Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tales from the Darkside - The New Man



This is a review from 2011 after watching the episode for the first time...

Really unpleasant episode of Tales from the Darkside has a recovering
alcoholic, who has persevered his drunkenness and become a successful
real estate agent, comes apart at the seams when this happy-go-lucky
tyke named Jerry (Chris Hebert) turns his life upside down. Jerry
doesn't really do anything, per se, it's just his mere presence that
sends Alan Coombs (Vic Tayback of "Alice", the television show) off the
deep end. You see Alan doesn't know who Jerry is yet this kid calls him
Dad. Alan goes home after dropping the kid at the police station much
to his wife's dismay. It seems that his spouse, Sharon (Kelly Jean
Peters) and teenage son, Petey (Billy Jayne; "Just One of the Guys")
consider Jerry part of the family with Alan appropriately confused and
frustrated. What happened here? Gee, I wish I could answer that
question, but this second TftD tale doesn't really make a lick of
sense. It seems that the sole purpose of the Jerry character is to
destroy a man who has resurrected his life for the better. I find that
seriously troubling, especially when this episode purports that a
second reformed alcoholic, on the wagon, is perhaps destined for a
similar fate. It is amazing how poor Tayback goes from the very first
scene, when life seems to offer a sense of promise and gratification
for climbing out a stink hole of alcoholism, only almost immediately
sending him straight back into the pit of despair. Who or what is
Jerry? That question is never answered, and your guess is as good as
mine. Not an episode I'd recommend to Darkside fans or those interested
in watching the series for the first time; no fun at all. While the kid
might be symbolism for the alcoholism that still exists and hasn't gone
away no matter the denial, I just felt the execution is poorly
constructed--that's just me, though.





After watching this tonight, on a revisit through the first season, my opinion has changed. I think the theory on Jerry being the “nagging alcoholism’s lure to return to booze” and how the boss is a catalyst (peer pressure or a type of excuse to return to the bottle) set “The New Man” off as a really unsettling and sometimes difficult episode to get through just because Vic Tayback is someone seemingly out from under a hellish journey through this devastating disease only to fall prey to its effects, losing everything as a result. His family, and the job. I think what puzzled me the most was how the wife and son recognize Jerry as a member of the family and scold Tayback’s Alan for not recognizing him as such. If Jerry is alcoholism why would they find Alan’s resistance of him and downright rage against him intolerable and repulsive? If anything his reaction to Jerry (“Alcoholism I don’t acknowledge or recognize”) you’d think would be recognized as admirable. So I found mixed signals while watching the episode. I don’t think my review was necessarily a wrongheaded response to what I watched as much as an indifference at its presentation/execution. The wife and son’s dismissal of Alan, continuing to emphasize they wouldn’t go through his alcoholism again has fueled theorizing speculation that they were in on it…as if they were encouraging someone who had persevered his demons to return to pits of despair he climbed out of barely intact. And the theory that they might not even be but a figment borne out of the imagination of a drunk who has allowed himself (deceived himself) to consider he’s recovered when in fact he’s remained within a drunk the entire time. I call foul on that because of the next guy at the end when the twist is revealed regarding Jerry returning in the same role to another on-the-wagon recovering alcoholic, as the same real estate boss offers booze in a celebration of success. There’s something to the boss and Jerry. They’re both booze’s agents of destruction, or so it seems. Both offer and encourage the fall from the wagon, seemingly innocent but ultimately weapons that provoke Alan and those like him, hanging on to that slender thread, maintaining on the slippery slope. The boss lures Alan to the edge and Jerry is the influence to cause the leap.





Where the family fits in is up to theory, I guess. They are what confuse me. Maybe they are memories of tired family members who had tolerated the antics of their patriarch, putting their foot down once and for all. You see Tayback worsen with each passing moment within close space of Jerry. Insisting he’s well while the wife isn’t convinced, Tayback’s performance bares the agonizing tumult of alcoholism’s long term toll. How alcoholism frays the tolerance and nerves of those who have dealt at length with their head of the family’s continual stay in the abyss. Tayback’s deterioration is rather tough…his cleanliness goes and his confidence wearies. His countenance cracks and the newfound line of sight that seemed brighter isn’t just dimming but almost engulfed in darkness. So I do think my initial reaction was quite highly emotional. You could certainly see how I felt for Tayback and couldn’t shake how he’s just wrung by the throes of the screenplay’s antagonists. Tayback insisting with great passion he’s not boozing and yet no one believes him, with Jerry’s innocuous presence undermining his determination to remain free of the shackles of alcoholism is palpable and disturbing. “The New Man” doesn’t shy away from following the promise of a better future shattered. It leaves an impression hard to dust off.



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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

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Wsha

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Mouth3

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Sh fr

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Vlov

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Edpos

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Ttf2

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Jm2

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Meg

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Conj

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His

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Look behind you!

Bs

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Taste of metal

The h gang

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Nlc

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Smoke

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Strek

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Hill

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Castle

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SRW

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Frere and dummy

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Mlove

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Alone/dark

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Lips

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Ph

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Monique parent

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Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

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Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

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Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

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Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

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