Every year around this time I can’t help but think of “The Twilight Zone.” That hit TV show from the late 50s to mid 60s that revolutionized not only television, but storytelling. It was a weekly dose of sci-fi, fantasy and/or philosophy, combined with intrigue and mystery. It has become an ingrained part of the American lexicon. (“There’s a sign post up ahead. Next stop…” you fill in the rest). And who doesn’t get chills when you hear that creepy TZ theme music?
Growing up as a kid in Los Angeles, every year on Thanksgiving KTLA Channel 5 would play a “Twilight Zone” marathon. From about 9 am to whatever time we had dinner in the evening, you would find me and my brother plunked down in front of the TV, glued to the screen, soaking in every creepy story, every “OMG” plot twist. (Who can forget…”It’s…it’s a COOK BOOK!” or “Room for one more honey!” That one was probably one of the creepiest.)
That show was the freaking BOMB! It was ahead of its time. Not only because it was so entertaining, but because it made you think about things:
When I say I “miss” the Twilight Zone, it’s not just that I miss seeing the episodes (obviously, because you can find them on old cable stations or buy the DVDs). What I miss is the “spirit” of the show. The ingenuity. The storytelling. The creativity. Every now and then you get gems that bring us a little bit of that. “Lost”. “Alias.” “The Walking Dead.” But those are all shows that center primarily among a central group of characters. Large arcs are built, and you typically have to follow from the beginning. I miss being able to see something where every week there’s something new. A new set of characters to root for. A new problem to solve. A new mystery. We had it with “The X-Files” to an extent. But nothing has quite been like “The Twilight Zone.”
What are some of your favorite TV shows from your youth that you miss?