Monday, January 10, 2011
The Twilight Zone Season 2 Review
I've been fortunate enough to have time to sit and watch the whole Season 2 of The Twilight Zone. This classic Rod Serling television show is one of the best Science Fiction/Horror anthology show ever seen. I absolutely love it, and I wanted to review it for this site, episode by episode...well briefly.
So here is my review of the Twilight Zone Season 2:
King Nine Will Not Return - A World War II bomber jet is down, and in a desert, and we find a one man crew member alive and well. This dialogue heavy episode wasn't my favorite, but it was an interesting introduction to the season. I found it a bit tedious, but the idea that the crew has all mysteriously vanished eventually got the better of the main character, in the Twilight Zone.
The Man In The Bottle - A local business man finds himself in a heap of trouble when he finds a genie and starts wishing for things. The only downside, everything he asks for has an unwanted consequences. Much like the Monkey's Paw, this classic tale of being careful what you wish for, really packs a punch.
Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room - This identity crisis feature is actually quite good, and I hate identity crisis crap. A gangster is plagued by his own reflection and while he is usually very timid, his reflection is hardcore and eventually is his ruin.
A Thing About Machines - This "robots are scary" themed episode was quite good. I liked the way it turned out with a writer going crazy because the robots are taking over.
The Howling Man - A traveler discovers that there is a group of religious fanatics that have captured the Devil himself. Not the greatest episode, but it had its charm in a few places.
The Eye of the Beholder - This is one of the more famous of stories from The Twilight Zone, it features a woman that has a surgery to look more like everyone else, but when the bandages are unraveled, she looks...the same! But everyone else, well, they look horrendous...or rather Normal. A great episode about being different and how scary it can be.
Nick of Time - A fortune telling machine with a little devil on top becomes the foil for a young married couple, and as the machine keeps predicting their future, they start putting in more money to see what will happen next. They eventually give up on the whole thing, but we see another couple return, addicted to the machine's uncanny way of telling the future! I loved the paradox and anxiety here.
The Lateness of the Hour - This was a weird episode, the camera switched gears and it seemed, well, odd. It seemed more like a stage play than a film, but I liked it none the less. A group of robot servants pamper some rich folk but one woman gets upset about it all only to realize that she too is a robot! Not the greatest episode, but a fine acting job by Inger Stevens.
The Trouble With Templeton - This time traveling episode was rather odd. I didn't really enjoy it that much, although it did have a few interesting moments and good overall acting. I didn't get it at first, but eventually realized it was a time travel episode.
A Most Unusual Camera - A couple of thieves find a camera that predicts the future. This one was classic, and I loved the turn around ending with lots of thrills and spills. This one reminded me of an old Goosebumps book with a similar premise. The camera is an old style one, and each picture brought about ruin, a great episode.
The Night of the Meek - A Drunk Santa Claus just wants one thing, to be forever giving away things, but when the Law accuses him of stealing, he becomes a super natural member of the Christmas spirit and forever will get his wish. This was a great one, with a great ending, better than most Christmas movies, and all done in less than a half hour.
Dust - Magic dust is sold to a family, hoping that it will help save their son, and guess what? Twists and turns occur and this one goes straight through the "Twilight Zone". Not a great episode, but then again, they aren't all winners.
Back There - A man travels back in time and tries to stop the Lincoln Assassination. I loved this one, and how hopeless time travelers are in regards to changing key events in history. There are ripple effects that I enjoyed, and it was a cool little look at how time travel can go wrong and right for some.
The Whole Truth - A lying car salesman screws a man out of a car and it's haunted! The car forces him to only tell the truth and he has a heck of a time trying to sell cars afterwards. Not a great episode, but a nice twist.
The Invaders - My favorite episode from season 2, it features a woman that is terrorized by Space Aliens. The Aliens are tiny, and the miniature design is so cool. She eventually gets the one up, but she realizes that the UFO is from the United States! The best one in this season, and something that I can see over and over, and yes, maybe we will find life on another planet, and they are huge! I loved this.
A Penny For Your Thoughts - A bank worker throws a coin into a bin, it lands straight up, and now he can read people's thoughts. He goes through his day in hell, then eventually finds himself with a new love and a new job. I liked how this episode turned out, but man, it looked grim for our main character.
Twenty Two - An actress is having recurring nightmares in a hospital, and then has a vision of disaster in the near future. When she goes nuts before an airplane takes off, she realizes that her nightmares were warnings from beyond. I liked this episode, and Barbara Nichols was hot...really hot.
The Odyssey of Flight 33 - This weird and creepy flight is another time travel episode, but it had a lot of cool little features. The flight keeps going back in time and the crew starts to panic, meanwhile the passengers look out the window, to find themselves in a variety of times past. I loved it.
Mr Dingle, The Strong - A traveling salesman receives super strength, and now he's got to figure out what to do with his new found power. I loved it.
Static - A radio plays programming that only he can hear, and he goes insane. Another good overall episode.
The Prime Mover - Two men discover that one of them has telekinetic powers, and now they must figure out what to do next. I liked this cool episode about the powers from beyond.
Long Distance Call - A little boy hears his grandma on a toy phone, and she's talking to him from beyond the grave, which is insane. I loved how this one turned out.
A Hundred Yards Over The Rim - Another time traveling episode which is insane. The leader of a wagon train ends up far into the future and of course, he's going insane.
The Rip Van Winkle Caper - Another time travel episode? Yes! A great look at how thieves can steal in suspension. I liked it a lot, but it reminded me a little of Time Cop or something along those lines.
The Silence - A man tries to not speak for a full year, which scared me a little. This was one creepy episode and the main hero goes nuts trying to figure out the year without speaking.
Shadow Play - A man is going to die, but he believes he's in a dream, and is going crazy trying to tell everyone else...another paradox and something that is so scary, it nearly hurts.
The Mind and the Matter - Metal powers are the subject of this one, and our main hero tries to change the world around him, but it's not so easy being so powerful, as we find out, in the Twilight Zone.
Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up - There is a new passenger on a bus, and he's not of this world! I liked the paranoia on this episode, as it can have clear parallels with the world we live in today.
The Obsolete Man - The title reminded me of a NOFX song, but the actual episode is a great way to end the season. A new world is created where books are banned and a librarian is being put on trial because the world no longer needs him. Burgess Meredith plays a great role here and it's quite compelling.
So there you have it, a quick rundown of Season 2 of the Twilight Zone. I loved this season, and look forward to checking out more from the classic show. It's funny to see how many new movies rip off the old stories and try to pass them off as new. I loved the acting, and I love the subtle terror found in each story. I highly recommend checking these shows out again.