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"The Twilight Zone" returns to TV (take 3) this time on UPN (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by TNGTony, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. TNGTony

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    I was excited to see that The Twilight Zone would return for the third time to the TV screens this Fall. Last night, Forest Whitaker took us in to the same old dimension of sight, sound and mind that Rod took us to in the 60s. Unfortunately, the stories were taken from ideas developed WELL before that!

    Looks like UPN is following its parent company's lead in the previous revival in the 80s by making a one hour show out of several stories. Last night there were two stories. "Evergreen" was the first and another (missed the title) dealing with Death taking the day off was the second.

    Evergreen was predictable from the moment you saw Forest Whitaker introduce the segment a la Rod Serling (sans cigarette). The story was older than the hills but the window dressing was changed to make it more relevant. I still enjoyed it. But I also enjoy watching reruns of the original Twilight Zone on Sci-Fi.

    The second story was also VERY old but updated. Essentially Death "quits" his job and refuses to take anyone with him. Death is played by Jason Alexander (of Sienfeld fame) which could explain why I didn't like this episode. Once again the first time the hot-shot doctor reached for asperin, I knew he was already dead if it weren't for Death refusing to take anyone. The scene of the people screaming in agony totally burned to a crisp was to say the least disturbing and totally unnecessary. But shock value is what sells. The point that death is sometimes preferable to existance on this earth could have been made in many other ways and much more convinsing.

    Anyway, I give the premier a C-. Hopefully it will get better or they may hire writers with their own ideas.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  2. Steve Mehs

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    I missed the premier, but I have timers set for next weeks show. I also have timers set for Sci-fi for the orginal series. SO may great episodes, really cool show!
     
  3. gcutler

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    And that is the problem with these Anthology shows. Serling wrote many of the episodes and picked the writers of those he didn't write. That is pretty heavy-duty quality control. I bet this show is run by a bunch of Network Suits and the quality of shows will be so widely varied that the average will be "Adequate".
     
  4. Oct 2, 2002 #4 of 17
    DS0816

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    When it comes to UPN's new version of The Twilight Zone, I'm wanting to see what was supposed to be the Pilot. It's directed by Jonathan Frakes (the actor-turned-director from Star Trek: The Next Generation; he's married to General Hospital legend Genie Francis), and it stars Jeremy Piven (the remarkable character actor of The Larry Sanders Show, Ellen, and several movies playing the best friend to his real-life best friend John Cusack) as a, I believe, a lineman who gets electrocuted to death, and is either revived or manages somehow to take on some sort of lifeforce after this horrific accident. I wonder when this episode will air. (Hopefully, really soon. That's because I was not impressed by the "Death" sequence that starred Seinfeld sidekick Jason Alexander and former GH actor Tyler Christopher.)

    :shrug:
     
  5. Oct 2, 2002 #5 of 17
    TNGTony

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    Well, This past twosome was pretty fair. The second story I had pegged from 10 seconds into the episode...The car Didn't stop! Duh... but I got the Bus all wrong. :)

    The mandatory "Hitler" episode was not as predicable, but again you knew the outcome.

    Again, these episodes lacked the flair the original series had. I don't know, but having see all of the original episodes, the revival, Amazing Stories, Night Gallery, original and revival Outer Limits, Perversions of Science, Creepshow and all other such sci-fi anthology series out there, I feel like I've "seen it all". Am I getting jaded or does the new, new Twilight Zone just lack something?

    See ya
    Tony
     
  6. Oct 3, 2002 #6 of 17
    EvanS

    EvanS Legend/Supporter

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    TNGTony - I feel much the same way you do.
    As far as your question I believe it is a little of both. Although i still find the new TZ entertaining it does not grip me like the old ones.
     
  7. Oct 3, 2002 #7 of 17
    gcutler

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    I was thinking about these scene, Death does not exclude a coma, I'd assume that most of the people who did not die would be in a vegatative state as the hovered just near to death.
     
  8. Oct 3, 2002 #8 of 17
    Randy_B

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    So far all the stories have been predictable within the first few minutes. To be fair, this is a tough genre to do, we have all been exposed to these type of stories for decades now.

    Piers Anthony did this sort of death tale much better in the book "On a Pale Horse" (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1). With a better twist! The whole series is very good.
     
  9. Oct 3, 2002 #9 of 17
    Steve Mehs

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    Finally was able to record the new TZ last night, probably will watch it tomorrow. Even though the ideas may not be orginal from what I read the new TZ features more action sequences then the orginal. I can't compare it to the 80s series since I never seen an 80s episode before.
     
