River (TV 2015) Created by Abi Morgan
Netflix (6 episodes, approx. one hour each)
It’s a show you probably haven’t seen and probably haven’t even heard anyone talking about, which is understandable. With all of the TV shows to choose from out there, this Netflix original (borrowed from BBC One) could easily slip past you. But it shouldn’t.
With one film to go, Beckie and I are almost finished with The Beckie Project, so it’s time for another project, this time with my co-worker Orangerful Sam: The Star Trek: The Next Generation Project.
The Twilight Zone: Season Two (1960-1961)
Image Blu-ray, (4 discs; 12 hours, 5 min.)
I could spend hours, days talking about The Twilight Zone, why I love it, why it has continued to be popular, and on and on. I’ve seen every episode at least once, many of them at least a dozen times, yet they still continue to amaze me. Countless numbers of people watch the episodes on TV marathons each year, but a few years ago, I saved up for the Blu-rays, which I have been dipping into here and there. I watched Season One a couple of years ago and just finished Season Two. I won’t go into details here; you’re either on board with TZ or you’re not. You either understand and accept the limitations of the special effects of the time or you don’t. Even more so, you either appreciate (mostly) well-written episodes or you’d rather watch something else. I’m only listing my favorites (which may not necessarily be the best episodes) from Season Two.
Better Call Saul is far, far better than it has to be. I think it’s also far better than most people expected and quite possibly the best TV show of 2015. I say that not so much from my own experience (as someone who rarely watches TV shows), but from reading many critics’ Best of 2015 posts and articles.
The Twilight Zone Companion, Second Edition (1982/1992) Marc Scott Zicree
Trade paperback, 466 pages
When the first edition of The Twilight Zone Companion was published in late 1982, I bought a copy and immediately wore it out. At the time, WGN in Chicago was airing reruns of The Twilight Zone every night and I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss a single episode. Zicree’s book was invaluable. So how well does it hold up in 2015?
Twin Peaks Season One (1990)
8 episodes including pilot
The David Lynch Project Part IV
Looking at Twin Peaks, you get the feeling that David Lynch was like a kid placed in a room with an enormous amount of toys. Not an unlimited number of toys, but enough to keep him interested for a long, long time. A television series also gave Lynch a longer format to work with, allowing him and co-creator Mark Frost to develop characters and themes, to experiment, to take risks and to explore. Sure, there were restrictions; this was network TV in the early 90s, after all, but it may not be too much of a stretch to say that with Twin Peaks, Lynch was at least partially responsible for pushing boundaries and exploring some unchartered television territory.