1985 Twilight Zone Series Review

Title screen from the 1985 Twilight Zone series.

A little known paranormal series, the 1985 Twilight Zone production ran three seasons from September 27, 1985 to April 15, 1989. Season one ran from 1985–1986 and had twenty-four episodes. Season two ran from 1986-1987 and had eleven episodes. Season three ran from 1988-1989 and had thirty episodes. The series had a total of sixty-five episodes. The series had two different narrators during its television run, Charles Aidman who worked on the show from 1985 to 1987 and Robin Ward who took over and narrated the episodes from 1988 to 1989.

Writers such as Harlan Ellison, George R. R. Martin, Rockne S. O’Bannon, Jeremy Bertrand Finch, and Paul Chitlik wrote screenplays for the show. It was directed by many different talents including Wes Craven and William Friedkin. Many different mainstream stars made their appearance in the series including Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Season Hubley, Morgan Freeman, Martin Landau, Jonathan Frakes, and Fred Savage. The theme music was composed by Jerry Garcia and performed by The Grateful Dead.

Although the episodes were not always at the same level of genius of the original 1959 television series, there were some great gems to be found. This included many of the feel-good episode themes found in season one such as in episode 6B ‘A Message From Charity’ about two teenagers who have a telepathic connection through time. Season two explored more of the bizarre concepts of the Twilight Zone but the episodes didn’t carry the same weight as the first season. Season three seemed to have a good balance of both worlds.

The highlight of the show is that is does its best to stay true to the spirit of the original series, even going as far as retaining some of the classic dialog, fifties culture, and similar production themes. One of the drawbacks is that it is somewhat of a victim of the time it was produced, sometimes getting lost in the 80s music culture, fashions, and female stereotypes that make similar 80s entertainment unbearable to watch at times.

The original 1959 television series, the 1970 standalone series Night Gallery, and the 1983 Twilight Zone Movie will always stand out as the best creations of the franchise. I would also recommend the 2002 Twilight Zone series. In some ways it surpassed the 1985 series even though it didn’t receive as much recognition or praise. However, if you are looking for a good paranormal series and want to delve into 1980s nostalgia, the 1985 television series is for you. You can find it online if you know where to look. Many online distributors still carry the DVD sets as well.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twilight_Zone_(1985_TV_series)

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2002 Twilight Zone Series Review

Forest Whitaker, host of the 2002 Twilight Zone series.

I started watching the 2002 Twilight Zone series not really expecting much. It is hard for any serial paranormal series to top the genius that Rod Serling created with the original Twilight Zone series (1959 – 1964), the twilight Zone Movie (1983), or his experimental series the Night Gallery (1969 – 1973). However, I was hooked from the first episode and to my surprise each episode only got better. It is a shame that it only ran for one season. I would have liked to see more seasons with the same writers and host (Forest Whitaker) but at least there are 44 episodes to watch over and over again.

The series had some pretty decent acting talent as well, pulling in seasoned television actors as well as the occasional Hollywood star. The acting lineup included the talents of Jessica Simpson, Wayne Knight, Christopher Titus, Eriq La Salle, Jason Bateman, James Remar, Method Man, Linda Cardellini, Jaime Pressly, Jeremy Sisto, Molly Sims, Tangi Miller, Portia de Rossi, Christopher McDonald, Wallace Langham, Jeremy Piven, Samantha Mathis, Ethan Embry, Shannon Elizabeth, Jonathan Jackson, Amber Tamblyn, Penn Badgley, Dylan Walsh, Robin Tunney, Michael Shanks, Gordon Michael Woolvett, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Xander Berkeley, Lukas Haas, Emily Perkins, and Elizabeth Berkley. McDonald, Langham, Xander Berkeley, and Haas.

The episodes themselves had unique concepts, even creating a sequel to the events of “It’s a Good Life” where a troubled boy named Anthony terrorizes his neighborhood with his supernatural abilities. The sequel, “It’s Still a Good Life”, explores the story of Anthony’s daughter and her inherited supernatural abilities which she uses for better or for worse.

I was also surprised that many technological themes were pulled into the series, such as video games, virtual simulations, and other modern technologies. I had my doubts that these modern additions would make for good scary story material but boy was I wrong! The writing made you believe the terror that was attached to each of the modern objects and was every bit as satisfying as the twist endings seen in the original series.

If you have some time to spare I would highly recommend watching this series. You can find it online if you know the right places to look. It has also been released on DVD and can still be bought through online distributors such as Amazon.com.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twilight_Zone_(2002_TV_series)

Marmalade Boy Live-Action Review

The show was actually really good. It was slow at first but it got really good around episode 10. If you have the time to invest, just keep watching. You won’t be disappointed. Episodes 26-29 were really annoying because the drama finally appeared out of nowhere right when everyone was supposed to be happy. The end was satisfying and worth the wait.

