Thursday, September 27, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Anthology

September is now almost done....shaking my head in freakish WTF?? I am not much for this week because of pain and, this past Tuesday, we had to travel to Toronto to the Allevio Pain Clinic for my hour of infusion where I get super stoned. That’s not the bad thing although it takes me all day to get back to norm and I get a headache and sleep most of the day. the crap is I have to take a vacation day, we have to leave by 6am to get to the clinic in time for 9. The worst is the QEW, 427 and the 401 because people are nuts in driving. The QEW is so busy never mind the 401 and that is if there are no accidents which can make traffic a mega nightmare. Canadians are crazy on the roads with weaving, cutting you off, driving way too’s insane. Ok..that’s my rant now on to tv and the ole Anthology series. I almost chose one today that I love but I am saving it for October so I have 2 that, I believe, will be popular and one less so. You can find out if the 2 I pick will be popular by venturing to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what everyone has chosen. Here are my 3....

1. TWILIGHT ZONE-1959-1964

Rod Serling died too young at 50 probably due to all the cigs he smoked per day but, in his lifetime, he created some great tv and this is the one he is most known for. He often would write the episodes and, later, introduced them in his stiff-lipped, staccato voice. Many episodes have become famous, from the gremlin on the airplane that drives William Shatner nuts to the kid entering the 4th dimension. The music is very well known even though that particular musical piece only started on the second season. I bet many kids have watched a Simpsons’ episode and have no idea the show is parodying The Twilight Zone. To Serve Man is one creepy episode but I have my favourites and all are well acted that starred many actors from the past as well as many that would become famous like Robert Redford. Which episode(s) is your fav?

2. AMAZING STORIES-1985-1987

I am probably one of the few who watched this show that was created by and, often, directed by Steven Spielberg who, by the way, directed the initial episode of Night Gallery created by...Rod Serling. I would like to revisit these episodes because they were better than given credit for and, unfortunately, only lasted 2 seasons. The episodes were well written and, many famous people starred or directed episodes from Clint Eastwood to Martin Scorsese. Unfortunately, the executroids cancelled the show due to low ratings which was a shame.

3.  LAW & ORDER- 1990 TO 2010

I could have chosen nothing but the law and order shows from New York, Florida ( take those sunglasses off and say some quip Mr. Caruso) to Wainfleet...hahahaaa sorry, that’s where I grew up and had to give some snark. The basic premise starred the same 6 people-2 cops and their Captain and the DA, his assistant and their boss. The first half hour was all about apprehending the culprit and the 2nd half was how the prosecution would send them up the river. It took away all the soap opera stuff of most shows and mainly dealt with the crime and how the system worked. It is so popular that there are many version that were and still are out there. They usually do take from the headlines which will be fun to see what will be done with Bill, up the river, Cosby. I have to say, I always disliked that man and found his humbleness as fake as a 3 dollar bill. I only watched the first season of his 80’s show before I found it pretentious and, “look at me, how aww shucks I am” crap. When he would take his name off the Emmy’s list and would only accept the People’s Choice Award, I knew he was a smug a-hole who knew how to charm the people. Oops, I digress again. Ok, so these are my 3.which ones would you choose? Gosh, I am full of attitude today:)


  1. Ah, The Twilight Zone. Remember the episode where the guy gets his wish and all the people vanish and now he has time to read - and then he breaks his glasses?
    There was also Tales From the Darkside. And Tales From the Crypt!

  2. Hi Birgit.....just as crazy on the roads here in the uk!.....didn’t watch your first two choices but law and order was one of my favourite show...I watched them all and keep watching them when they do repeats....brilliant and I even like the new version for the people which we are just getting over here....hugs hope the pain is better xxxxx

  3. Hi, Birgit!

    I'm sorry to know you have congested highways and crazy motorists up there. I thought they were all down here in Florida. Maybe some of them are the very same "snowbirds" who visit us during the winter and make travel a nightmare.

    Now you're talkin' my language, dear friend! Fascinated by horror, science fiction and the supernatural, I was an enthusiastic regular viewer of The Twilight Zone throughout its first run.


    The episode that immediately comes to mind as a possible favorite is the one in which a group of doctors and nurses wearing surgical masks gather around a female patient whose entire face is wrapped in bandages. Seems they found the young woman with her face horribly disfigured and attempted to fix her with medical procedures. Now comes the unveiling to determine the results of their efforts. When the bandages are peeled off a collective gasp is heard. The hospital team has failed - no improvement! The camera pans to the patient's face and it turns out she is a beautiful woman (by our standards - think Marilyn Munster). The doctors and nurses remove their masks revealing hideous alien faces. Yessum, the girl is on another planet where beauty is judged completely differently. (Trump would not approve.)

    I don't even remember the Amazing Stories anthology series. I see the various episodes starred some of my favorite actors including Sid Caesar, Dom DeLuise, Harvey Keitel, Sam Waterston and John Lithgow.

