Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Max at https://powerpop.blog
There are a few older shows that a younger generation has heard of…I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, All In The Family, and a few others…but The Twilight Zone… most generations have actually watched. It still stands up today. I was reminded of how great of a show it was when I recently went through every episode on this blog.
The Twilight Zone contained 156 episodes and I graded them on a 1-5 scale and out of those episodes…I only had 4 total episodes that were under a 3. How many TV shows have that kind of ratio? Not that I am the official grade on The Twilight Zone but there are not many bad ones…even in IMDB’s 1-10 ratings there are only 3 episodes graded below 6.
I’ve seen reviews on every episode and they differ like night and day. People get passionate talking about this show. “Hey, do you know the one where all the guy wanted to do was read but broke his glasses?” “Yea but what about the one with Captain Kirk…oh yea I mean Shatner in the plane with the monster on the wing?” “How about the one where the humans find the alien cookbook that was called To Serve Man” “That’s a good one but do you remember the episode about the beautiful woman getting her bandages off of her eyes and everyone else is ugly?”
I’ve read reviews of my personal favorite episodes and they might be the polar opposites of someone else. They are all over the map because they mean something different to everyone.
The way Rod Serling handled social injustice, racial bigotry, the Cold War, McCarthyism, consumerism, and hatred with a science fiction twist was outstanding. He did this without preaching, exaggeration, or shoving his views on people. He used the art of subtlety that has been lost through the years. It was the way he could convey these thoughts that didn’t drive people away from the message… but brought them closer to it. In turn, he brings us closer to each other.
In a 1959 interview when the show just started, Mike Wallace suggested to Serling that by working on this series he had “given up on writing anything important for television.” Wallace missed the point of the show entirely. Serling DID write important material for the show…but through science fiction. It’s the only way censors and advertisers would allow it.
This show is hands down my favorite TV show of all time. I never get tired of it….even after over a year of posting about the show. Rod Serling was a fantastic writer and he picked some great writers like Richard Matheson, Earl Hamner Jr, Charles Beaumont, and George Clayton Johnson to contribute to the show. The show ages well and the black and white only adds to it.
The Twilight Zone has been revived a few times. In the 80s and 2000s but they didn’t come close to the original. A movie was made in 1983 called Twilight Zone: The Movie but again… it didn’t scratch the surface of the original series.
TV can be a vast wasteland but Serling believed TV could matter. He refused to cater to the lowest denominator. He wrote intelligent stories and screenplays to challenge his viewers. He went to battle with the network censors, executives, and advertisers to improve and protect the show. He succeeded in creating a show that still resonates today.
You could always depend on a twist in the smart scripts. Sometimes the guilty finger would point at the viewer… we would find out who the monster really was… it would be us… the human race. We all know the twists now, but the sense of justice is why The Twilight Zone is still relevant, and we keep coming back for more.
“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space, and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.”
“A sickness known as hate; not a virus, not a microbe, not a germ – but a sickness nonetheless, highly contagious, deadly in its effects. Don’t look for it in the Twilight Zone – look for it in a mirror. Look for it before the light goes out altogether.”