The music was sub-par and at times I had to mute my speakers to get through a scene with it playing. I did really like the main theme song of the show. I downloaded it from a website and I listen to it all of the time now.

I thought that the acting was decent. I’ve watched shows with worse acting that I have stuck through because I liked the plot. In this case, I really liked the plot and all of the characters. The music got on my nerves, but I could deal with it.

I have read the all of the Manga and watched the Anime (including the animated movie). I have to say that this is a pretty good adaption of the Manga. The anime was a little too draggy and I wasn’t all that satisfied with the end. The Manga has the best ending out of all the versions, but the drama follows it pretty well so I can’t complain.

People say that the actors are ugly and too old to play the parts but honestly I don’t think that should be the reason to watch a show. If a show has an interesting plot, evolving characters, and believable relationships then it shouldn’t matter what the actors look like.

As the show progressed, I really came to love all of the characters and admire the friendship that formed between them. The relationships between the characters were complicated and real. It didn’t have the same drama factor as some other shows, but there were certain parts that seriously cracked me up and other parts that made me cry my eyes out. I think these elements make a good drama and this show had plenty of ups and downs to keep the watcher entertained.

There were only a few things that bothered me about this show. For one thing, Yuu’s character got on my nerves because he kept trying to find his “father.” It was kind of creepy that he was so into trying to find out where he came from that he allowed it to control his life as much as it did. If I were in his shoes, I would have just asked my parents and saved myself a lot of heartache.

*This is a spoiler. Don’t read this paragraph if you don’t want to know.*

Another thing that bothered me is that the school president and the tennis club member’s cousin never got a hookup. I think they were the two characters most deserving of someone and they had to be single in the end. It made me sad on the inside. I would date the school president! Give me his number. I’m calling.

*End of spoiler.*

The ending drama kind of came out of nowhere, as I stated before. I won’t give anything away, but (in all versions) unnecessary things happen for a pretty lame reason. It’s like the writer ran out of an idea to make the story interesting so she thought “Oh, I know. I’ll just pull a subplot out of a hat and see what happens.” Well, the end of all the versions is the result of what happens. I guess I can’t complain too much. Like I said, at last the episode turned out well.

I really wanted to see more romantic action between the characters. It has more romantic situations than other shows, but I would have liked to see some of the characters that had open-ended relationships at the end at least hook-up with someone. Also, I wonder what happened to Miki’s temporary boyfriend. Did he get abducted by aliens or what?

Overall, I really enjoyed watching this show. It was very lighthearted and the plot was very unique. I especially liked the friendship between all of the character because it showed that friendship can overcome petty fights and bad experiences. This show makes me want to make a lot of friends, have love triangles (pentagons?), and live life to the fullest. Yuu and Miki forever! I hope one day, I can find my Yuu.

Hello My Teacher Review

I personally really enjoyed this drama. Some people said the ending seemed unrealistic, but to me it made sense. I am sure that Tae In is always going to be the fun-loving, irresponsible person he always was no matter how old he gets, so it makes sense that he would give that speech to the class at the end. At first, I thought he was a teacher and then I saw that he was just occupying the class until Na Bori got there. That made me laugh so hard! I won’t give away any more details. I don’t want to ruin the end for anyone. (There is more to it than I mentioned. You’ll just have to watch to find out!)

*This section will contain some spoilers. Do not read this if you want to find out some of these details on your own.*

There were only a few things that bothered me about this show. For one thing, the music wasn’t the best. I don’t know what it is about Korean dramas, but they never seem to have the best soundtracks, with the exception of “Boys Over Flowers” which I thought had an excellent music lineup. I was also annoyed that some of the other character stories besides the stories of the main characters (Na Bori, Ji Hyun Woo, Tae In and a few others) were not wrapped up at the end.

I didn’t feel like there was really any closure with the Tae In’s family situation, which also made me a little annoyed. Also, I thought that Ji Hyun Woo should have at least apologized for the way he treated Na Bori but he never so much as paid her a visit to congratulate her for becoming a teacher. That really made me mad at him as a character, but I assume that he had something to do with getting her hired, so I guess I can’t be too mad.

Another thing I was curious about was what Tae In did for a living at the end. I thought this could have been explained better. I think he is an office worker or something, but it is hard to say. It did make sense that Tae In took care of the children while Na Bori was at work. I can see Tae In as being the fun-loving stay-at-home dad while Na Bori is the hardworking professional. It makes sense, somehow, and that is why the ending didn’t seem unrealistic in any way.