    (Speaking of Sam Waterston)... Mrs. Shady watches a rerun of Law & Order every day of her life. It is one of her all time favorite series. I admired Jerry Orbach as Lennie Briscoe, Paul Sorvino as Sergeant Cerreta, Dennis Farina as Det. Joe Fontana and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Green. Martin is now in the main cast of the hit superhero series The Flash. Angie Harmon went on to star in the cop series Rizzoli & Isles which Mrs. S and I also enjoyed.

    I tend to agree with you about Cosby. I bought his early comedy record albums because everybody was raving about them, yet they didn't seem as funny to me as they were hyped-up to be. I enjoyed his role on I Spy but agree with you that he came across as smug, arrogant and condescending on his hit family sitcom.

    Thank you, dear friend BB, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. I have a feeling Twilight Zone will be popular today! I've seen episodes of that and Law and order, though I've never watched either show all the way through.

    I'm sorry about your pain. I hope it's better this week.

  5. Great picks!! LOVE The Twilight Zone! So many wonderful episodes so it's hard to pick a fav thought The Hitch-Hiker with Inger Stevens started with me the longest-I'm sure that had something to do with both my love of her and the irony of her early death blending with the episode's theme. Others I love-Nothing in the Dark with Redford and Gladys Cooper, The Invaders with Agnes Moorehead and The Ring-a-Ding Girl with Maggie McNamara among many more.

    I watched Amazing Stories off and on but not regularly but enjoyed the eps I saw.

    I leaned more toward Law & Order SVU but the original is something I usually watched. Though the cast changed often and there was an inconsistent player here and there by and large the performances were excellent and the stories taut.

    I like the anthology format and have watched many over the years. These are three of my favorites.

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1965)-The master of suspense turned his eye to the airwaves for a decade of thrills and chills in the 50’s. Ranging from dramatically ironic (Lamb to the Slaughter with Barbara Bel Geddes-one of the best of the series) to eerie (Forecast: Low Clouds and Coastal Fog with Inger Stevens) to humorous (Outlaw in Town with Ricardo Montalban and Constance Ford) the stories were reliably entertaining stacked with familiar faces and Hitchcock himself doing a droll introduction and wrap up on each episode. Fronted by Hitch’s silhouette and jaunty theme music this ran a half hour its first seven season then morphed into The Alfred Hitchcock Hour for the final three.

    Masterpiece Theater (1971-Present)-Beginning with The Forsyte Saga and hosted for its first 21 years by Alistair Cooke this anthology series presented some of the most acclaimed programs (The Six Wives of Henry the VIII, Elizabeth R, Upstairs/Downstairs, Prime Suspect and the original House of Cards among many others) ever shown on television. Rebranded in its 38th years as simply Masterpiece this is still going strong.

    Faerie Tale Theatre (1982-1987)-Conceived and produced by Shelly Duvall this anthology of live action fairy tales was star studded in almost every case and while the production values were sometimes wanting they had a charm to them and the opportunity to see the actors/actresses trying a little something different. While some stand above the rest (The Frog Prince with Robin Williams and Teri Garr, The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers-one of the darker tales with Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Frank Zappa & Sleeping Beauty with Christopher Reeve as Prince Charming and Bernadette Peters as the sleepy beauty are particular standouts) none are outright bad.

  6. One of my favourite episodes of Twilight Zine is Night Of The Meek, where a department store Santa Claus gets his wish that just for once, the meek really would inherit the earth, and uses his sack of what was rubbish to give Christmas gifts to the poor. That was remade very well for the new series, which I thought was excellent in general. Both series used classic SF short stories as the basis for episodes. The remade series had The Star(Arthur C Clarke), and some of Harlan Ellison’s work. One favourite of mine, apart from the remade Night Of The Meek, was about a poorly treated secretarywho finds herself in a world where everyone admires secretaries and gets a fabulous job - Pam Dawber played that role.

    I do remember Amazing Stories. Mark Hamill was in one episode as a young man who meets a mysterious elf who advises him never to get rid of anything he loves and he will become rich. When he is an old man living alone with heaps of junk. Olle ted over the years, he suddenly finds himself with a gold mine of collectibles!

  7. Birgit,

    We both picked "Twilight Zone". Cool! I didn't know Rod Sterling died at 50. That is too young. I think I vaguely remember the series "Amazing Stories" but I didn't watch it. Now, you've peaked my curiosity. Unfortunately, it's not available on our streaming services. :( Oh well...there's hope it will show up. I've only seen clips of Law & Order. It's hard for me to get into the groove of these types of programs. I'm not ruling it out altogether but it's just going to take me some time to get around to it. Thanks for sharing your picks and for visiting, my friend. Have a great day!

  8. I'm sorry you have to make such a difficult trip to get some pain relief and take a vacation day to do it! I'm shocked that Canadians, who are so nice, can turn nasty when they get behind the wheel. I've never seen these three series, although I've seen clips from The Twilight Zone because it's so often mentioned as an important part of television history. I heard William Shatner say in an interview that his children always asked him him to make his Twilight Zone face of fear because they thought it was hilarious.


