So I'm contemplating my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, and it's really hard to choose. But if I had to narrow it down to three, I'd probably go with these:
"Time Alone At Last": This is the one where a book lover finds himself joyously alone with books after a nuclear blast. Until ... I keep thinking he'd be able to remedy that situation by trolling through optometry shops -- if he could see well enough to find one, that is.
As Alicia Florrick, the wife of a Chicago prosecutor who was caught sucking the toes of prostitutes and forced to resign, Julianna Margulies masters the shell-shocked, distant gaze. Her eyes, in fact, fixate on a stray thread on his suit. But the fog lifts quickly and away from the podium, reality comes in the form of a smack in the face. She delivers the smack, and from that moment, you're on her side. Maybe it was a cheap trick, but it worked.
Viewers were also into grittier fare like realistic cop dramas ('Ironside,' 'Adam-12') and war action series ('12 O'Clock High,' 'Combat!'), though there was plenty of classic sitcom fun on the airwaves, too, from 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' to 'Get Smart' and 'My Three Sons.'
Take a look at our picks of the decade's best and let us know if we got it right. -- By Kimberly Potts
Is television taking up too much of your time? Do you find yourself spending night after night on the couch, spending hours of quality time clutching your remote in the hopes it will lead you down the primrose path of perfect entertainment? Have you wasted entire days of your life decreasing the firmness of the coils in your couch with your ever increasing ass planted firmly in front of the idiot box?
If so, maybe a more physical activity would perk up your droll and dull life. Why not put down that remote, throw that TV Guide in the trash compactor and pick up that video game controller for a few hours of TV-related interactive entertainment? Because exercise is for people with no creative thought for self-entertainment.
Here is just a sample of some TV show game spinoffs headed to an XBox, Playstation or coffee table near you.
I'm not sure what DiCaprio could do with the franchise that hasn't been done before. It's basically science fiction, fantasy and horror stories with a twist ending (M. Night Shyamalan owes his entire career to The Twilight Zone). Rumor has it that the new movie will be a set of interwoven stories based on classics from the original run of the show that were written by Rod Serling himself, albeit with more pretty computer-generated special effects. For some reason, I find that unoriginal and possibly downright scary.
Still, The Twilight Zone was groundbreaking for its time and a very flexible concept. If Star Trek could be successfully reinvented for the movies, why not this franchise?
It took audiences on an out of control thrill ride that zigged and zagged in directions that no one saw coming. The stories would lead viewers one way and just when they thought they had the ending figured out, it took them down an emotional corkscrew that could melt their brains. It was and still is digital acid, minus the waking up in a dumpster with a head of hair that smells like raw chicken.
But picture if you will, an even bigger twist lying inside this twisted wasteland of shock and discovery. A twist that smashes the fourth wall of television with the brute force of a charging rhino strapped to the front of a nuclear warhead and reveals the true identity of the man who pulls all the strings....in The Twilight Zone.
Being that we eat, breathe, drink, sleep, pee, poop and vomit television here at TV Squad, we like to gauge the pulse of the community once in awhile. It gives us a chance to see what others are thinking and doing as well as see what the new and continuing trends are. Plus, it fills up some white space on the site. So, the question I am tabling is this: What are you going to be watching this New Year's Eve and Day?
It's a strange time of year for television as viewing selections are all over the map. If you are a lover of college football this is your Christmas as the tube is filled with the antiquated Bowl games that constitute "playoffs." For science fiction fans there's the annual Twilight Zone marathon on Sci Fi Channel. Those who can barely move from the couch for fear of talking on the porcelain phone once again, there's plenty of inane marathons to provide ambiance while you try to sleep it off.
Of all the television shows he mentioned, though, there was one that was the most influential. "You can't have the '60s without The Twilight Zone. It is a mind opening experience for a generation," said Matt. "It was not just science fiction, it dealt with social issues. It's filled with the texture of real life. Just the idea of having a show every week where you don't know who is going to be in it and what it's going to be about, to have this acceptance of the fact that we don't know everything about the world. That in itself was something."
Going through The Twilight Zone episode guide, there are quite a few shows in which you can see where Mad Men could find inspiration. Here's four that reminded me of Don and Betty and Pete and Sterling Cooper:
Recently, for TV Week, I interviewed Matt about the Emmy nominations. Here are some other thoughts he shared with me about Mad Men:
TVS: What's the show all about to you?
Matt Weiner: A lot of the episodes are about "who am I." A lot of the shows are about what's embarrassing. A lot of it's about denial, about how we juggle our work and our private lives. A lot of the issues that came up in the early 1960s are really hitting us right now.
It's the story of Hedviga Golik, a woman who brewed herself a cup of tea, then settled down to watch some relaxing TV in her hometown of Zagreb, Croatia. Apparently, the show was either really boring or the tea was ultra-relaxing, because Golik died that same night.
Okay, all this sounds plausible, but not this next part: According to an Associated Press report, forensics experts believe Golik likely died in 1973. Her mummified body was just found, 35 years later.
Like the NBC fodder, the CBS offering is gangbusters: full-length episodes of classic Star Trek, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, MacGyver, Hawaii Five-O and Melrose Place. CBS plans to add more programs and clips in the coming months, including sports and other kinds of entertainment.
The list is numbered, but it doesn't necessarily mean these are ordered. Like I said -- we all have a different definition of what truly frightens us. Make sure you list your own in the comments. Click on a number below to get started.
#10 #9 #8 #7 #6 #5 #4 #3 #2 #1
It looks like the Sci Fi Channel is actually going to run science fiction and fantasy shows in the near future. Shocking! Especially since it has recently dabbled in airing such shows as Law & Order:SVU and, deep breath, Extreme Championship Wrestling (no, I will never get over it!).
The network has recently picked up the rights to Star Trek:Enterprise, the prequel series that took place 150 years before the original. Enterprise aired on UPN from 2001-2005 to mixed reviews. The deal for Enterprise, which will premiere in the fall on the Sci Fi Channel, also included an extension of the network's contract for the original The Twilight Zone episodes.
The deal also includes rights to the Stephen King miniseries The Stand and The Langoliers, as well as a number of science fiction and supernatural shows that never completed their initial network runs. These include Threshold, Wolf Lake, Haunted, and Jake 2.0.
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