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David Chase.

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David Chase Stopped Watching TV When He Discovered Drinking

Last time we spoke to David Chase, he told us that he only watches two TV shows: Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men. When we saw him last night at the WGAE's celebration of the 101 Best Written TV Series last night, we asked him if that's still the case. It is. "There are all these shows that I want to watch, but you've got to start at episode one," he said. "Like Breaking Bad, I tried to watch that in season four, but you really got to start from the beginning. And that's a huge investment of time." When we point out that this would probably surprise people, given that he's the creator of The Sopranos, he explained his disinterest in the medium thusly: "I was not a super TV watcher since I discovered drinking. No, seriously! Really, at about fifteen, I started to go out to parties and stuff, and that was it. I never really watched much TV after that. Although I did watch The Fugitive. There've been periods when I've watched — but not really. Twilight Zone before that." What does he think, then, of J.J. Abrams's possible movie about Twilight Zone writer Rod Serling? And what would he like to see in that movie?

"Hmmm," he said. "I loved Twilight Zone. Matthew Weiner sent me a DVD about Rod Serling a little while ago that was really interesting, but it was really about the challenges faced by a writer, sort of the difficulty of writing. I would like to see that, but that's not really cinematic. I think it's probably going to have a lot of digital effects ... You know, I almost ran [Serling] over when he was in a crosswalk, when I was about 22, in Brentwood. I was driving too fast and he was crossing the street and I went [makes a car braking/swerving noise] on the brakes. And then I met him later on, he used to hang around this place every once in a while, and I had no prospects, and I came up to him and started talking to him, and he was very helpful and very nice." Until you brought up how you almost ran him over? "I didn't bring that up. Actually, it should have been: I ran him over, and he was dead, and then I saw him." And there you have David Chase's Twilight Zone. 

Photo: Dustin Wayne Harris/©Patrick McMullan