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.
When someone mentions the words “Twilight Zone” the theme music plays automatically in my head.
Now that the original series of The Twilight Zone is on Netflix, I’ve decided to give it a shot because I’m older and less afraid of the dark. I’m half joking about being afraid. When I was a kid, I was terrified of The Twilight Zone. It was that theme music and the presumption that it had to do with horror and ghosts.
Also, it didn’t help that when the music came on TV, my older bros ran out of the room, turned off the lights, locked me inside and screamed to terrorize me.
But I’ve been watching the first season of The Twilight Zone, and it’s spectacular in every aspect: acting, story, cinematography, and just overall creating a world that’s not natural, uhh…a supernatural world. I’ve also realized that the show, as unusual and paranormal as it is, is one big allegory for a moral to be conveyed. It’s like the “Wheel of Morality” from Animaniacs. All the craziness is for societal lesson at the end.
The whole first episode “Where Is Everybody?” involves one man in an empty town trying to figure out where he is and where everyone went. The way the camera shoots, the eeriness of scenes with no music, it all conveys a sense of loneliness and longing for someone else to just be present. He goes to the most typical places where people gather, diners, church, theaters. Not a single soul. Imagine going to an empty Comic Con. All that glorious nerd stuff and not a single nerd to nerd out with you!
Eventually the protagonist figures out his dilemma, but the moral is revealed in dialogue that so many human needs can be satisfied by manufacturing and manipulation, but man’s most basic need, his hunger for companionship cannot be simulated.
When I heard this dialogue, I was snapping like it was Def Jam poetry night in my living room. I was like “DAAAAAAANG. That’s deep.” It’s our desire to hang out with other people and share life. No one truly wants to be alone. We look for community in so many places. When we don’t find it, we panic internally. It’s like a nightmare we want to end.
Ah…So many levels!
Also, I was kind of bummed that as a kid I didn’t give The Twilight Zone a chance. Maybe as an adult, its message and art can be more appreciated.
Yes, the theme music too.
If you have Netflix watch the first episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s refreshing and relevant.
What shows have you watched that turned out totally different than your expectations? For better or worse?
Share some thoughts below!