Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


PRIMETIME: THE OUTSIDERS -- ALIEN ABDUCTEES. Shown on ABC Television August 18th, 2009.

The very thin line these days between news and entertainment was practically obliterated by this special report on people who say they have not only seen alien spaceships but aliens themselves, and who have also been examined or even had sexual contact with visitors from other worlds. Juju Chang was the hostess for the program, and she wisely remained skeptical, although at times she might have asked some tougher questions of these delusional individuals. Admirably, the program brings in experts to explain about "sleep paralysis," a condition that affects many people, which makes them feel frozen and even have hallucinations, which most sensible people feel is the true explanation for feelings of being observed and experimented on by "aliens." Frankly, the people interviewed for this show all seem to have one thing in common: they don't seem very bright. One family man in particular is a geeky, unemployed guy who is gaining a certain measure of fame (among the stupid) because of his alleged "experiences" with aliens. Meanwhile this jerk is subjecting his kids to ridicule and probably giving them endless nightmares, afraid they'll be "abducted" any minute. [He's probably hoping for a book deal.] Alien abductees tend to be utterly average (or below average) individuals that few people would go out of their way to talk to at a cocktail party. Believing (as in some cases they actually do) that they are being singled out by aliens -- or, as one fellow feels, angels (!) -- makes these utterly mediocre individuals feel special. While Primetime probably shouldn't be giving these losers any attention, at least the program didn't take their stories at face value, and brought in experts to tell us what's really going on. As one Harvard psychologist put it -- and I paraphrase -- there may well be life on other worlds, and aliens may visit Earth someday, but these foolish people have not had any "close encounters."

Verdict: Okay for what it is. **1/2.

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