Sunday, March 1, 2015

As Good As Television Gets

I've been watching the original (1959-64) Twlight Zone series on Netflix.  The first and last episodes of the series ar a remarkable set of bookends.  The first "Where is Everyone?' is the story of a test pilot, preparing for a long voyage to the Moon, in an isolation chamber, and the hallucinations he experiences.  Today, we know that long space voyages don't have these psychological horrors, but at the time, no one knew. 

The last episode, "The Bewitchin' Pool."  is preparing America for the tragedy of the 1960s and 1970s.  Two children growing up in suburbia are watching their parents' marriage collapsing, and they take refuge in a Huckleberry Finn world accessible from the bottom of their pool.  It is a powerful metaphor for how a couple of generations of American parents lost themselves in bickering and completely forgot the needs of their children.  The pool is a metaphor for suicide both direct, and indirect, through their drug problems.  But no one was listening.  I am watching one of these tragedies taking place right now; and it hurts to just be on the sidelines.  I can't imagine the long-term destruction that may result.

2 comments:

asdf said...

The best Twilight Zone episode is the one in which a young kid can make things happen just be wishing it. Truly scary. All the adults are scared of him.

Clayton Cramer said...

A powerful metaphor for totalitarianism; if they all attack at once, he'll lose. But they never get the courage.