Happy Fourth of July!
Traditionally, people spend this day going to cookouts and watching fireworks. But for me, July 4th brings about my own personal time-honored tradition: watching The Twilight Zone marathon on Syfy.
This year I won’t be home to watch episode after episode of what I think was one the greatest series on television. Sad face. Thankfully we have DVR at our house so while I’m out I can record what I’ll miss.
So in honor of this tradition, I’ve listed some of my favorite episodes below. If you’re trying to beat the heat or just relaxing around the house, I highly recommend checking them out.
In no particular order:
“Living Doll” – “Talky Tina” is like the evil Barbie of The Twilight Zone, and her target is the disgruntled father of a little girl who knows she’s not just a pretty face.
“The Eye of the Beholder” – A woman whose face is wrapped in surgical bandages has undergone countless plastic surgeries to try to look “normal” because almost everyone who sees her renders her ugly. Creepy foreshadowing about the beauty ideal and the potentially destructive path our culture is headed down with it.
“The Invaders” – A woman who lives in solitude finds herself being plagued by tiny aliens in her home. The ending turns the tables on what you originally thought about the identity of the aliens.
“Twenty-Two” – A dancer is recovering in the hospital and keeps having nightmares about a nurse leading her to the morgue. Think Final Destination of The Twilight Zone.
“The Shelter” – A nuclear warning sends a man’s neighbors scrambling to try to get into his fallout shelter. Goes to show how far people will go to survive any impending threat, even the non-zombie kind.
“It’s a Good Life” Residents of a dwindling small town are forced to placate a little boy who has horrific mental powers. I think this is the creepiest of all Twilight Zone episodes. There’s one part where you see what happened to a man who angered the little boy. It’s only in shadow, but it’s enough to remind why child villains might be the scariest of all.
“Nothing in the Dark” – An old woman living in a condemned apartment is afraid to open her door to let anyone in for fear they might be Death.
“A Piano in the House” – A nasty critic purchases a piano that, when music plays on it, causes people to reveal their true feelings and selves. Can’t help remembering Longfellow’s quote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
“The Dummy” – A ventriloquist is being terrorized by his own dummy. I think this episode contributed to my fear of ventriloquist dummies and other puppets. There’s just something about them…
“Mute” – A mute, telepathic girl is orphaned and taken care of by caring human parents. This isn’t a creepy episode, but an endearing one that shows that compassion is a universal language.
“The Masks” – A dying, wealthy old man forces his family to wear hideous masks all night that end up revealing their true selves. They might get his inheritance, but they get something a whole lot worse with it. I also have a fear of putting on masks because I think something like this episode will happen if I do.
“Number 12 Looks Just Like You” – Set in a futuristic society, a girl resists the pressure to undergo surgery that will make her young and immune to diseases, knowing it will cost her her individualism. Again, creepy-kind-of-true foreshadowing of where we might be heading with the beauty ideal we hold so dear.
“The Bewitchin’ Pool” – Two children with neglectful, mean parents find that the bottom of their swimming pool is a portal to another dimension where they can be free from their parents. And get to eat cake for meals.