Ray Bradbury Theater – Some Live Like Lazarus (10/24/92)

cover02aka The One So Bad It Took Me 2 Months to Post It (hereafter known as TOSBITM2MTPI).  I watched this episode late one night, and the idea of even fast-forwarding through it to refresh my memory and get some pictures was about as appealing as having my two front teeth knocked out.  Again.

We open up with an artsy feel, for no particular reason, with a handheld tracking shot approaching the porch of a small hotel.  We pass some lawn furniture, with one chair on its side.  Again, to no purpose that I can figure.

On the porch, the camera is addressed directly by Anna (60-year old, as the credits say), “Oh, there you are.  You want to hear about the murder, don’t you?”  It is never revealed who this person is.  Is it me, the viewer? Usually someone who rates a POV shot is actually somewhat important to the story.

As she continues talking, Roger (60-year old, as the credits say) pulls his car into the driveway.  At this point, she is in the present talking in the past tense about things that have not happened yet.  Which would have been OK — her voice-over carrying into the past — had they not cut back to her on the porch, mashing up the time periods.

She thinks back to when she first met Roger when they were 10 years old — 50 years ago.  We know this because the errant chair is now upright and ass-ready.  They are, however, the same chairs; so that was a damn fine investment.

Roger’s mother already has trouble walking and needs someone to steady her.  Either she was old before her time, or she lived to be 120 — no helpful age-labels for her character.  In fact, with an assist by some cagey camerwork, she is played by the same actress in every time period.  Actually, how does this old woman have a 10 year old son anyway?

We see them meeting again at 12, and again at 18 and so on.  Through the years, they grow older but never really change from their 10 year old selves.  Roger is consistently beaten down and dominated by his mother.  Year after year, Anna keeps hoping he’ll break free, and prays for the old woman to die.  This goes on, not just through few years, but for half a century.  Because women love wimpy men, and men love women who wish for their mother’s death.  This must be another Martian Chronicles adaptation because no earthlings I know think like that.

Finally, Roger attempts suicide at 22 to escape both of these crazy women.  Anna marries a co-worker.  38 years pass before they meet again.  Anna’s husband and Roger’s mother have both died.  He is finally free, but Anna tells him to go see the world before they hook up.

Post-Post:

  • Title Analysis:  Lazarus.  I get it.  What I don’t get is is the “some live like” part.
  • Originally published in Playboy with the even more vague title “Very Late in the Evening” (1960).  Was this really what Playboy readers wanted?  The story of a momma’s boy and the 60-year old woman he finally almost hooks-up with?
  • Anna is a shuttlecocktease.
  • Bloody hell!  Is there anything that hasn’t already been thought of?

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