Thursday, December 17, 2009

Second Thoughts…

As the title suggests, I'm having some second thoughts. It concerns a commitment I made a few months ago. I made this commitment with the best of intentions, with a strong and fervent desire to see it through. The thing is, I didn't think it would be this hard. Truth be told, I'm having a helluva time sticking to my guns. I'm seriously considering throwing in the towel and calling it a day.

What the hell am I talking about, you ask?

As The Twilight Zone's 50th anniversary approached, I made the rather ambitious decision to put myself on an "anniversary celebration schedule," in which I would watch all 156 episodes on their respective anniversaries. I would only watch one episode per week, perfectly mimicking the original broadcast schedule (including repeats), for five years. I actually avoided the series entirely for well over a year in anticipation of this undertaking, leaving my glorious Definitive Edition DVD sets to gather dust on the shelf. October 2nd, the glorious 50th anniversary of the series' debut on CBS, couldn't come fast enough and, once it did, I was in heaven… and have continued to be, for half an hour each week, for the past 11 weeks.

Until now. You see, there's no episode to celebrate this week. On 12/18/1959, the show was pre-empted by "Iran: Brittle Ally" with Edward R. Murrow (the show was pre-empted a number of times throughout its run… the next one happened on 4/22/1960).

Perhaps it's no coincidence that I'm questioning my commitment to this viewing schedule in the same week that there's no episode to watch. What's the problem, you (impatiently) ask? Why, I'm Zone-dependent, an anxiety-ridden addict, and this one-episode-per-week thing is leaving me seriously Zone-deprived. I crave more. I need more. The thought of not seeing "Shadow Play" for a year and a half just kills me. Worse, "Death Ship" is over THREE YEARS away!

What to do? Well, perhaps I can have the best of both worlds. I could still watch each episode on its 50th anniversary, but I could also give myself permission to watch as many other episodes as I want from week to week. But... wouldn't that dilute the experience? As I stated in an earlier entry, I committed to this schedule for the express purpose of experiencing the show just as it was originally presented, and hopefully gaining new insight into the show as a result. At first, I enjoyed the resultant anticipation, excitedly counting down the days until the next episode… but lately it's been more frustrating than anything else. Chalk it up to my immediate-gratification-oriented generation, or perhaps my individual lack of patience; either way, the dearth of Zone in my life is starting to drive me crazy. Those beautiful DVD sets just sit there, crying out for attention, and I must turn a perpetually deaf ear to their pleas. And yet, to cave in and give up only 11 weeks in…. well, that would make me pretty weak, wouldn't it?

*Sigh* I dunno. What to do, what to do?

Perhaps a compromise is in order here. Perhaps I could "gift" myself a free episode whenever there's a hole in the schedule (like this week, for example). And since it's almost Christmas, this would allow me to watch "The Night of the Meek," which I usually watch every holiday season (along with A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, etc) but was planning to skip because of this so-called "anniversary celebration schedule."

Funny… it's feeling less like a celebration and more like a form of masochism. The Twilight Zone is by far my favorite TV series of all time (and frankly, I love it even more than my favorite movie of all time, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo), and maybe this experiment, or endeavor, or whatever the hell it is… well, maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all. All this self-denial can't be good for the soul. Bottom line --- if I'm not enjoying it, then there's something seriously wrong.

Hence… second thoughts.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Yes, you do what you want. When i watched season 2 for the first time a couple months ago, i saw 1 episode each day, and was happy with that.