Twilight Zone: Season One [Import]
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The younger you are, the more you'll enjoy UPN's short-lived revival of The Twilight Zone. Front-loaded with young actors (or marginal celebrities, like Jessica Simpson) and a bone-jarring theme by Korn's Jonathan Davis, the show panders to a teen demographic, which original-series creator Rod Serling would never have tolerated. It's a pale copy of Serling's original, and even the 1985 TZ revival was marginally better, but there are some memorable exceptions in this 43-episode, six-disc set. Not surprisingly, the best episodes are straight remakes of (or sequels to) classic Serling originals, including "The Monsters on Maple Street," "It's Still a Good Life" (with former child actor Bill Mumy reprising his creepiest role, and featuring a series-best performance by Cloris Leachman), and "Eye of the Beholder." Of the originals to this series, highlights include the pilot episode with Jeremy Piven; Jason Alexander in "One Night at Mercy," Amber Tamblyn in "Evergreen"; Lukas Haas in "Harsh Mistress"; Lou Diamond Phillips in "The Pool Guy"; ER's Eriq La Salle as writer, director, and star of "Memphis"; and a few others that capture the eerie quality of "another dimension of sight, sound, and mind."
Woefully miscast as the series' host, Forest Whitaker delivers facile introductions devoid of Serling's literary finesse. More often than not, the writing relies on forgettable characters and thinly-disguised variations on original-series themes; at its worst, the series demonstrates a staggering lack of originality, and the youthful casting frequently results in one-dimensional performances, with a few notable exceptions. It's hit-or-miss at best, but shooting locations in Vancouver, British Columbia, lend the series a visually stimulating variety of settings and atmosphere; production values are consistently high (as they were in the Canadian seasons of X-Files), and Rick Maguire deserves praise for his cinematography on virtually every episode. If you can forget Serling altogether (a difficult challenge for his devoted fans), you'll be able to overlook the flaws and enjoy some occasionally clever trips into The Twilight Zone as it was meant to be. --Jeff Shannon
From the Back Cover
Modernized version of the classic TV series includes 43 episodes featuring high-profile guest stars: Shannon Elizabeth, Eric La Salle, Jason Bateman, Jonathan Jackson, Andrew McCarthy, Molly Sims, Jessica Simpson, and Amber Tamblyn.
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This set will be presented in widescreen, and will have 5.1 Surrond Sound , DTS Surround, and Stereo Surround Sound.
Like the original show, this Twilight Zone series has a lot of big name guest stars: Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Alexander, Jessica Simpson, Jaime Presley, Jason Bateman, Usher, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cloris Leachman, Method Man, Molly Sims, Amber Tamblyn (of TV's Joan of Arcadia), Vivica A. Fox, Portia de Rossi, Dean Winters (of TV's Oz), Dylan Walsh, Patrick Warburton, Eriq La Salle, and comedian Paul Rodriquez.
This set also includes remakes of two classic Twilight Zone episodes -- "The Eye of the Beholder" (a plastic surgery story) and "The Monsters on Maple Street" (a lynch mob tale about aliens possibly in their area).
Also, in this set is a sequel to an old Twilight Zone episode called "It's Still a Good Life" (the original was about a kid with the power to make a person disappear, if you think negitive thoughts. The kid would say that he'd send you to "the cornfield") The sequel on this box set includes two of the actors from the original episode: Billy Mumy (who played the kid) and Cloris Leachman.
So let Forest Whitaker take you into a world of imagination. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A wonderous world where the boundaries are only that of your imagination. The Twilight Zone.
It is hosted by actor Forrest Whittaker,who for some unexplained reason walks around in a trenchcoat while introducing episodes. The clueless producers thought that this would be an effective way of introducing the episodes,it wasn't.
There is one particularly offensive episode on racism where a white man is portrayed as a racist because,while in the middle of the city in the darkness of night,he wouldn't let a black stranger into his car after the stranger banged on his window and yelled "let me in".
How many people would let any stranger into their car in the middle of the city at night,especially when the stranger is banging on the window and yelling at them?
That just shows how badly written and produced this series was. The complete unfairness of this premise somehow escaped the producers.
There are also many other episodes that meander on with weak stories and lame resolutions. So disorganised was the production of this show that they had to copy no less that three stories from the original Rod Serling version in just this one season.
The three versions of The Twilight Zone comprise-
1st version-The original hosted by writer Rod Serling that premiered in 1959 and ran for five seasons.
2nd version-The eccellent and under-rated 1985-86 version which had a third season padded on after it's cancellation to get enough episodes for syndication
3rd version-This DVD set,which is the disappointing 2002 version that was cancelled after only one season.
I personally am going to wait for the other version as it is much better than this 2002 Twilight Zone,which has some very poorly written episodes.
All in all,this is a very disappointing version of the series and is very badly produced.
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