Column: We’re all living in ‘The Twilight Zone’

I threatened a couple of months ago to write about “The Twilight Zone” if anyone had interest, and I can’t say the three or four yes votes represented a landslide. Then again, nobody said don’t do it, so it’s true that the sentiment was 100% among those who cast a ballot.

A month or more ago I wrote a draft of a column, let it age as more pressing topics came and went, and returned to it this week as the six-month anniversary of the shutdown nears. So, Sunday’s column: How I watched the entirety of “The Twilight Zone,” why we love it and how it relates to these times. Hope you like it!

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  • SAWZ

    You really HTNOTH with this column. I looked back on some of my e-mails to former colleagues. In one dated, April 10, 2020, I stated, “It seems like we are in worst episode ever made of the “Twilight Zone”. Seems, like every day since March, I have wondered to myself, “What would Rod Serling be thinking now?”

    We watched those episodes–I can’t remember them, but one that has always come to my mind was the episode you say was entitled, “The Eye of the Beholder”. At this time, we have the perfect characters for a sequel to that episode:

    DJT is the Doctor. standing over the “ugly” patient with his knife ready; his trusty assistant Roger Stone is standing right next to him, grinning,

    You could have been the star in the episode about the voracious reader who was elated to find himself as the last human in the world, and surrounded by piles of books. Then he finds out that whatever disaster just occurred to do away with every other living human has also smashed his eye glasses to bits. (I can’t remember if this story was actually a “TZ” episode or not–it must have been. Or, was it the episode entitled, “Time Enough at Last?).

    • Doug Evans

      You got it! That’s the one… “Time Enough at Last”, with Burgess Meredith. Worth a rewatch!

      • davidallen909

        I had to Google HTNOTH (Hit the Nail on the Head, for everyone else).

        I certainly like stacking books up and thinking about which ones I’ll read next. However, when I read, usually I take off my glasses. Breaking my last pair of glasses in a world where no more glasses could be obtained would harm me in numerous ways (many of which would likely be fatal), and would probably affect my ability to see book spines or find my way around. But for actually reading, I might be OK. Still, let’s hope the world doesn’t come to that.

      • Theodore Melendez

        This brings to mind how broad of an actor Burgess Meredith really was . I always thought of him as the trainer in the Rockiy movies, But he was also in the Twlight Zone . He narrated a couple of the 1980s ones. Also somewhat known as the Penguin in the Batman TV series

  • Doug Evans

    I dunno what’s better, the column or the picture that accompanies it. Love seeing the paperbacks and the comic books. I had a few of those comics! And extra props for discussing the episodes without giving away the twist endings… I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that. We always (myself included) describe them as, “You know, the one where the guy who [insert character trait] ends up…” and we go straight to the ending. This column could be a TED talk on how to talk about the Twilight Zone!

    • davidallen909

      It didn’t seem fair to spoil Eye of the Beholder since the episode itself doesn’t pay off until the final minute, so I decided to write around the other summaries too. Although the twist of To Serve Man was hinted at.

      Glad you liked the photo! I shot that as a placeholder while hoping I could find a Rod Serling or TZ photo off Associated Press or somewhere with no rights issues. But our photo editor was off on Friday and, rather than try to find someone on our busiest day to search for photos for me, it seemed simpler just to use the one I’d already taken.

  • Dara Allen

    SAWZ and I must have grown up in the same era, as I immediately knew what HTNOTH meant! My favorite story was also about the man who finally had time to read and had the tragedy of breaking his glasses! Fortunately, I am near-sighted, so I would still have been able to read!
    (I just found my “Complete First Season of Night Gallery” on DVD, so guess what I’m going to be doing for fun this week!)

  • SAWZ

    I just saw the following comment in the humor section of a newsletter: “I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed clocks earlier this year, we’d go from Standard Time to the “Twilight Zone”.