You are about to enter another recap series. A series not of anime or ponies, but of network television at the start of the twenty-first century. A journey into the early roles of well-known actors today. Next stop, something super cheesy and firmly a product of its time! You are about to enter…
Don’t know what this is? Well it’s something I haven’t seen in a REALLY long time and yet has still left an impression on me. I figure it was time to share the joy (or pain depending on how it holds up) that this show has brought me! But first, we could use a little history lesson.
Portrait of a man who’s amazing hair and clipped speaking pattern somehow changed the world
Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone ran from 1959 to 1964 and is still one of the most important and ingeniously clever television shows of all time. Before Serling got his big break on that series, he was already a legendary writer in television; having been nominated for four Emmys and winning three within a four year period. Still, the idea of a television network investing in a science fiction series was neigh unheard of, and even with Serling’s massive clout it still took some doing before the series made it to television. The show found its audience but was never a huge hit for the network and was cancelled after five seasons. The impact of that show is STILL felt to this very day, and has influenced everyone from Gene Roddenberry, Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick; hell, ANYONE who makes science fiction television and movies owes something to this show and the legacy it left behind. That’s not the show I’m going to recap though.
Witness if you will, a reboot that no one was really asking for
The Twilight Zone was revived in the eighties twice (a movie and a television series) to somewhat mixed results; both of which I’ve never seen and should probably get to at some point. The series was revived once more in 2002 with Forest Whitaker as the host, and THAT’S what we’re here to take an episode by episode look at. I remember catching this series once or twice very late at night and marveling at it; always hoping to find it again at some point. Luckily enough, I eventually found the box set for the entire series for a measly twenty bucks and swiftly devoured it. It’s been AT LEAST ten years since I saw any of it and my memories are very hazy overall, which means it will be… interesting to see how it holds up. So out of all the shows I obsessed over in my younger days, why this one for a recap series? Two reasons; the first is that this series (like the original coincidentally) had a CRAZY cast of then nobodies who became big names much later, so it’s gonna be amazing to see these actors in their earliest days; like watching Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers to see a very awkward Paul Rudd beat the shit out of Michael Myers with a lead pipe, or The Attic Expeditions to see what Seth Green was up to when Family Guy was still in its initial run. Second, it was made at a pretty interesting time in entertainment. The post millennium and Post 9/11 entertainment landscape, while still containing some genuinely good works, is usually marked by… not-genuinely good works. Seriously, this was the era of Nickleback, the Star Wars Prequels, reality television, and the live action Witchblade series.
The new Millennium didn’t really change the world for the better (January of 2000 was just like December of 1999), and then 9/11 brought that reality back even further, so watching a series that’s whole existence is predicated on being about morality and ethics being produced in the Bush era is gonna be a fascinating time capsule to say the least. Also, before anyone starts thinking this is gonna be a SERIOUS recap series, they got Korn front man Jonathan Davis of all people to do a cover of the iconic Twilight Zone theme. Trust me, this shit is gonna be hilarious. I don’t have a definite schedule for how often I can put these out, but the first one will be up in the next couple of days so keep an eye out for this rabbit hole I’m about to plunge myself into that leads right to… THE TWILIGHT ZONE!
The Twilight Zone (1959) is owned by CBS Television Distribution
The Twilight Zone (2002) is owned by Warner Bros Television
Witchblade (2001) is owned by Warner Bros Television