  10. TNGTony

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    Steve,

    This is part of the problem. Action is not what TZ is supposed to be about. The story...the suspense...the misdirection is what TZ is supposed to be about. The TZ is a way to explore important issues in a venue that can do it without directly stating it. The only episode I've seen that came close to that was the second one from last night. Moral of the story: Live your life...don't wait to regret not living it. Eventhough I knew the chick was dead within one second of the car stopping short, the final scene turned my expectations on its head. I liked the episode, but as I said, it lacked that special spark.

    BTW, does anyone else think that Forest Whitacker needs to lighten up a little bit? He does a lousy Rod Serling. :)

    See ya
    Tony
     
  11. Steve Mehs

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    Correct. TZ is a way to explore the human mind. But what I think the writers are trying to do is change with the times and add in some action suspense. I'm a huge action buff, so I'll go for it. Don't get me wrong I love the original series, just got into it a few months ago, but haven't seen one episode I didn't like yet. Personal favs include Monsters Due on Maple Street, The Fugitive, Eye of the Beholder, Willoughby, What You Need, Mr. Denton On Doomsday and I cant remember the title, but it was an hour long episode about wax figures of murders. All of those are on the top of my list, but I liked everyone I've seen so far.

    One question though, why do some of them look like there movies? Were they using different cameras or something. Take for instants the episode Twenty-Two, which is currently on my 501 hd.
     
  12. TNGTony

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    ???

    I know that some of the early episodes (rarely seen on TV) were actually kinnescopes of live shows. But most were done with one film camera (film style) editing.

    See ya
    Tony
     
  13. gcutler

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    I think there are other avenues for that, TZ has usually had less phyiscal action.

    The Episode where the Nazi commander returns to Auschwitz and runs into one of the former prisoners (later remembers that he killed the prisoner) and is sentenced to Insanity is pretty much a 2 man play. You don't get much wilder "Mind BLowing" endings like that. But The only real action is the crazy man running around at the end. I just find that if the episode has alot of action then there isn't alot of deep thought. Not because it can't happen, but you just don't usually get a mixture. Some Arnold Schwarzenagger movies will have a mixture (total recall, it is really a dream or 6th Day, not sure he was the clone until later in movie...) But you tend not to find both genres available in same movie/episode.

    Since you usually can't have both, I'd rather have my Mind f'ed with by the episode's storyline that watch some car chase.
     
  14. David_Levin

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    Wow, you all liked that Lady Get on the Bus episode.

    While I didn't expect the ending, I also thought it made no sense. Couldn't figure out how getting on the bus would allow her to wake up with a new life (and the same name). That new life didn't necessarily seem that great - Perhaps she's better off not getting on the bus. And, the old people on the bus - did they wake up with new 'old people' lives?
     
  15. gcutler

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    I remember a good 1980's TZ episode, where a "Past Lives Hypnotist" is talking about how it would be great if everyone could remember their past lives. She is transported to a parallel earth or another planet where everyone remembers their past lives 100%. So they are born with grudges 1000s of years old. And those who do not have great lives just sit around waiting to die because they remember their better old lives and figure "next time around it will be better". So they use her skills to make people forget their past lives and they can go foward and make the best of what they have (no 1000 year old grudges or previous memories to make the jealous)
     
  16. TNGTony

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    David,

    The Bus episode is a metaphor. Getting on the bus is akin to taking a chance on something. The idea was that she took no chances during her real life. This only became evident during the last few minutes of the play. She needed to take a chance to live a happy "normal" life. Had she gotten on the bus she would have been willing to take the risk of living her life. But since she wasn't willing to do that, she chose the certainty of death and the regret of thing not done. The last line in the show was "I should have gotten on the bus." Regret.

    The moral of the story: take a chance and live your life with no regrets. Overall a decent episode. IMHO, the best one aired so far. (not saying much)

    See ya
    Tony
     
  17. Steve Mehs

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    Finally after a few months, I watched all the episodes that have been piling up on my hard drive. I must say I really did like them all. The Lineman had to be one of the best. But man o man, Sensuous Cindy :eek: (nuff said ;)) Only one I didn't really care for was the one with Usher as a cop protecting a hooker. It was okay, but nothing great. Oh yeah, the one with the world coming to the end, was great. Anyone know if Speedy, the guy in the wheelchair, was the guy who played James a few seasons ago on NYPD Blue? He look familiar, but there was something about the voice that didn't match.

    Like I said before the original series was the best, but this new series is great being more in with the times.
     

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