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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

John Ridley and “American Crime”

I discovered John Ridley through his novels.  He’s an amazing writer.

Ridley is probably best known as the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave

Ridley is also the creative genius behind the series American Crime.  The series is unlike anything on television.  The emotions are so raw, so real, that it was hard to watch some episodes.  But I’m glad I did.  What a ride!

If you tuned in to the series or want to know more about it, why not check out Anna Lisa Raya’s interview with John Ridley?

Source: Deadline.

Eight Bizarre Facts About Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone”

Jake Rosen and Mental_Floss present Eight Bizarre Facts About Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. Here are three are my favorites…

2. The Episode That Won an Oscar
When Serling’s budget for the series tightened in the fifth and final season, he decided on an unusual cost-cutting measure: the writer paid $10,000 (by some accounts, $25,000) for the rights to broadcast An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, a French short based on the Ambrose Bierce story about a Confederate sympathizer who escapes the hangman’s noose at the end of the Civil War. No dubbing was needed: the short was virtually silent, and its haunting cinematography was a perfect fit for the show. The year prior, it had won an Oscar for Best Short Subject. Bierce’s story was also adapted into an episode of the other popular anthology of the day, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, marking the only time the two series used the same source material.

4. Six Dimensions
When Serling recorded his famous opening narration for the pilot episode in 1959, he began by intoning that there was “a sixth dimension” to explore. A CBS executive heard it and asked the writer why he had skipped a fifth dimension—weren’t there only four? Serling, puzzled, hadn’t really considered it. “Oh,” he said. “Aren’t there five?” The narration was re-recorded before any angry letters from physicists poured in.

8. God Complex
Though he spoke fondly of Serling through his entire career, Zone teleplay writer Richard Matheson (“Steel,” “The Invaders”) found one mandate puzzling: According to Matheson, only Serling could use the word “God” in his teleplays. It was off-limits to the rest of the writing team. “I used to get ticked off at Rod because he could put ‘God’ in all his scripts,” Matheson said. “If I did it, they’d cross it out.” Matheson never asked, and was never told, the reason behind the rule. Chalk it up to a mystery worthy of The Twilight Zone.

Star Trek: 57 Nerdy Things About the Original Crew Films

Sven Harvey and Den of Geek present Star Trek: 57 Nerdy Things About the Original Crew Films.  Here are three are my favorites…

13. Khan Noonian Singh is, of course, the same character as the Khan from the original series second season episode, “Space Seed.” His wife was Lt McGivers, who became enamoured with him in the original episode.

The late Ricardo Montalban reprised his role from the original episode, and as a genetically enhanced human or “augment” it was these performances that led to more episodes on the same theme.

14. The character of Lt Marla McGivers was supposed to originally be in Star Trek II, but the actress, Madyln Rhue, had been confined to a wheelchair.

Rather than recasting, which executive producer Harve Bennett thought unfair, the character was written out. That said, the filmed line confirming her as Khan’s dead wife was cut.

31. Hello computer?!? The Apple Mac wasn’t supposed to be in the factory, and the original Commodore Amiga model was originally supposed to be in its place. Commodore Business Machines refused to send a sample machine for filming and simply told the film crew that they had to buy one. Apple just sent a machine and a member of staff to help out.

Commodore also stated it didn’t want to be associated with Star Trek. Facepalm…

7 Things We Learned About “Breaking Bad” from Vince Gilligan

Jennifer M. Wood and Mental_Floss present 7 Things We Learned About Breaking Bad from Vince Gilligan’s AMA. Here are three of my favorites.

1. ON THE SET OF BREAKING BAD, BRYAN CRANSTON WOULD REGULARLY TELL AARON PAUL THAT JESSE PINKMAN WAS BEING KILLED OFF.

“He loved to tease Aaron Paul mercilessly,” explained Gilligan. “This came about after I told Aaron Paul early in the series that I had planned to kill off his character. From then on, every time a new script came out, Bryan would hurry to read it first so he could put on a sorrowful face and say to Aaron, ‘Gee buddy, I’m so sorry. You’re going out with a bang, at least.’ And Aaron, God bless him, seemed to fall for it every time.”

3. WALTER WHITE WAS THE HARDEST CHARACTER TO KILL OFF.

“I have to say the death of Walter White affected me the most,” admitted Gilligan, “because what it represented was the end of the story and the completion of this seven-year journey we had taken together—the cast, crew, writers and directors of Breaking Bad. That was the most affecting death to write. I actually teared up when I wrote it. I think a close second was the death of Mike Ehrmantraut.”

4. YOU MAY VERY WELL BE ABLE TO EAT AT LOS POLLOS HERMANOS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Gus Fring’s fictional chicken joint may become a nonfictional chicken joint. “Believe it or not, there is talk of a Pollos Hermanos becoming a real restaurant,” confirmed Gilligan. “This is not an idea that I generated personally. But it’s one that’s been presented to me, through the good folks at Sony, and the idea came to them from a businessman who has an interest in doing just that. Speaking for myself, I’d love to see that happen!”

Ten Marvel Characters ready for Reinvention on TV

Greg Marston and Newsarama recently posted their choices for Ten Marvel Characters ready for Reinvention on TV.

For what it’s worth, here’s my top five ranking of their choices:

  1. Shang Chi
  2. Blade
  3. Punisher
  4. Moon Knight
  5. Deathlok

If it was up to me though, I’d push for a Nick Fury: Agent of Shield show set in the 1960’s based on Steranko’s Nick Fury.