  9. Ugg to the drivers. I'd go nuts if they were that bad around here. The Twlight Zone is a win. Seen Law and Order this and that a time or two.

  10. It's been years since I've watched Law and Order, I always preferred it to CSI.

  11. The Twilight Zone had many episodes I recall from my youth, but I rarely remember the actual names of the episodes (unless I've seen them again, more recently), but I recall "To Serve Man" and "Kick the Can". There was the one where a man had been keeping Satan locked up since 1918, but he was released in 1939, and recaptured six years later. Another one had an antique radio playing old tunes, and somehow it de-aged an old man by the end of the show. And famous voice-over artist June Foray, the voice of the Chatty Cathy doll, parodied that doll in an episode about Talky Tina, an evil doll!

    1. Oh, almost forgot "He's Alive," the episode where Dennis Hopper played a neo-Nazi who ends up being mentored by the spirit of Adolf Hitler himself!

  12. I remember Amazing Stories. Good show. So, I've seen all three of your choices. I can't recall a Twilight Zone to call my favorite episode. I can tell you which ones I can't abide.

  13. Hi Birgit - just so glad you got in and out of Toronto safely ... having roadworks along the way is so frustrating. I've never seen any of these - though Twighlight Zone rings a bell - not sure why! Thanks though - cheers Hilary

  14. Oh, gosh, Birgit, I feel for you. Hopefully, the stoned feeling helps you ignore what's going out on the roads when you're heading home. Gentle big hugs, Birgit.

  15. SO sorry to read about your pain and having to take a vacation day to get a treatment. Seems there's something wrong with the system!

    I KNOW you won't believe this, BUT, I have seen two of these anthologies. I've seen Twilight Zone because the Sci Fi (oops, SyFy) channel runs them every holiday. The entire series is often shown over a three day holiday weekend (Sat, Sun, Mon).

    I loved L & O. I've seen every one, mostly in reruns which are shown on more than one cable channel in U.S. every day. Sorry, dear, but Caruso was on CSI:Miami. He auditioned for the part of Lennie Briscoe, but thankfully it went to Jerry Orbach, who played the part until right before his death. He and Chris Noth were my favorite pair on the "Law" side. It's amazing how so many of the original cast members have gone on to full blown careers that transcended L & O. You made me happy, because I can finally say I've SEEN not just ONE, but TWO of these anthologies.

  16. Sorry about the pain and the day off from work- but I hope the visit made you feel better physically.

    I haven't seen Amazing Stories- but now I am intrigued. :)

  17. That sounds like an awful day. But hopefully the infusion helps in the long run. I have seen these shows-for once-unusually I have no idea of what movies or shows people are talking about. Hope you are doing ok. Hugs-Erika

  18. BIRGIT ~
    I'm not really clear on what "TV Edition - Anthology" means. But I DO KNOW that I like 'The Twilight Zone'.

    There used to be a TV show called 'Sightings', which was stories about unusual true-life events and occurrences. Some of those were absolutely astounding and supernatural as all get-out! Would that count in this category? If so, sign me up for that one, please.

    Sorry to hear you were in pain. Hopefully you're feeling much better now. If not... Jack Daniel's.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

  19. Throwing "Law & Order" in shines a whole new light on things. As such, I'd suggest "Perry Mason" as a perfect example. I think Dick Wolf was thinking about Perry when he came up with "L&O." "Dragnet" could also fit the mold: every week, they had a different crime that Friday and Smith (or Gannon) would solve. The stories were all self-contained: no two-part episodes, no running stories, and you really didn't know much about Friday except that he was a dedicated and hardworking cop who saw things in black and white.

    Of course, there were shows like "The Outer Limits," "Thriller," "Science Fiction Theater," and my favorite, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

  20. Nice picks! As much as The Twilight Zone is a classic, I always feel like it's very underrated. The amount of themes and stories Rod Serling tried to tell was revolutionary at the time. I'm interested to see how the reboot will do, but I'm not sure anything can beat the original anthology.

  21. Thank you everyone for your kind words...the infusion always helps my pain and i was able to walk and watch the parade held Saturday for Grape and Wine festival. Yes Caruso was for Miami...I didn't clarify that. Perry Mason works and so does Dragnet. Stephen..I never heard of Sighting but that would work....I could have used Haunted Canada which is a great show.I could have also chosen Secrets of the Dead and any ancestry shows. Shady-I know that Twilight Zone episode well and was shocked the first time I saw it. I'm glad some have you seen a series or even 2! Liz, I'm glad you saw Amazing Stories and the most famous is the one with the bomber that must land without any wheels although i didn't care for that ending. Mr. Fox-you gave some great episodes from The Twilight Zone..I also love the show with Anne Francis in a department store who seems to be followed by mannequins. Joel-I love the Ring-a-Ding girl episode and love your picks! I believe I chose Alfred before so i didn't take that one. Masterpiece Theatre is a brilliant choice! We are watching Poldark right now. Even though i love fairy tales, I never got to see her show. Shelley Duvall put everything into that show though...shame she is in such pain now and I didn't like her being "paraded" on Dr. Phil's show