I did an article on For Your Consideration DVD mailers a few years ago, but I've never cooked up a followup because I've been assuming they don't make FYCs anymore. I was pleased to be proven wrong when I walked into the Goodwill Outlet Store (pre-pandemic) and sitting there, between someone's dirty underwear and a box of deactivated grenades, was a pile of fresh FYCs, issued out in 2019.

But you almost didn't get this article. When I carried my pile up to the register, I was greeted by an agitated-looking rotund man who said he was going to charge me $2.50 PER DISC, and not only that, he insisted he had to take every single one out of their sleeve to count them. Some of these boxes had elaborate packaging and I was not going to wait over ten minutes to be overcharged for discs he had smudged up with his fingerprints. What could I do? I promptly yanked everything back, waited five minutes, and then went to a different register, where a woman weighed the entire pile on a scale and flatly told me "Eleven bucks."

eBay photos of FYC sets are nice, but it's even better to hold one in your privileged hands, and even more so when it's a show you actually care about. A great piece of GLOW memorabilia!

I can think of few better compliments than getting called a "glitter-coated razor blade."

Season 3 of GLOW came out in 2019, but this set is for Season 2. Season 3 wasn't ready yet. I prefer 2 to 3 anyway.

And no, your eyes do not decieve you....it actually says that.

Can you make a DVD expire? No, you cannot. It's a toothless threat; the discs all work.

This was not the only Netflix FYC set I found that day; not by a long shot. Half the sets in the pile were from Netflix. They absolutely BOMBED Emmy voters' boxes in 2019. Nearly every Netflix series released within the last year had an FYC, including EVERY stand-up special, I kid you not. The only show that didn't have a set present -- and I have no idea why this is -- was Stranger Things.

I haven't seen this one, but I hear it's good. Name a buzzy show and there is probably only a 5% chance I have seen any of it, if that. There are simply too many of them to keep track of.

The packages range in production value from stylish to shoddy, as they did the last time we looked at them. This effort from ABC Studios was the fanciest I saw. It's heavy!

Ordinarily I would blur that code out, but it's worthless to you at this point.

Last time I mouthed off about the wasted potential of Runaways, somebody put forth the theory that Schwartz and Savage might not be the ones to blame....that the network might have prevented them from following the comic faithfully. It's plausible in this business, but there's no official confirmation.

Universal Television also produced a book, but it was...more like an actual book. The DVDs are at the end, you only get a pair of them, and not every show in the book is represented. The Good Place is not playable. But Abby's sure is.

By far the best set in the bunch was the one for Russian Doll. Check this out....

Assuming there ever is a retail DVD set for this series, I bet the packaging won't be nearly this clever.

In case you're curious, this is what one of the menus looks like. No real frills; just silent episode access.

You BET I considered this! I love Killing Eve. You ARE watching Season 3, aren't you?

How do you know no other TV show matters? Because Killing Eve is the only show in this stack to have its disc rest on a spindle instead of a scratch-inducing cardboard envelope.

I have no idea what this little pocket in the back is for. Did it hold something that fell out? A note from Villanelle?

A quick eBay search turned up no copies of the FYC set, but there was this promotional pin, which fits the shape and size of the pocket. What do you think?

As surprising as the Killing Eve FYC is, the real shock came when I put the disc in.

All these companies view the potential piracy issues of an FYC with varying degrees of trepidation. Netflix and Sony don't mark their shows with anything (though Netflix apparently believes a DVD can expire). The ABC Studios discs have an "FYC" bug in the right corner of their shows. But then there's the approach taken by BBC America.

"Paranoid" doesn't even begin to describe it.

The moment you put the DVD in, the above warning appears instantaneously.
If you click "ACCEPT," the normal menu then appears, but I had to know what would happen if I clicked "DECLINE."

"Uhh, are you....are you SURE you wanna do this? Because I mean, there's NO going back if you do."

Clicking "YES, I'M SURE" leads to Samara crawling out of the TV screen and devouring your soul. Actually it leads to a blank track, and your journey ends there.

Otherwise, you get the menu screen....but they're not done yet. After you select an episode, there is one more message to make certain you're absolutely clear regarding this:

Holy Chalupas.

This time, they were specific. If I watch this DVD, I have to agree to cut it in half. If I watch even a second, it means I have solemnly vowed to take a machete to it.

The two episodes on the disc have tiny "For Emmy Consideration Only" stamps on every second of footage. How do they expect to win any awards if they make the Emmy judges feel so bad about themselves?

The disc is now back in its case. It is, as of this writing, NOT cleaved into two halves, and I have no plans of doing so in the future. What do you plan to do about it? Ball's in your court, BBC.

This was the biggest curiosity of the bunch, right here.

For those who don't know, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was an interactive, Choose Your Own Adventure-style presentation, where you were prompted every so often to make a choice, changing the path of the story -- and taking advantage of the streaming format in the process. You can get this to work in the DVD format, but not without more effort than just dumping the show onto a disc. Would they do it?

They would....not. To actually watch the episode as intended, you had to go to a special website. They put a lot more effort into the packaging.

In some cases (more than one), these mailers were sent out AFTER the party responsible had already cancelled the show!

Oh man. Remember when you couldn't stop hearing about this show? It's fallen to a point where they released a new season and nobody even noticed. I don't think they even bothered to put this season on a proper DVD, so getting this FYC might be your only means of completing the collection. That's sad.

Sony Pictures Television registered at the low end of the "trying" scale with these small cheap envelopes, double-sided to promote two shows on one included disc. There were about ten envelopes that fit into a box with the SPT logo.

But no one got a worse deal than Fleabag, which wasn't even given a disc. Just this flimsy piece of paper, which might have been tucked into a set for another show.

Not only do I not know if there will be FYC mailers in 2020, I don't even know if there will be an Emmys in 2020. Tiger King may never get a set.
Maybe during the downtime, TV studios will reassess their costs and finally retire the FYC business. The fact that it's lasted THIS long in a digital world is a miracle. Could current world events tip things over? Is this really it? Am I holding the last ones?

Nah, that'd be stupid.