Tuesday, December 11, 2007

TV Shows With "zo" in Their Title

We upgraded our Dish Network receivers last week. Major trauma for the kids who had a bunch of shows recorded on the DVR. Reality is that they'd likely not watch most of what they saved anyway.

In the course of recreating their favorite shows to record, someone (Nora) made a small error while trying to set a timer to record Zoey 101, a tween favorite (elite California coastal prep school - all the kids too cool for themselves, blah, blah, blah). Nora accidentally set up a timer to record anything with the letters "zo" in the title.

The first day or two I saw a couple shows recorded and was surprised by the kids choices. The shows were not the usual fare. When some Spanish language shows appeared, I suspected something was amiss. Last night I discovered the "zo" problem.

But it was actually pretty cool to see what got served up by the DVR based on a couple random letters. In fact, it was so cool, I decided to capture the results. I even watched one of the shows last night, and saved the others.

1. Zoey 101 - 2 episodes. This is what Nora wanted to record in the first place. "Logan receives a care package from his father in Japan. The boys investigate who is pulling the fire alarm in the dorm." Actors: Craig Robert Young (ya think his parents wanted him to act, or is this a stage name?). and Sean Flynn Amir (Irish mother, Arabian sheik father?).

2. Zola Levitt Presents - "Bible teaching with an emphasis on prophecy, Israel and the Jewish roots of Christianity". I have heard of this show since around my childhood. I think it's been on since then, and if not, it's long running. Never seen it though.

3. Chalk Zone - Episode 1: "Wrestler Thor Throat plans to rob a bank. Rudy discovers evil chalk. Snap and Blocky find baby chocolate bunnies." Episode 2: "Rudy and Snap take Penny to see a night club act. Rudy and Snap get their eyeballs taken over by eye pods. Martial arts master". Kids show.....but what age. Love the eye pod pun.

4. 64 Zoo Lane - 2 episodes. No further description.

5. The Twilight Zone - 4 episodes. Score!! I haven't seen the Twilight Zone for years. Anytime I stumble across an episode I'm taken aback at how powerful these little plays are. Simple staging, clever and/or weighty topics, sometimes bordering on intellectual, and almost always thought provoking. And they were popular with the General Public too.

TTZ Episode 1: "A man sells his soul for immortality."
TTZ Episode 2: "Hostility greets a traveler bearing a gift."

TTZ Episode 3: "A ventriloquist thinks his dummy is alive." STOP RIGHT THERE - this was the episode that scared the living bejesus out of me when I was about 10 or 12 years old. I think I was babysitting at home (must have been about 12 then I guess). Scared me so bad I almost called my parents, but knew they'd kill me for a) watching that kind of show, and b) getting so scared that I had to call them as a result. I'm 100% confident I didn't pee my pants, but was definitely more scared than that. And
that episode randomly (and I really mean random here) comes back to haunt me. I saw this episode again in college or young adult life, and clearly remembered being so scared of it as a kid. Watching it again, it wasn't that big of a deal. Can't wait to see it now - but I'll be sure to not let Alex see this one until he's older.

TTZ Episode 4: "A professor learns his daughter's fiance is immortal." I watched this one last night. Awesome. I just now realized that the first episode recorded is about immortality. I wonder if it's the same character earlier on.

These shows are almost perfectly "tight" - every line, every shot has meaning to the story, you just need to put the pieces together. Even the descriptions of the episodes are brilliant in their clarity - a simple terse sentence, making an elementary statement about what will be a captivating teleplay. Look at all the questions and imagery that are brought up by a phrase as simple as "Hostility greets a traveler who is bearing a gift". Hostility? Really? But he's bearing a gift. I wonder what the gift is? Immortality? A relic? Money? Why is he traveling? Does he bring this gift to many people / places, or is this a one time shot? What if the gift is bad? Is the traveler the grim reaper? Of course he'd be greeted with hostility. But the story could never be that simple.

Back to the shows:

6. Premiere League Fan Zone - English Soccer: "Blackburn Rams vs. West Ham United". I think West Ham is owned by the richest businessman in England, or at least he's the richest soccer team owner.

7. Un Tracazo de Dinero - "Dos amigos son lestrigos de una ejucacion, decidon irge a la capital y en el camino ecuentran dos maletas, una con drogos y la otra con dinero". Uneducated friends go to the capital and share a house with two bad guys, one with drugs, the other with money?? Never took a day of Spanish in my life......so this is likely way off.

8. Have You Seen Your Zoo Lately? OK - that's enough already.


Laura said...

I think it has to do with finding two wallets in the road on the way to the capital, one with drugs and the other with money. But it's been years since I've spoken Spanish... so who knows.

Phineas said...

Thanks - that's better.

encuentran = encounter
dos maleta != bad guys - was pretty sure not - stretching.

Still thrown by camino (wait - not house - it's STREET - starting to make even more sense now).

This is why I don't speak Spanish and never will. Why did I even try to translate this? Why?