Sunday, December 30, 2012

SyFy New Year’s Marathon 2012

It’s that time again. This time around SyFy is airing a whopping 45 hours’ worth of classic Twilight Zone (half an hour more than last year!). Here’s the schedule, color-coded for your convenience (all times are Eastern).

Season 1 = blue (28)

Season 2 = red (18)

Season 3 = green (21)

Season 4 = N/A

Season 5 = purple (23)

Dec. 31, 2012

08:00 am: “The Fever”
08:30 am: “Perchance to Dream”
09:00 am: “One for the Angels”

09:30 am: “The Prime Mover”
10:00 am: “Death’s-Head Revisited”
10:30 am: “What You Need”
11:00 am: “The Jeopardy Room”
11:30 am: “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine”
12:00 pm: “Long Live Walter Jameson”

12:30 pm: “A Piano in the House”
01:00 pm: “What’s in the Box”
01:30 pm: “Black Leather Jackets”

02:00 pm: “A Nice Place to Visit”
02:30 pm: “The 7th is Made up of Phantoms”
03:00 pm: “King Nine Will Not Return”
03:30 pm: “Mr. Denton on Doomsday”
04:00 pm: “The Shelter”
04:30 pm: “Night of the Meek”
05:00 pm: “It’s a Good Life”
05:30 pm: “Probe 7, Over and Out”
06:00 pm: “A Kind of Stopwatch”

06:30 pm: “Little Girl Lost”
07:00 pm: “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?”
07:30 pm: “Eye of the Beholder”
08:00 pm: “The Invaders”

08:30 pm: “Where is Everybody?”
09:00 pm: “The Hitch-Hiker”
09:30 pm: “To Serve Man”
10:00 pm: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”
10:30 pm: “Living Doll”
11:00pm: “The Masks”

11:30 pm: “I Sing the Body Electric”

Jan. 1, 2013

12:00 am: “The Midnight Sun”
12:30 am: “Stopover in a Quiet Town”
01:00 am: “Long Distance Call”
01:30 am: “The Old Man in the Cave”
02:00 am: “The After Hours”
02:30 am: “Mr. Bevis”

03:00 am: “Twenty Two”
03:30 am: “The Grave”
04:00 am: “Night Call”
04:30 am: “Judgment Night”
05:00 am: “Nightmare as a Child”
05:30 am: “The Four of Us Are Dying”
06:00 am: “The Silence”
06:30 am: “I Shot an Arrow into the Air”
07:00 am: “In Praise of Pip”
07:30 am: “Uncle Simon”
08:00 am: “Queen of the Nile”

08:30 am: “A World of His Own”
09:00 am: “Mr. Garrity and the Graves”
09:30 am: “A Thing About Machines”
10:00 am: “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank”
10:30 am: “Hocus-Pocus and Frisby”

11:00 am: “A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain”
11:30 am: “The Arrival”
12:00 pm: “Escape Clause”
12:30 pm: “And When the Sky Was Opened”
01:00 pm: “The Hunt”
01:30 pm: “People Are Alike All Over”
02:00 pm: “Caesar and Me”
02:30 pm: “The Odyssey of Flight 33″
03:00 pm: “A Penny for Your Thoughts”
03:30 pm: “Third from the Sun”
04:00 pm: “The Little People”
04:30 pm: “Nick of Time”
05:00 pm: “Number 12 Looks Just Like You”
05:30 pm: “A Hundred Yards Over the Rim”
06:00 pm: “A Most Unusual Camera”
06:30 pm: “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”
07:00 pm: “A Stop at Willoughby”
07:30 pm: “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”
08:00 pm: “The Howling Man”
08:30 pm: “Time Enough at Last”
09:00 pm: “The Bewitchin’ Pool”
09:30 pm: “Kick the Can”
10:00 pm: “The Obsolete Man”
10:30 pm: “The Dummy”
11:00 pm: “Dead Man’s Shoes”
11:30 pm: “A Game of Pool”

Jan. 2, 2013

12:00 am: “The Rip Van Winkle Caper”
12:30 am: “I Am the Night — Color Me Black”
01:00 am: “Walking Distance”
01:30 am: “Ring-a-Ding Girl”
02:00 am: “Mr. Dingle, the Strong”
02:30 am: “The Lonely”
03:00 am: “Two”
03:30 am: “The Brain Center at Whipple’s”
04:00 am: “The Last Flight”
04:30 am: “The Purple Testament”


Oh look, they’re showing “The Midnight Sun” at midnight again… cute.

Like last year, the eighteen hour-long episodes from season 4 aren’t represented at all, which is a goddamned shame, given that January 3rd marks the 50th anniversary of season 4’s premiere!  Way to go, idiots.

SyFy has actually assembled (or, more likely, thrown together blindfolded) a fairly equal sampling from the four seasons (all half-hour episodes); however, their choices are somewhat baffling.  They’ve included offensive crap like “Mr. Bevis” and “Mr. Dingle, the Strong” while leaving out classics like “Shadow Play” and “Mirror Image.”  Dumb, dumb, dumb. 

