Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Twilight Zone! ...and by "twilight", I mean...

I subscribe to Zip.ca, which, if you're reading this in the States, is the same sort of thing as Netflix. Flicks? Oh, anyway... I've been getting the disks that comprise the first season of The Twilight Zone lately, 1959-1960. A few of the stories are corny, but in general, I'm surprised how well the writing stands up. I first saw The Twilight Zone in late-late-late night reruns in the early 80s when I was a kid, and they were a strange treasure from another age I was never a part of. Even moreso now... to me now, they're less a reflection of life circa 1960 as they are a reminder of life in the early 80s as it was for me.

But here's something I have noticed about the show. As intellectual as it was — and it touched on some pretty deep themes from time to time — they didn't always give the audience much credit. I don't know how many episodes I've seen now where the last two minutes of the show involve a Holmes-and-Watson routine where some guy explains the previous twenty minutes. And then, for good measure, Rod Serling would often use the closing voice-over to, once again, make sure the audience grasped the McGuffin. But once, just once, I would have liked to have seen Sherlock cut off at the knees by Watson: "You see, when the mind—" "—Yeah, I get it, Sam; the little girl was actually an illusion reflecting her own mental state, the flying saucer people are an allegory for our own military rapaciousness, the lifeguard at the pool no one else could see was a personification of Death because the guy was supposed to have drowned when he was seven at summer camp but didn't, blah blah blah blah blah, shut up and let's get a drink already."

My Twilight Zone episode? I get to go back in time and write this script. :)

2 comments:

Polt said...

Ah, the Twilight Zone. Loved in reruns, the black and white, the Cold War mentality.

Favs? Where Burgess Meredith is the only guy to suvive a nuclear blast, and has all the time he needs to read now, only at the end, he trips and breaks his glasses and now can't read.

Where they've done plastic surgery on some chick, and at the end, they remove the bandages to reveal a beautiful woman, who starts crying in horror when she sees he reflection. And the medical staff remove thier masks and they're all hideous looking.

Those are two I can think of off the top of my head.

Lone Primate said...

Another one everyone remembers is the slot machine with the sappy grin that chases "Franklin" around till he falls to his death. :) I watched that one recently. The guy was a prig and a jerk; it was hard to feel sorry for him. I only felt sorry for his wife, who first suffered his abuse with the patience of a saint, and then had to watch the man she loved (and God knows why) fall to his death and leave her widowed — and all on account of a trip she won.