Friday, March 22, 2013

ride the ghost of that ship

I agree with Michael. Judgement Night is the first episode of in last several I've really enjoyed. The narration in the beginning is strong writing and sets the tone for the rest of the story, which is played out slowly and builds the tension right through until the final scene. There are clues as to Lancer's identity but I felt uncertain of who he really was even when he see him giving orders from the submarine. 

The last few minutes embark on a bit of moralizing. But it doesn't feel condescending. Instead, it suggests that the consequences of a person's actions (in war, but probably in life too) are something that they will have to live with forever. 

I'm excited about this project again. I have to leave for work soon but I'll probably catch up with a few more episodes tonight after work while everyone else is watching Spring Breakers. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3 weeks is too long...

What happened to all our enthusiastic steam!! An explanation would be the crappy episodes sucked out our will to post about TZ, but 2 out of the previous 3 i thought were REALLY good. And yet, still none of us were inspired to post in a timely fashion. Let's get with it peeps! Myself included!

Let's start with "Judgement Night". FINALLY a GOOD episode!! This is the first episode in a WHILE that didn't feel rushed. They had an idea, presented their characters, created confusion and turmoil, explained its origin and sealed with gloom and doom. Tight and to the point. Effective. Really enjoyed this one. I was satisfied with the contents, but almost wish an hour long version of this existed so we can have a little back story on the passengers. Otherwise, Sterling and Co. brought their A game

Side note--- while I'm typing this I'm listening to the latest Third Man Records Vault Package Release. For those unfamiliar Jack White's label 'Third Man Records' has a quarterly Vault membership that gets you limited Vinyl releases to Vault Club members. Includes 1 LP, 1 45 and a special gift of some sort every quarter year. Packaging is top notch and the vinyls are GREAT quality. His whole label really has some good stuff... back to the TZ.

'And When the Sky was Opened' I thought again utilized it's time frame superbly. With this episode we see the theme of space travel/flight returning. This time though our story remains grounded here on earth. We don't know what the pilots were doing, where they were going, or their mission  We only know that for a brief minute the astronauts disappeared and then reappeared. Popular movie scenarios would suggest some sort of extra-terrestrial involvement providing alien abduction/possession or impregnation. We never get to learn what happens in that time frame, but we don't need to. All we need to know is regardless of WHAT happened these astronauts were NOT supposed to make it back, yet somehow they did and are now being selectively ERASED from existence. Creepy dark stuff. Loved it.

.....'What You Need'.. What i needed was this episode to end as soon as it began. The worst part is i don;t even know WHY i didn't like it. Something about the characters just didn't mesh with me right off the bat. I just didn't care. How many sweet old men are gonna get taken advantage of in this series anyway? MEH.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tired Zone

Mike's right again, of course. The last few episodes have been okay at best (but I have a real soft spot for Time Enough). And Mike nails what the primary problem is: everything seems rushed. Serling & Co. come up with a great idea, then rush through to the next big idea, never spending the time to unpack the idea at length. This is, so far, the TZ's biggest weakness. It's ironic, too, because the show's short running time is often one of its best features, packing an enormous emotional or intellectual wallop into a tight little 20-odd-minutes package. At its best, everything is focused and distilled into some primal articulation of half-thought fears and dreams.

"Time Enough at Last" is a deservedly classic TZ episode, if only because it is here in this episode that we realize how cruel a place the TZ can be. So far, in the series, we've seen a pilot go crazy in a simulation, a salesman make the pitch of his life, a town drunk find redemption, an aging actress discover a happier if not healthier place for herself to retire to, a trip to the past and lessons learned, the dangers of dealing with the devil, and leaving life on an asteroid after having you robot girlfriend shot. There have been twists and upsets and all sorts of strangeness, but never before have Rod and crew been this low-down disgustingly mean and sadistic. I wish I could remember how I felt watching this as a child. I wish I could have been there to see this broadcast for the first time in 1959. Because it's a nasty sucker punch to the gut, especially for us bibliophiles.

"Perchance to Dream" is a silly episode and the twist at the end is silly. BUT, there is that Maya the Cat Lady dance. So, there's that.