*End of spoilers. You can read now, if you want.*

I really loved Na Bori as a character. I felt that I could really relate to her and her situation because I had a similar school experience when I was growing up. My reasons for wanting to become a language teacher are the same as Na Bori’s reasons (save the fact that she was in part doing it for the art teacher as well) so I felt that I really connected with her character. I thought the supporting cast was all very good as well and convinced me to believe in each one of their stories.

The story itself was very good and there was a definite growth in the characters as the story progressed. Even Tae In grew as a character because of his love for Na Bori, which I thought was very touching and a powerful message that the kindness you show to others can change lives. Overall, I thought this was a great show to watch, despite its shortcomings. I recommend it to anyone who wants a good drama to pass the time with.

Boys Over Flowers (Korean Version) Review

I love all the versions of this show (Hana Yori Dango, Meteor Garden, Meteor Shower, and Boys Over Flowers). Each show has a new way of interpreting the characters that adds a lot of depth to them when you go back and watch another version. I think that this show and the Japanese Hana Yori Dango are my favorite representations of the classic tale. The reason I like this version so much is that a lot of characterization went into each member of the F-4, and especially the relationship between the “Makino” character and the “Rui” character. I also like that it interpreted the story a little different than some of the other versions have.

There were only a few things that bothered me about this series. The first thing was that the scene transitions were often rough and you had to guess how people got to the next scene at times or even whether or not the scene had changed at all. It could be that it was just my first time watching it and I was confused, but for some reason I have the idea that if I were to go back and watch the series again (which I will one of these days) I would still be confused at the same parts of the show.

I was also a little annoyed that the “Domyoji” character seemed less interested in the “Makino” character than in some of the other versions. I think this is my first time watching a version of this story where I would have preferred “Makino” to end up with “Rui.” (I am using the Japanese names because I am not familiar enough with the Korean spelling of them.) I did think the “Domyoji” in this version was very true to the manga version and was hot to boot. This is probably one of the hottest “Domyojis” ever portrayed on screen and it served its fan purpose well.

The only other thing that bothered me about this series was the end. It seemed kind of unrealistic and abrupt in many ways, but at the same time it kind of worked for the series, so I can’t complain too much. At least it had a happy ending, unlike in some of the other versions which had more of a bittersweet ending (Meteor Garden/ Meteor Shower).

Overall, I was very impressed with the characterization that went into each one of the characters in the show. I thought that all of the actors were really great and made me believe in what was happening in a scene, even though there were some apparent plot holes and rough transitions throughout the series. I also really liked the “Makino” in this version, because she was very independent and thought for herself. I felt that I could really relate to her character.

This was a very impressive interpretation of the Manga, Anime, and other versions of the show that have come before it. I highly recommend watching it if you are a diehard Boys Over flowers fan because you won’t be disappointed with the direction the show goes in. Just brace yourself for an anticlimactic ending. You can’t hold that against the show though, or make it a reason for not watching it; it was very well produced. There’s always the Japanese version if you want the perfect ending of all of the shows.

You’re Beautiful Review

Do not let the first couple of episodes or so of this series turn you off from watching it; it gets better and better as the series progresses! Aside from Hana Yori Dango (in its multiple forms), this series has one of the most satisfying endings I have ever watched in an Asian drama.

There are rumors of a second season of “You’re Beautiful” being filmed right now, but I am not sure whether or not this is true. I’m not quite sure how the producers would manage to pull off a second season of the show, since all of the loose strings have been tied up by the end of the first season. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the producers have up their sleeves.

The weird thing about this series is that it starts out like a full out comedy, but it slowly evolves into a drama with funny moments in it. The characters are all very well developed (even the side characters) and while not every character has a traumatic past like in some dramas (there are quite a few people in the show with very happy lives) there is enough drama and conflict between characters that occurs in the series itself to make up for it.

I love the way that the main feminine lead is able to change all of the male leads through her kindness and sincerity by the end of the series. It is not an original idea, but this series really pulls it off well. You can really see the change in all of the characters by the end; even the minor characters whose small scenes really add a lot to the main plot.

It’s Shakespeare for the 21th century at work, man! Ok, maybe that is going a little too far, but I have to say I am impressed with the air time that the minor characters got that really added to the main plot of the story.

There are only a few things that bothered me about this series. The first thing was that the main feminine lead starts out as a nun in training, but this is completely dropped as a concept by the middle of the series, which kind of makes the visualizations of the Head Mother irrelevant after a while. I think the producers picked up on this by the middle of the series and chose not to include these scenes later on because they came in conflict with…well…the main conflict of the characters and plot.

I would have liked to see more of the idea of ‘divine assistance’ present such as in “One Pound Gospel”, but then again, I think a lot of the drama and depth of the series would have been lost if they stuck with ‘divine comedy’ theme at the beginning.