I’m sure my tone belies my true feelings: these marathons are largely bullshit.  I continue to report on them because… well… why exactly do I bother?  I never watch them, since I have the entire series on blu-ray, uncut and complete, in pristine high-definition (I also have high-def rips of all 156 episodes on my laptop; how else do you think I get my screen captures?).  I guess I feel obligated to pass on the information, and I guess it’s nice that SyFy does these marathons at all.  I guess if one person stumbles across this blog, sees the schedule and tunes in, and subsequently becomes a TZ fan for life, then it was worth it.*

*If you’re reading this and you've never seen The Twilight Zone, and your interest is sufficiently piqued to tune in and sample a few episodes, drop me a line in the comments section and let me know.  I’m still waiting for that rare opportunity to change somebody’s life….

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merch Spotlight: TZ 2013 Calendar

 I was at a local mall a few weeks ago, absently browsing the contents of a calendar kiosk, when I suddenly spied Rod Serling’s face staring out at me, iconic images swirling around his head.  A Twilight Zone calendar!  How did I not know about this? Naturally I grabbed it and immediately paid for it, since encountering anything TZ in the wild is pretty much unheard of.

It sat on my desk until today, when I finally tore off the shrinkwrap and examined it.  Here, you look it over and I’ll meet you down below.

Well….. shit.  This thing is ugly.  I hate the design, I hate the colors… I even hate that obnoxious bold font.  I even hate the phrases they attach to each picture (in all fairness, most of them are snatches of actual Serling narration from the depicted episode, but the context is sometimes nebulous to the point of nonsensicality (I’m looking at you, February; “Alone in this assurance,” really?).  There’s an aggressive, breaking-through-a-brick-wall “in your face” aesthetic that I find utterly repellant.  It just looks loud.  This doesn’t even remotely evoke The Twilight Zone, despite the copious amounts of Twilight Zone iconography herein.  This is a post-modern, over-modulated, recklessly-remixed attempt to reimagine something understated and classy for today’s ADD-addled hyperactive sensibilities.  It’s just wrong, fucking wrong.

However, the actual calendar portion of each page is imminently cool.  It simulates a newspaper (The Daily Chronicle, as read by Burgess Meredith in “Time Enough at Last,” complete with monochromatic thumbs on either side), and it looks great.  I also like how the year is spelled out to create a faux headline.  It’s elegant and classy, but it’s completely drowned out by the screaming graphics overhead.

Ugh. What a schizophrenic mess.  It’s as if two teams worked completely independently of one another, and a blind person grafted the two parts together.  It’s just frustrating, and it makes me want to create my own calendar for 2014.

Hey, that might not be a bad idea.....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Xmas 2012

Santa was pretty good to me this year.... among the usual goodies (booze, blu-rays, and tasty treats), I received not one but TWO Twilight Zone-themed items.  And, as fate would have it, both of them use the graphic elements from the show's fourth season, which turns 50 next week.  It's like Santa (okay, my wife Teresa) can read my mind!

First up is a customized Twilight Zone iPhone cover from Accessory Geeks.  Teresa uploaded the graphics (which she presumably found on Google Images or something) and placed the order and viola!  A brand new protective case for my iPhone.  Looks really snazzy.  The design matches my Twilight Zone cigarette case (detailed here), speaking of which... well, read on...



 Left side.

Right side.

Next up is something that is undeniably and unequivocally awesome.  I casually remarked to Teresa a while back that, while I smoked pretty regularly back in college, I've never owned an actual Zippo lighter.  This woman clearly listens and remembers...

Oh my God, it's a Twilight Zone Zippo lighter!  This is actually a real item (as opposed to specially-customized), available right now on (get yours here).  It's an authentic Zippo, complete with a lifetime warranty, and the CBS copyright on the front implies that it's a licensed item.  Check it out...

The matte finish is quite nice.  Most of the graphic elements from the season 4 opening sequence are accounted for (the actual TZ logo, however, is the more recognizable one from seasons 1-3), and they're sharp as a tack (presumably silk-screened, but I dunno).  This thing is just plain beautiful.  My Twilight Zone cigarette case (again, spotlighted here) finally has a worthy companion (all I need is a pack of Chesterfields and I'm set).  I, um, don't usually smoke (we're talking one or two per month, tops), but when I do... well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm in The Zone.

Hope your Christmas was merry, y'all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

R.I.P. Jack Klugman

Jack Klugman

It's Christmas Eve, and I just found out ten minutes ago.  Klugman was my favorite Twilight Zone actor, appearing in four great episodes, all of which reside in my top 40 favorites ("A Passage for Trumpet," "A Game of Pool," "Death Ship" and "In Praise of Pip").  Needless to say, I'm devastated.  I always imagined I'd somehow meet him, shake his hand and thank him for a lifetime of brilliant work. It'll never happen now.  The closest I'll ever come are the two autographed items I bought on eBay:

Rest in peace, Jack.  And a Merry Christmas to each and all.