making up to you. 

    THE GOODS 

    — Cyberthriller "Mr. Robot" has spawned fun merchandise, official and otherwise. For true devotees, consider a black-and-gold-toned bar necklace inscribed "Mrs. Robot" (under $8) or a print of an original drawing merging the faces of stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater for $19.20 (both at etsy.com/market/mr_robot). 

    Mohamad Izzuddin Suhaimi/Drake University

    — Practical gifts aren't at odds with the lavishly romantic "Outlander," if they're arm warmers ($19.95) inspired by the leading lady's or a plaid lambswool scarf ($54.95). On the obsessive side, fans of Caitriona Balfe's Claire and Sam Heughan's Jamie might covet their roughly 8-inch-high photo depictions ready for desktop display ($12.95 each). All available at outlanderstore.com. 

    — "I am doubtful of all you people" is among the catchphrases from ABC's sitcom "black-ish" imprinted on T-shirts, mugs, totes and more. Besides that quote from whiz kid Diane, there's Dre's buoyant, "When I say cup, you say cake" featured on similarly varied stuff (http://www.cafepress.com/+blackishtv+gifts, prices vary).

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    THE BOOKS 

    Tony Bennett Honors Legendary Singer Ella Fitzgerald

    [NATL] Tony Bennett Honors Legendary Singer Ella Fitzgerald's 100th Birthday

    One singer paid tribute to another at Rockefeller Center on Tuesday as Tony Bennett honored legendary Ella Fitzgerald on what would have been her 100th birthday.  

    (Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017)

    — For the discerning viewer, "The Platinum Age of Television" ($32.50, Doubleday) by veteran critic David Bianculli will score a bullseye. He lays out his theory of how TV evolved to its current rarified form in engagingly written, well-organized detail. There are sections devoted to genres including animation, Westerns and medical shows (for that, the dots are connected starting at "Dr. Kildare" and ending with "Grey's Anatomy"). Other chapters profile such vaunted figures as Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks and Norman Lear. 

    __ "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" ($30, National Geographic) is a companion book to National Geographic Channel's hybrid docu-drama series "Mars" about an imagined colonization of the planet. Journalist Leonard David's book explores the science behind such a mission and the challenges that await the first settlers. There's a generous selection of photographs taken on Mars and in space, along with maps and commentary from planetary scientists. 

    __ "Mad Men" is gone but far from forgotten by admirers, who likely would treasure this two-volume, 1,048-page set detailing the drama's creation and artistry ($200, Taschen). Volume one uses stills and script excerpts to chronicle its seven seasons. The second volume includes interviews with series creator Matthew Weiner, star Jon Hamm, the show's writers, costume designer Janie Bryant and others, along with set photos and what's intriguingly described as "production ephemera." 

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    'Tonight Show': Ramen Challenge With Salma Hayek

    [NATL] 'Tonight Show': Ramen Challenge With Salma Hayek

    Salma Hayek and Jimmy race to be the first to finish three four-foot-long ramen noodles and three shots of sake, while the loser has to lead an invisible marching band out of the studio.

    (Published Friday, April 21, 2017)

    THE COMFORT ZONE 

    — Multiple remotes are a TV watcher's bane. Help control the controls with universal versions, such as the Logitech Harmony Companion (around $150), which can handle nearly all electronics in all rooms of a home, including TVs, gaming consoles and streaming systems. For a major splurge, consider the new Savant Remote + Host, with a cool design and touch screen, at $500. The RCA Universal Remote (about $9) is a thrifty choice. 

    — Introduce your favorite Luddites to a good streaming device and their lives will never be the same, with access to services including Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. The Chromecast (about $35) gets the job done and so does the Amazon Fire TV Stick ($40), which has added Alexa Voice Remote. The Roku Streaming Stick (about $50) is handy for travelers. 

    — Until everything is voice- or robot-operated, we have to rely on our hands to navigate channels and snack. Enter low-tech solutions to the problem: the Slanket (theslanket.com), Snuggie (mysnuggiestore.com ) or other versions of a blanket with sleeves (priced at about $15 and up). It may provoke snickers when unwrapped but could be a sleeper hit. No user guide required; recliner not included.