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Saturday, December 24, 2005

1.13 --- Ye Gods

Directed by : Peter Medak
Written by : Anne Collins
Starring : David Dukes, Robert Morse, Carolyn Seymour
First aired : 25th of October, 1985.

When Cupid (Robert Morse) fails to spark love between a modern-day yuppie Todd Ettinger (David Dukes) and an attractive woman, he is enraged to the point of following Ettinger to his office, where he gives him a serious dressing-down. Ettinger refuses to believe Cupid is a real god, but the angered deity first torches his telephone, and then, after firing three arrows into his heart, leaves. Some time after, Ettinger sees the woman who Cupid tries to hook him up with dancing around a stairway, but fails to catch up with her. He confesses to his colleague Peter his life is empty and shallow, but Peter fails to understand his plight.

Todd's life is now turned upside down, as he can't sleep or work normally because of the mysterious woman. He decides to track Cupid down and ask him for advice, and finds him dead drunk at Bacchus's place, who is now an accomplished winemaker. Seconds before passing out, Cupid tells Todd that his powers are just not what they used to be, blaming "her". Bacchus explains that "she" is a fury called Magaera, and that Cupid is not the same since they split some 90 years ago.

Todd now realizes that it is up to him to fix their broken relationship, so he could benefit from Cupid's matchmaking and solve his own love problems. He summons Magaera (Carolyn Seymour) in his bedroom, but she brushes him off, warning him to leave her alone under threats of turning him into a snail. Todd is persistant though - he arranges for Magaera and Cupid to meet in his office, where after a mighty row, they rediscover their affection for each other. They leave Todd's office through a window, and leave a thank you note - but Todd's problems are still unresolved. Resigned to the fact his life will stay a mess, frustrated Todd vows to commit his life to work.

Moments later, he is driving through LA, en route to a business meeting. However, his journey is interrupted when his car is bumped from the rear at the traffic lights. Furious, Todd is ready to open a car of pure, unadulterated road rage upon the other driver - when he realizes that it's her, the woman of his dreams. As the two of them share a romantic moment (in a middle of a very busy street in downtown LA with cars honking about), Cupid and Magaera pass them by in a 20's limo, waving.

***

Ye Gods, as you might have assumed from the abovegiven recap, is first and foremost a comedy. Backboned by a tremendous Robert Morse as Cupid, with fine support from Dukes and Seymour, Ye Gods succeeds on every level, and is generally an amusing piece of television. Clocking at 28 minutes, Ye Gods, scripted by Anne Collins and directed by Peter Medak (The Crays, Romeo is Bleeding), is the longest new TZ episode so far, and deservedly so - if trimmed, it would probably be not as funny as intended.

For all its good traits, Ye Gods does leave a lingering feeling it's somewhat ill-suited for a Twilight Zone story, especially paired with a much more grim Little Girl Lost in the original airing slot. Yet, it should be said that this episode, in my opinion, easily bests any Serling's attempt at comedy from the original series.

Comments on "1.13 --- Ye Gods"

 

Anonymous John said ... (4:50 PM) : 

While this episode is not one of my favorites, I will agree that the humor is much better than any of Serling's comic mis-fires.

Serling's forte was drama, and at that he mostly succeeded, but comedy just wasn't his cup of tea. When he was great, he was fantastic, but when he was bad, it was a disaster!

 

Anonymous MrRSerling said ... (7:11 AM) : 

I agree about the Serling statement. Rod was a superb writer but just didn't quite manage comedy. Drama and story telling was his forte and he did it so well.

 

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