Saturday, October 08, 2005

Saturday Fun Blogging

Mr. Serling:
Talky Tina, a doll that does everything, a lifelike creation of plastic and springs and painted smile. To Erich Streator, she is a most unwelcome addition to his household - but without her he'd never enter the Twilight Zone.
With this admonition, we carefully agree to join Rod Serling for an examination of the Streator family...In the Twilight Zone.

"My name is Talky Tina and I love you very much".

With her arms moving up and down, these are Talky Tina's famous opening lines in the Twilight Zone episode, The Living Doll.

For the uninitiated, the original Twlight Zone series ran in the early 60's and was a landmark of fantastic writing, upcoming actors and terrific storylines. You can often find reruns on Nickelodeon and The Sci-Fi channel. Fortunately, I have the entire series on DVD and have been watching it while working-out. If you have an opportunity to watch this fantastic it.

One thing I've discovered about the original TZ series is how relevant it remains today. If you want an education in psychology, ethics, morality, government and general human behavior, you could do a lot worse than sitting down with some popcorn and simply watching the series. And this episode is one of the best.

The main storyline of The Living Doll is that a little girl, whos mother has recently married for a second time, receives a new doll on a shopping trip. All is not well in the Streator household. It seems her new stepfather, Erich Streator, is not too keen on having a stepdaughter and is resentful because he doesn't seem able to have a child of his own.

"My name is Talky Tina and I love you very much"

Streator, played by Telly Savalas, is a controlling, cold stepdad who displays more than a little jealousy towards his stepdaughter. Enter Tina who has taken the job of protecting the little girl. It doesn't take long for Tina to issue her warning.

"My name is Talky Tina and I don't think I like you"

Of course, Tina stays on script when everyone else is around. But she develops a particularly strange...and meanacing attitude...toward Erich who seems to mean her harm.

"My name is Talky Tina and I can hurt you"

Before you know it, Streator has thrown Tina away, hammered her, used a blow torch on her, put her head in a vise (while Tina responds with "tee hee hee hee", thrown her against a wall, and tried to cut her head off with a radial saw. Watching Eric Streator trying to do away with the doll is a little like a combination of Joe Pesci (from Casino) and "The Battling Bickerson's". The menace emanating from a squeaky voice towards the threats of a burly guy like Savalas is mesmerizing.

When Erich finally puts the doll in a can with weights on it, everyone else in the family begins to wonder what happened to the doll. Denying knowing her whereabouts, Eric goes on about his business. Later, the doll mysteriously shows up in bed next to the little girl. Eric, to his shock and surprise, is the one to find that the doll as magically made it's way from the basement trash can to the little girls bed.

"My name is Talky Tina and I might kill you"

About this point, Mrs. Streator has had it with a husband who thinks a doll is talking to him....threatening him. She starts to pack it up and leave. Erich begs her to stay and promises to straighten-up-and-fly-right. All seems well, back to normal, and they all go to bed for the night.

During the night, Erich hears a strange sound out in the hallway. He carefully pads into the hallway, standing at the foot of the stairs.

Now, I don't want to ruin the ending for you. Especially if you've never seen it. But, let's just say that the doll wins. End of story.


Not in The Twilight Zone. You see, it seems that Talky Tina is on a mission. It is her designation to be sure that the little girl is protected.


When moms finds Erich, she bends down quizzically looking at the doll laying next to Erich wondering if perhaps Erich wasn't so nuts.

"My name is Talky Tina, and you'd better be nice to me"

And now, Mr. Serling:
Of course we all know that doll's can't really talk, and they certainly can't commit murder. But to a child caught in the middle of turmoil and conflict, a doll can become many things: friend, defender, guardian. Especially a doll like Talky Tina, who did talk and did commit murder - in the misty region of the Twilight Zone.
Why would I blog about Talky Tina?

Because I want her to know that I'll never piss her off.

Thanks to Pete's Twilight Zone webpage. Go visit


At 12:34 PM, Blogger Jage said...

Aha...this is really an analogy about Karl Rove, right? ;)

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Jage said...

And Bush plays the role of the daughter, eh?

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Greyhair said...

You are Sooo sharp. How'd you know!


Fitzgerald may be talky tina, with Rove as Erich and Bush the wife.


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