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Old December 21 2012, 06:32 PM   #44
stj
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Re: The Twilight Zone being rebooted by Bryan Singer and CBS

There were actually quite a few OL episodes that weren't Luddite, although there were quite too many. I can see getting turned off by that. There was a period of time when the ostentatious antitechnology messages in some Star Trek episodes got on my nerves, until I realized that the show was covertly identifying "technology" with, not just new inventions and knowledge, but social repression. It would have been better writing if they'd realized this of course.

The first season of the second Outer Limits series had a capstone finale that referenced most of the seemingly standalone episodes as part of an overall arc. Alien invasion I think it was. The punch line is that the hardnosed guy that seemed to be the alien mole suppressing the information was in fact the guy who, upon being convinced, was necessarily eliminated by the aliens (or whatever.) I don't think season two has been put out as a set, (at least it's not on Netflix,) but I have no desire to follow this arc. I do wish the whole series was available though.

Anthologies have a profound structural advantage over series. Namely, the story told can be the most important story (leading to the biggest changes) of the protagonist's life. Regular series, which tend to keep the characters the same, may depict the slow changes of real life more faithfullly. But that tends to be less dramatic.

Serialized stories are generally stuck with open-ended lack of structure, cheating the stories of dramatic resolution. Worse, since they still focus on a limited set of protagonists they tend to either repeat the same story for each character (Apollo keeps reconciling with his father, for instance,) Or they end up undoing what plot resolutions they manage to achieve just to continue the plot (the Scarrans are still a giant threat even though Crichton & Co. destroyed the space flowers that made them intelligent, for instance.)

The drawback of course is that the viewer must invest in new characters every week. Movies of course tend to try to overcome this by casting stars, leading audiences to invest in the characters because they're invested in the actor. From a production standpoint, new sets and new stars (loosely speaking, TV stars don't have the massive popularity of movie stars usually,) for less reliable ratings is a losing proposition. Hence, the lower proportion of anthology series, despite the on average artistic superiority.
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