One gets the idea that the producers read “One Pound Gospel” and tried to put their own spin on it because the beginning is completely different than the end. In other words, they probably just made stuff up as they went along, but in this case it actually worked. I think if “Hana Yori Dango” and “One Pound Gospel” had a baby, it would be this show.

The only other thing that really bothered me was the fact that the main female lead was really weak when it came to making romantic decisions at times and I found myself annoyed at the fact that she didn’t just set everyone straight from the beginning. Then again, I think the series would have lost a lot of its meaning if the male leads didn’t change because they were moved by their love for her, so it gets kind of tricky.

I think the perfect “reverse harem” situation is in Ouran High School, when all of the characters fall in love with the main character to an extent, fight over her, but always have a nod or conspiracy that the “Prince” is her real hookup. I think this adds to the fun and humor of the series. In this series, it seems like a lot of hearts were unnecessarily broken and that the main female lead was made to choose between three options; lime, black, or yellow through the whole series.

This was hard for me to stomach as a viewer at times because I was so attached to all of the male leads that I wanted her to end up with all of them, to be honest, where as in Hana Yori Dango I knew from the first episode that Makino had to be with Tsukasa, no questions asked.

The music in the show got on my nerves at times because I do not really like pop music and that is pretty much what the band A.N.JELL plays throughout the entire series. Every time one of those sappy love songs played, I felt like ‘duck and covering’ or hiding altogether until the music track went away. The fact that the singers in the band lip-synced most their songs was also kind of annoying, as I am a music purist.

Some of the plot ideas were abandoned without an explanation, which the viewer just had to assume the characters did when they weren’t watching/ the film wasn’t rolling. Despite the show’s apparent plot holes in terms of comedic choices at the beginning, and female lead’s indecisiveness, I really enjoyed watching this show.

I would definitely watch it again. It’s a show you could watch a few times and probably discover something new each time you watched it. I think the producers were just as surprised as we were that this concept actually worked, which makes this show interesting to watch and really sets it apart from other dramas.

Yamada Taro Monogatari Live-Action Review

I don’t care what anyone says; this drama rocked!

Some people thought the ending seemed unrealistic, but personally I don’t think it was that farfetched. I had a friend I went to middle school with whose dad won the lottery after she graduated from high school. Her family became instantly rich, but they never bought a large house or anything. They just reinvested the money.

In life there are a lot of unforeseen twists and turns. It is very probable something like what happened to Taro’s family could happen in real life. I mean, with all those reality shows out to improve people’s lives, you see poor people getting new houses all the time. (Such as in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.)

If realism is going to be argued, people have to keep in mind that the show was adapted from a manga, so of course it’s going to be a little far out there at times. Either way, I found it to be a good show with lots of charm and good morals.

The show teaches you that the simple things in life are the most precious and that money isn’t everything. (Though it certainly helps.) I really LOVED Taro’s character. I wish there was a guy like that in real life; no lie! I’d marry him whether he was rich or not.

I thought the acting was really good which made the characters feel like they could be real people. I personally wasn’t annoyed with the main female lead, though many people seemed to be. I thought it was cool how her character progressed from someone who wanted to marry into money, to someone who loved Taro for who he was. To me, that meant more than having a female lead who “always did the right thing”. To have her come to the realization on her own and grow was what made the show interesting and part of what gave it its charm.

I also adored Taro’s friend, Takuya. He was from a rich family, but he had a good heart and a very good sense of humor. At the beginning he was quiet and didn’t seem willing to make friends, but after meeting Taro you see this change in him that is quite astounding. Through the series, his character progresses as he becomes someone who is willing to be a friend and seek happiness through the simple things in life like friendship and being part of a family. I was really touched with how much he changed and cared for Taro at the end.

I really like Taro’s parents, despite what people say too. Let” just say that I have a similar family situation and I understand how it is to have a mom like Taro’s. I didn’t find her to be weak at all. The woman has nine kids and still manages to do her best. It could be that there is a health reason why she can’t work. Also, her husband is always away, so that must put a lot of weight on her heart. As the eldest son, Taro is doing is best to support everyone (like I am the eldest in my family and I find it my responsibility to do the same) so I couldn’t be angry with his parents since my situation at home is the same.

Also, who could hate Taro’s dad? He travels the world and meets all sorts of interesting people wherever he goes! What an envious life! He wants the best for his family, but wants them to make their own decisions and choose their own happiness.

All the characters are memorable and the series is something that will touch your heart time and time again. I love this series! I recommend it to everyone who wants a good laugh over a warm cup of tea. This series has plenty of them and won’t disappoint.