Twilight Zone – Teacher’s Aide (11/08/85)

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One of those fabulous, inclusive, multi-cultural TV gangs — that is more diverse than actual TV — is walking across campus when they spot a member of the denim-wearing tribe that “has had it 2 good for 2 long.” 2 be 4gotten. Glamorously coiffed Wizard, of the bare-chest-covered-only-by-open-sleeveless-shirt-studded-clothes tribe looks into his handsome adversary’s dreamy eyes and unbuckles his belt. To the surprise of everyone, it is to use it as a weapon.

While my belt has certainly been choking the life out of me lately, a belt is no match for the switchblade held by Colfax.  Wizard, contrary to his name, has stupidly brought a belt to a knife fight.  It works out, though, as he is soon pummeling Colfax with his fists.  80’s babe Adrienne Barbeau jumps into the fray and roughly pushes Wizard off of Colfax.  All the while, the scene is being observed by a gargoyle with glowing red eyes.

The principal chastises her, calling the students “animals”.  She corrects him by pointing out they are “children” . . . 6-foot tall, muscular, violent children.  That night, Adrienne dreams of the gargoyle and claws the stuffing out of her mattress.

tzteachersaide20In class the next day, she says, “We will start by conjugating the verb to be.”  How remedial is this high-school class?  Wizard and Trojan walk in late and constantly disrupt class with their proud ignorance. Adrienne asks why they bother coming to school and Trojan says, “because I like your legs, baby.” This guy truly is an imbecile.  Adrienne Barbeau may indeed have a fine set of pins.  However, I have never once in my life heard anyone mention any body parts below her chest; or maybe now, her waist.

Adrienne picks Trojan up with one arm and slams him against the wall.  “You are an insect.  I’d like to break your wings, little bug.”  Nothing is scarier than a broken Trojan, but Wizard comes to his friend’s side, and both are saved by the bell.  Adrienne seems genuinely surprised at what she just did.

There is a good scene as she is walking to class with a fellow teacher who is frustrated by the criminals she has to teach.  Adrienne peels off and starts pounding a guy’s head against the lockers.  That’s the good part.

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No, that’s her foot.

The next day, she is reading to the class from The Wives of Brixham by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Hehe . . . Longfellow.  Wizard starts cranking some tunes. Adrienne quite reasonably smashes the noise-box, then throws him out of the classroom.

The guys are getting tired of Adrienne pushing them around. Trojan, looking fab in long dangling silver earrings, silver necklaces, a silver braided waist-necklace, white pants with sleeveless back shirt, one fingerless white glove, a three-inch belt, and a huge 10-years-too-late afro, tells his trilby-wearing mulletted gang-mate that they are tired of looking like fools.

Wizard grabs a Louisville Slugger and goes looking for Adrienne.  Unfortunately for him, he finds her looking more gargoyley than usual.  She attacks Wizard, then I start to lose track; and interest.  Clearly, with the sunken red eyes, sharp teeth, and unmanicured claws, she has been possessed by the gargoyle.  After beating Wizard even more senseless, she sees herself in the mirror and backs into an electrical panel which explodes; then the gargoyle on the roof is struck by lightning.  But which was the cause and which the effect?  Or was either either?  After several more lightning strikes, the gargoyle is completely destroyed and Adrienne collapses to the ground.

Wizard:     You could have killed me.

Adrienne: I couldn’t let that happen.

Me:           Hunh?

Wizard says “Thanks” and helps her up.  So maybe it was all worth it.

tzteachersaide40Closing narration:  We are told damned places exist — buildings where madness permeates the very bricks and mortar.  We are told sometimes dedication and kindness can purge the evil from those walls . . . a lesson to be learned in the study halls of The Twilight Zone.

It is never explained why the gargoyle chose her to enter (other than her being Adrienne Barbeau), or if she understood what was happening to her.  They only had 10 minutes to work with, though, so maybe I should grade on a curve.

On the other hand, the outro is not merely missing exposition, it is completely backwards.  Wizard’s kindness did not exorcise the demon from Adrienne or the school. He only turned from Goofus to Gallant after the gargoyle was destroyed.

Meh, just not much going on here.

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