An Introduction to "The Twilight Zone" Marathon
I don't feel like there was enough fanfare for the fact that Jordan Peele is executive producing a reboot of The Twilight Zone.
To be entirely fair, he's not doing it alone, being joined by Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez on the pilot, but he's definitely the name that inspires the most confidence in the project. His debut film Get Out felt like a top tier episode of The Twilight Zone but thoughtfully and fully expanded into a feature length film (it also helps that Get Out was literally my favorite movie of 2017, but let's not get too sidetracked). He's the perfect man to usher the show back into pop culture, especially after his work on Key and Peele.
(Also, as a side note, seeing Jordan Peele's work in front of the camera from Key and Peele has reminded me: I don't know if the reboot of The Twilight Zone is planning on having someone take up Rod Serling's role as the "host" of the show who appears off to the side of the episodes, but if that's in the plan, I'd love to see Peele take that part.)
But I am slightly fearful about the project. It definitely has all the right players, but the original run of The Twilight Zone is my favorite TV show of all time. I still remember the first episode of the show I ever saw as a kid at my Oma and Opa's house called "Ninety Years Without Slumbering." In retrospect, it's not one of the best episodes, but when I was a kid, it was a revelation. I have a near primal reaction to black and white film in terms of inspiring fear, and the show's nasty twists and turns were right up my alley.
It's been well over fifteen years since I discovered the show and I love randomly going through episodes of it on Netflix and choosing one I've never seen before. While doing that recently, something finally hit me:
I've never seen every episode of The Twilight Zone.
I've seen all of the most famous episodes more than once, but for every "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," there are a couple of underrated episodes like "A Nice Place to Visit" and "I am the Night - Color Me Black."
With that fact in mind, and the fact that the show will soon be rebooted, this felt like the moment. The moment to finally sit down and watch every single episode of the original series, 156 episodes across five seasons. And to commemorate watching the entire series, I'm going to review all 156 episodes in order, every day.
Like my "Favorite Christmas Films" list, I want to establish some expectations:
- The reviews are going to be split in half. The first half of the review will be spoiler free and serve as a summary of how much I like the episode. The second half of the review will dive into the episode's "twist," "reveal," whatever you want to call it (just to be sure this point isn't lost, every review will begin with a version of this disclaimer).
- While I plan on trying to review one every single day, don't be shocked if I fall behind at certain points. Life happens, etc.
- Last but not least, some reviews are going to be longer than others. As much as I love The Twilight Zone, some episodes of the show are deeply thoughtful and complex. Others are just plain old fun, and don't have as much to scrutinize.
I'll still write other reviews for films and other TV shows, but this will take up literally near half of my entire year. I've always been a fan of blogs like "Horror Movie A Day" by Brian Collins and video projects like James Rolfe's "Monster Madness," and I've always wanted to undertake a similarly ambitious and long-running series of reviews in that vein. This seems like the right time to take on that task.
So, sometime in the near future, be on the lookout for the beginning of my descent into the place that exists at the pit of man's fears and at the summit of his knowledge.
I can't resist saying it, but welcome to The Twilight Zone.