Submitted for your approval. Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone is one of my favorite television series. It has influenced and motivated my writing and most importantly my interest in selecting binge-worthy shows. My love for this iconic show has influenced most of what I watch, possibly what I read, and how I write. The superior writing of the show has stood up to the test of time. I aspire to be as clever and skilled at creating stories that appear so normal but end just as twisted as the stories of the show. I search for shows that have intelligent topics, horror, science fiction, political implications, human interest elements, social significance and relevance, and characters I can relate to in their search for…well, whatever. Most of the people in the world of Twilight suffer from prejudice, avarice, selfishness, cruelty, narcissism, and arrogant. There has to be humor, aliens, space travel, witchcraft, drama, chaos, order, ghosts, diversity, monsters, horror and a little bit of crazy all with a melodramatic and suspenseful twist. I watched the Twilight Zone religiously. I sat in front of the television as a young child with tiny hands which cupped my chin in awe and spellbound with the quality of entertainment in all things Twilight. Summited for your approval, was the unforgettable opening line that reeled me in as the cliché suggests hook, line, and sinker. “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast ad 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 submit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.” Not everybody loves the show, but I’m positive that most people on the planet Earth and possibly other galaxies have heard of the television show. In Black & White, these stories are clear and crisp in their presentations of the human condition. The anthology presents a moral tale or fable that should teach us what our futures will be if we don’t adhere to the principles of treating all of mankind well, not just the man or women in the mirror. One of my favorite episodes was “The Eye of the Beholder.” It told the tale of a young woman who was having a surgical procedure to correct her disfigurement. Can you imagine sitting so close to the television that the gleam from the light almost blinded you? Now what do you think happened when the bandages were removed from the ugly woman’s face. “The doctor yells, “No Change” and I see the face of a beauty queen. And the camera pans out and I witness the distorted and contorted faces of the hospital staff who resemble adult pigs. My brothers chased me through the house all week holding their noses to the side to mimic the ‘pretty’ people. Well, after I screamed, I cried and then understood. She was not pretty, not in her world. Later, influenced by this episode I devised a saying of my own, “Beauty is an inside job.”
If you wish to further explore the imagination of a show like The Twilight Zone, you should be quite comfortable with watching or binging The Black Mirror. It is called Black Mirror because it represents the screens of all your devices if you are not actively engaged with the technology. There are five seasons (22 episodes) of the British show created by Charlie Brooker. I’m not surprised at all that the program was inspired by The Twilight Zone. The show like Twilight Zone is an anthology and all the shows stand alone. You can watch any season in any order you wish. The focus of this show is similar with Twilight in that it showcases and spotlight the human condition. Although it originated in 2011, people haven’t changed much. They are still selfish, arrogant, greedy, narcissistic, criminal, and have other unpleasant characteristics. The major difference in Twilight and The Black Mirror is that these science fiction stories deal with all facets of technology and its side effects, its impact on the society and as always, the human condition. One of my favorite shows, USS Callister dealt with a gaming programmer who had to rush a new launch in time for the Christmas buying rush. He devoted his life entirely to creating the appropriate codes and software and had no social skills at all. He was ridiculed by his co-workers and treated horribly. To seek revenge, he stole bits of their DNA and created an online game on a spaceship like the Starship Enterprise where he cloned them and created scenarios where he ruled as a Captain unlike Captain Kirk. He could kill his crew or manipulate them based on his maniacal will. What happens when the crew figure out that they are in a program created by their co-worker? Another episode I enjoyed was Nosedive. The story shows a young woman whose life centers around getting ‘likes.’ In this society, your worth is judged on how many likes and loves you receive. The likes determine where you get to live, what job you can receive and whose social circle you belong to? Things go from bad to worse when she doesn’t get all the likes she’s accustomed to. She struggles and begins to go down a dark path to maintain her social status. What would you do if you were faced with this dilemma? I have to advise you not to watch an episode called Black Museum, Season 4 Episode 6 since it contains a lot of ‘easter eggs’ from past seasons and episodes. If the reveal of these messages won’t bother you, then watch away. All seasons are currently on Netflix, so don’t delay. Also, season five only has three episodes so you should begin there if you feel that you’re not quite ready to jump in. I think wherever you start, you’ll end up quite entertained if you like me enjoy dark twists. Charlie Brooker, the creator recently revealed in an interview with Radio Time that Season 9 isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. “Considering the current state of the world, he said he wasn’t sure if viewers could “stomach” a new season right now. I need to call and tell him that I experienced firsthand the pig people up close and personal, so bring it on!