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One of the better re-makes
Poor naive Scott. He's just been accepted to law school, and has big plans with his artsy, spaced out friend Zoe to go camping in the woods. Zoe, in the midst over her fawning over Scott, has some interesting news: her cousin from "back East", Ray, is coming over to the West Coast where they live to start over. Zoe knows that Ray's life has been a "Springsteen song" (a nice euphemism for "jailbait"), and maybe going on this trip would be good for him. Eventually, the smarmy Ray shows up, and they all begin their camping trip, and it's anything BUT normal. You see, Ray has left a stash of a whole lotta stolen money in an abandoned well smack dab in the sweltering desert, and Zoe (who's in on his scam) and Scott, poor naive Scott, is pretty much stuck in the midst of this. Let's just say that Ray does get his hands on the loot, but it's not his for long--Zoe's got it. And Ray's got the keys to the car. And Scott, poor naive Scott, is baking in the hot desert sun.
Hitch would've loved this installment, but for the fact that it's loaded with cheesy 80's excess. Be on the lookout for the famous Alfred Hitchcock profile on one of Zoe's paintings in her hallway next to her apartment door.
Avante-garde episode that doesn't fit neatly within the series...
"Going Native" is not your typical "Darkside" entry. It gives you the feeling that it was filmed by a college cinema class, as the visual elements of the episode are very striking. A very human looking alien ("Claire") partakes in therapy sessions with a group of assorted individuals, aghast that "humans" are forced to re-live their tortured past. Case in point: John Aprea whacks violently at a pillow with a battering type of club as he blames his failed marriage for the miserable life he's in: ("Every time I touched you--nothing! Sick! Poison! Hateful! It made me want to tear your heart out!"). Claire's mission is simply to observe "the Humans": an alien like her finds these things called "emotions" very disturbing.
Too bad that the group has caught on that our alien is not freely associating her true feelings to the group. She photographs the comings and goings of daily life around her and spends her days contemplating the human condition while reviewing the pictures in the form of a slide show in her dingy New York apartment: as we are treated to the countless slides of daily life consisting of the homeless, prostitutes, the poor, and individuals grouped in playful situations and in violent protest, she is absolutely perplexed by the fact the SHE is now having these human "feelings"--and she can not bear to experience them. Only finally do things come a head at her next therapy group meeting....
I must say that when one thinks of "Tales..." that this is not the episode that truly epitomizes the series. Not necessarily a bad episode, it's just different from the horror/fantasy tales that we're used to. By all means it's a worthy episode all to itself, more suited to a dramatic anthology series rather than "Tales..."
I only made it through "Welcome to Winield" and I had enough!
Out of the two segments, I was only half-heartedly able to make it through "Welcome to Winfield", a time-space type of story where a modern day Grim Reaper/Angel of Death hunts down his next "chosen" one that hides out in a dusty, backwoods mid-West town that never made it past the mid 1800's. Henry Gibson ("Laugh-In") plays the cloying, yet borderline amusing town sheriff amongst a gaggle of badly stereotyped townsfolk: the town drunk, the assortment of gunslingers, the village idiot(s) and a thinly disguised version of Miss Kitty. It's a town that exists nowhere on a map, yet a modern day teen on the brink of death, played by John Caliri ("Square Pegs") and his over-emotional wife (Joann Willette, from "Just the Ten of Us") escape from his very modern hospital bed into this speck of a town as Mr. Grim Reaper comes in search of him, Mercedes-Benz and all. Well, seems like EVERYONE in town is over 100 years old (yet they don't look it) and will do whatever it takes to spare the young man's life (remember that these folks are not the sharpest tools in the shed--case in point when the sheriff summons his assistant get the dictionary to look up unknown words that are commonplace to us). Will the young man be Mr. Grim Reaper's next victim? Or will the town come through to prevent it? The answer: only in the Twilight Zone......
Fearless Music TV (2003)
Fear not, for it's "Fearless Music"!
This is one of those programs that I "stumbled" across late night TV on my FOX station in NY, right after "Mad TV" was over and before the onslaught of late night infomercial TV. The premise is simple: unsigned bands are given their one shot at recording a demo song/video at the Sam Ash studios (Sam Ash being the huge music retailer that has a large presence in the NJ/NY area), and viewers are encouraged to rate the songs via the show's website. I can't tell you how overjoyed I am at how good ol' rock n' roll music is still here. A majority of the bands play music that is a hybrid of modern rock/punk imbibed with twinge of angst, so sorry, no bubble gum Britney Spears or cutesy boy bands are permitted (and the world heaves a collective sigh of relief)! I for, one, voted for bands such as Earl Greyhound and Sloan as their music is definitely worthy at being looked at by the major record labels. It's a rockin' 30 minutes of audio pleasure....good luck to all the bands that appear on the show, may you make it big in the huge landscape of the slanted world of music.
Nikki and Alexander (1989)
Attempted spin-off of "Night Court."
TV Guide lauded "Nikki and Alexander" the 80's version of "I Love Lucy" (bold, weren't they?) as this attempted spin-off of "Night Court" was aired only once during the summer back in the day when unsold pilots of comedies and dramas littered the network landscape. I remember Tim Matheson only being seen in "Night Court" a couple of times, and this sitcom opens as he is awakened by his doorbell only to find a poor Russian defector (think of a young version of Ivana Trump) on the other side. "The telephone. What is it please?", she asks.. "Over there", he replies. She then proceeds to call her homeland Russia while speaking in Russian phrases that may or may not have contained dirty words. They both agree that it would be best that she stay with him as she kinda sorta forgot to tell anyone she left Russia. With that eye candy around, what could be so bad.?? Um, the landlady. She takes one look at Nikki and says "Nice gams", to which she turns to Alex and says "I betcha though that word meant breasts!" It had the same writing style of "Night Court" (hell, it had the same writers, duh), and although the T&A jokes were sure to fly, NBC just didn't think it had potential. But beyond it's cursory sex jokes and double entendres, it shoulda deserved a chance.