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Rants And Raves: The Return Of SchlockFest

Classic Sci-Fi TV Episodes To Screen

Above: DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy and Leonard Nimoy as Spock in "The Paradise Syndrome" episode of the original "Star Trek."

If you have a tight holiday budget, here's the perfect solution: free entertainment at the San Diego Public Library with the return of SchlockFest on November 28 at 6:30pm.

The San Diego Public Library is resuming operations of its monthly SchlockFest screenings, a celebration of pop culture that has endured the test of time and sometimes even pushed the envelope on good taste. But for tomorrow the pop culture being served up is classic sci-fi television.

The Library has tapped Miguel Rodriguez to supervise the reinstated program. Rodriguez works for the San Diego Unified School District providing professional development training and support services in educational technology to teachers. But more important in terms of this curatorial position, he also directs and programs the annual Horrible Imaginings Film Festival and hosts Monster Island Resort Podcast.

"The Library has asked me to take over the reins of programming and introducing a collection of cult classics, b-movie oddities, and creature features as part of this special series of evenings scheduled for the last Wednesday of every month," says Rodriguez, "Why focus on schlock in a library setting? Personally, I think schlock over the years provides a fascinatingly sincere mirror to how we have behaved and have perceived the world around us over the years. They are also so much fun and, hopefully, a way to get our communities more in tuned with our public libraries, institutions much beloved to me."

To kick off the return of SchlockFest, Rodriguez will show two classic episodes from broadcast television. In keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit of last week, he will screen "The Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man," starring Richard Kiel (best known for his portrayal of James Bond baddie Jaws), as well as an episode of "Star Trek" (the original series) entitled “The Paradise Syndrome.” In this episode, Kirk ends up with amnesia on a primitive planet and lives for months among the indigenous people.

To learn more about Rodriguez' reasons for programming schlock, and the benefits it can provide, check out the article he wrote for the School Library Journal’s Connect the Pop blog. And I hop you'll join me tomorrow night in celebrating some classic sci-fi TV.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 28, 2012 at 9:22 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

ANYONE who desribes any of the original Twight Zones episodes as "shlock" needs to be burned in oil. Either that or change the name of the screenings.

Don't get me wrong. It's not a crkticism of the event or the choice, But I've never, never, never, never, never, read or heard the original Twilight Zone series associated with the word "shlock" in any book, article, review, blog, interview, postings, etc.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | November 28, 2012 at 10:09 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Lighten up. SchlockFest is simply the Library's name for it's pop culture programming. Twilight Zone and Star Trek are sterling examples of pop culture but they are still pop culture.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 29, 2012 at 10:07 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

I don't know that any of the original Star Trek stories had a "moral to the story," or tackled such themes (metaphorical or otherwise) as segregation, the Jewish genocide, nuclear annihilation, or more pyschological aspects of man's dark side. unlike TWLIGHT ZONE.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 29, 2012 at 10:09 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

And besides, Rodriguez himself is calling it shlock.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | November 29, 2012 at 4:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Well watching the episodes last night I think there are definitely schlock elements to both shows and I say that with absolution affection as well as full awareness of how smart they could also be. As a geek, the term "SchlockFest" conjures up nothing but positive feelings. Sorry if you have a problem with the label.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 29, 2012 at 9:15 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Wonderful. So next time let's just have TrashFest 2013 and schedule an episode of the original THE PRISONER!!!

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Avatar for user 'GeraldFnord'

GeraldFnord | December 1, 2012 at 7:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

MIRAMANNEE! MIRAMANNEEEEEEEE!

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