Free at The Paley: TV Noir Screenings

"Let There Be Dark" explores "the shadows and smoke" of several small screen classics on select weekend days through August.

How many different synonyms exist for the word "bright"?

There's sunshiny, and glaring, and illuminated, and aglow, and blazing, and dozens of other handy words that could correctly convey the feeling of standing outside, in a non-shady spot, on a particularly intense August afternoon.

If you've longed for a small break from these amazing sunbeams and this powerful swelter we've been weathering, The Paley Center for Media has your number. "Let There Be Dark," a month-long, select-dates screening series, ventures into television noir territory, including crime shows and those small-screen classics that have taken, and continue to take, in some instances, a saunter on the supernatural side.

Paley curator David Bushman is behind the atmospheric selections, stories that summon "shadows and smoke, alleyways and tunnels, glorious black and white" and several other hallmarks from velvety-rich, layered-deep tales of deceit, mystery, and intriguing clues.

The first full weekend of screenings is Saturday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, Aug. 6, with reprisals of particular programs on every Sunday to follow through the end of August. 

Admission is free, and, yes, these are TV shows played on a big screen.

"Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" from "The X-Files" is part of the series as is 1952's "The Big Cast" from "Dragnet." "Kraft Mystery Theatre: Night Cry" from 1958 will play a part, and Episode 2 from "Twin Peaks," circa 1990, is on the schedule.

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"Angel," "Battlestar Galactica," and "Moonlighting" are just a few more, but the roster is a full one, so check and see if your favorite noir TV treat is on there, and, moreover, if it is an episode you especially adore and would like to revisit.

Bright outside much? It is early August, after all, a pinnacle for high temperatures and brilliant sunny days 'round Southern California.

But Southern California is also the birthplace of noir, and the longtime home of many iconic TV series, making a free series that honors both, right in this time of big brightness, kind of the perfect counter-programming, especially for those seeking a shadow, and a bit of fog, on a warm weekend day.

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