Rocking their stockings

Gifted and talented ... Tina Fey in <em>30 Rock</em>.
Gifted and talented ... Tina Fey in 30 Rock.
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in <em>Annie Hall</em>.

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall.

There's this Aussie band I'm sure you know. They wear skivvies in primary colours and are huge with preschool kids, in the US as much as in Australia. Here are some samples of their lyrics:

''Tugboat Captain Lollipops, silly dinosaurs. This is just a list of things, now let's list some more.''

''Mummy kangaroo, mummy kangaroo, separate the races, mummy kangaroo.''

''Feelings, feeling, feelings say how I feel. Apples! You taste good. Trees! You give us wood. Spaghetti! You're my favourite food. A dog in sunglasses! You're a real cool dude. Police! I killed a man. Son! Your father's Dan. Wife! I went to a whore. Teacher! Put your penis away.''

Yes, you've got it, they're the Woggels, or some name like that. They were the subject of an episode of the US satirical series 30 Rock this year. It seems that Tina Fey, 30 Rock's creator and star, has taken a set against some Australian children's entertainers.

You're unlikely to have seen that vicious attack on an icon because Channel Seven played it at 11.30 on a Thursday night. The late hour was not to protect the reputation of the band but because Seven deems 30 Rock to be too clever and media savvy for prime time.

30 Rock Season 6, including the Woggels satire, is now out on DVD as a three-disc set and would make a perfect Christmas gift for any clever and media-savvy friends and relatives (CMSFRs). It's the first recommendation on recently released entertainments suitable for CMSFRs, or for you if Santa considers you a CMSFR.

No.2 is The Woody Allen Collection box set. For about $100 you get 10 discs with 20 movies, which looks like pretty good value for anyone captivated by Woody's recent renaissance (Midnight in Paris), or should we say rinascimento (To Rome with Love).

Be warned: some are from his lame period - which lasted for 30 years - such as Alice, Melinda and Melinda and Stardust Memories. But even the worst of Woody is worth studying for the way he times his gags and repeats his characters. And you do get some of his most influential work - Annie Hall, Bananas, Zelig and The Purple Rose of Cairo. You'll need to buy a different box set if you want his hilarious first effort, Take the Money and Run.

The Newsroom Season 1: This gift will need to be in the form of an IOU, since the DVD of the series just concluded on Foxtel is not out until February. In the card you will promise your CMSFR an analysis of what's wrong with the media, in the form of tales about the most ethical and idealistic bunch of journalists in the universe, interwoven with an occasionally hilarious soap opera about sexual tension between neurotic New Yorkers. Your CMSFRs will already be familiar with the writing of Aaron Sorkin via The West Wing and The Social Network. To tide them over until February, you could give them the two-disc set of The Social Network, which has a fascinating commentary by Sorkin, proving him to be as arrogant, intelligent and speedy as his most extreme characters.

The Way one-disc set: It's a film written and directed by Emilio Estevez, the non-crazy son of Martin Sheen. It's about a father who goes on a pilgrimage across Spain to honour the memory of his son (played by Estevez) and meets a bunch of weird fellow travellers. The Way is funny and thought-provoking about the reasons humans enjoy travel, and Sheen does a delightful commentary.

The Complete The Thick of It: A box set of six discs for about $70, including all three series of the British political satire, plus assorted specials and documentaries on how the actors improvise around the savage scripts of Armando Iannucci. From the mouth of the party communications director Malcolm Tucker (played by Peter Capaldi), you'll hear an assortment of insights our politicians and their advisers wish they could have said: ''He's about as much use as a marzipan dildo''; ''I'd love to stop and chat to you but I'd rather have type 2 diabetes''; ''He needs satnav to find his own nipples''; ''The story is everywhere, spreading faster than a rent boy's cheeks''.

That bunch should tide your CMSFRs over until season three of Homeland starts next year.

For more detail on what intelligent people will give each other for Christmas, see

This story Rocking their stockings first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.