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.....