Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving, TZ-style

My wife's favorite television show of all time is Friends. A few years back, I bought her the entire 9 (or is it 10?) season complete deluxe fancy-schmancy DVD boxed set. Guess how many times she's cracked it open. ZERO. She'd simply rather watch the show on TV, where it airs several times a day in perpetual reruns, which frankly dumbfounds me. I haven't watched The Twilight Zone on TV in…. Christ, it must be twenty years or so now. I won't recount the history of the various formats upon which I've owned the series (you can find that here), but in any case, I haven't needed to or, more importantly, wanted to watch the show on TV. There are commercials. Lots and lots of commercials. Worse yet, the episodes are shortened, often by several minutes, to make room for said commercials. It's butchery! It's tantamount to the defacing of art, and I'll have none of it. If I'm browsing through the channel guide and I see that The Twilight Zone is on, I'll switch over to it, only for a second, to see how quickly I can name the episode (and yes, before you ask, I'm always right). I never leave it on. I'm not supporting syndication cuts, and I've never been tempted to.

It seems KTLA is doing their annual Thanksgiving Day Twilight Zone marathon tomorrow. I don't find the marathon itself very enticing (they're showing "Mr. Dingle, the Strong," for god's sake). But dear god, look at this promo video!

Hmmm.... Blogger compresses it pretty heavily. For a much higher quality version, go here.

Wow, that video is a thing of jaw-dropping beauty. I've watched it probably 30 times in the last few days. You know that ugly montage of clips created for the Columbia House VHS tapes, and (unfortunately) later used on the Definitive Edition DVDs? This thing has it beat by a mile. There are also several shorter, episode-specific promos (as of this writing, only one of them has been uploaded to You Tube ("Nick of Time," see it here)… hopefully they'll all get uploaded for those of us who don't get KTLA. The guy who created these clips (I know him only as "Goonie") is a genius. I fancy myself a bit of a video-montage magician, but there's no way in hell I can match this guy's artistry. Oh, and incidentally, the guy doing the Serling voice is the same guy who voiced the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride at Disneyland.

Here's the list of episodes KTLA is showing this year:

9:00 a.m.
- "Time Enough At Last
9:30 a.m. - "A Kind of Stopwatch"
10:00 a.m. - "A Penny For Your Thoughts"
10:30 a.m. - "Nick of Time"
11:00 a.m. - "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"
11:30 a.m. - "Mr. Dingle, The Strong"
12:00 p.m. - "The Little People"
12:30 p.m. - "The Odyssey of Flight 33"
1:00 p.m. - "In His Image"
2:00 p.m. - "The Mighty Casey"
2:30 p.m. - "I Sing The Body Electric"
3:00 p.m. - "Long Distance Call"
3:30 p.m. - "Little Girl Lost"
4:00 p.m. - "Living Doll"
4:30 p.m. - "The Dummy"
5:00 p.m. - "The Trade-Ins"
5:30 p.m. - "The Eye Of The Beholder"

Several of the offerings are thematic pairs. Both "Time Enough at Last" and "A Kind of Stopwatch" feature… well, watches. "A Penny for Your Thoughts" and "Nick of Time" both feature… well, pennies. "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" and "Mr. Dingle, the Strong" both feature… well, Martians. And then it gets arbitrary for a while, but then we're back to thematic pairs at the end. "Living Doll" and the "The Dummy" both feature… well, dolls. "The Trade-Ins" and "The Eye of the Beholder" both feature… well, attempted body modification. I wonder if all this thematic matching was intentional…

I've gotta admit, I'm not entirely thrilled with KTLA's choices. You've got nine hours. Don't waste your viewers' time with "A Kind of Stopwatch," "The Mighty Casey" and (horrors!) "Mr. Dingle, the Strong." Where's "The Obsolete Man," for god's sake? How about "Third from the Sun," or maybe "Death Ship"? I'd be a bit more forgiving if the marathon was longer, but sheesh. Some really questionable choices in there.

But---- oh well. I won't be watching it, unless my cable provider suddenly adds KTLA. And I'd really only be watching it for those cool Goonie promos.


Goonie said...

Why THANK you -- those comments were very kind. I agree with you in regards to some of the selections -- and yes, they were chosen in theme. I did not select all of them, and of the three that you called out, only one was mine. ;) "A Kind of Stopwatch". I didn't want to pick the most popular or highest rated -- those were the ones that air every single year. I was looking for a few of the more obscure in hopes that the younger crowd may catch something they've never seen.

For HD versions of a few more of the promos, you can check 'em out here. There are two versions of the :30 with different show clips, and two of the "Nick of Time" bumpers... didn't get as much of a chance to attack the other episodes. Perhaps NEXT year... when we play "The Obsolete Man", "Third From the Sun" and "Death Ship"!

Thanks again! BTW - The name is Erik Candiani.

Craig Beam said...

Erik --- the "B" version of the main promo is every bit as epic as the "A" version. And the second "Nick of Time" bumper (with the Star Trek reference) is brilliant.