Mission Impossible (the series) Observations

I love Netflix streaming. Now that I finally hooked it up to my XBox 360, and it is a much better integration than the Tivo series 3 box.

One of the shows I have been watching is the original Mission Impossible series. I enjoyed it when I was growing up, and I still enjoy it.

Although, there are some gaping holes in the plots, and miraculously, even when they are deep in eastern European communist countries, or communist countries in South America, everybody speaks english. The signs are all “readable”, and the sets are all hokey.

But I still enjoy the shows. I can’t wait until I break into the Peter Graves episodes (still in the Stephen Hill episodes.) All cheese, but it is a tasty cheese.

How the Twilight Zone Stories hold up

I have been watching the original series of the Twilight Zone from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. It has dawned on me that the stories have held up remarkably well a half century on.

At the beginning of widespread broadcast TV, the Twilight Zone was a trend setter.
At the beginning of widespread broadcast TV, the Twilight Zone was a trend setter.

First, they were prolific. 35 episodes a season, where today a show struggles to deliver 12 or 14 episodes. Of course, this was possible as the sets were simple, the stories weren’t contiguous, and the actors were changed often. Rod Serling is a consistent thread though, and he was the driving force.

Second, the episodes were 26-ish minutes. Today, a 30 minute show yields about 22 minutes of footage.

Third, there was a revolving door of great actors. Burgess Meredith, Jack Klugman, Don Rickles, William Shatner, and others. They brought a lot of talent, and fun to the show.

Time travel, magic gift sacks, aliens, nuclear armageddon were staples of the show, but not the major props in the episodes. The stories were solid, and have been repeated over and over again in shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and many more.

Good stuff, and the iconic image of Rod Serling, smoking his Pall Mall.

Netflix Observations

As I have posted before, I have been grooving on watching TV series from my youth. (well, ok, not really my youth) I have come to a realization. Regardless of what show it is, it seems that in the 5th or 6th season, the shark is invariably jumped.

X-Files, in the 5th season, they kill off all the conspirators, and in the 6th season it gets mega campy. Sigh, because I still groove on Gillian Anderson.

Family Guy – I was a big early fan, but I have been dropping in on episodes, and season 7 is where it falls completely apart.

I propose a new rule. From now on, TV series should only have 5 seasons. All shows should be put out of there misery in a reasonable fashion.