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Binge Watchin' TV Review: The Twilight Zone

09.19.2016

Welcome to Binge Watchin,’ where we take a look at some of the best TV shows available on streaming or disc that have a great catalogue of seasons to jump into and get sucked into the beautiful bliss of binge watching! From crime, action, comedy, drama, animation, etc., we’ll be evaluating an assortment of shows that will hopefully serve as a gateway to your next binge experience.

Binge Watchin' TV Review, TV Reviews, Science Fiction, Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, Horror

Series: The Twilight Zone

Number of Seasons: 5 (156 episodes to date)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Blu-Ray/DVDHulu, Netflix

Binge Watchin' TV Review, TV Reviews, Science Fiction, Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, Horror

What’s the show about? 

An anthology series created by Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone aired 156 episodes of television that defied genre. From thrillers to romances, science fiction to horror, The Twilight Zone told stories that took place in a world very much like our own but with slight changes and alterations that made the impossible possible. Tackling issues contemporary to when the show aired, The Twilight Zone managed to take the most controversial subject matter and boil it down to basic elements and turn it into a stunning and haunting episode of television. No two episodes are alike and every thirty minute or hour long tale will haunt you long after it ends.

Binge Watchin' TV Review, TV Reviews, Science Fiction, Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, Horror

Why should I watch it?

There are few television series that are as iconic as The Twilight Zone. Few shows manage to be incredibly brilliant while also primarily genre shows. Often, series and films set in horror or science fiction worlds tend to be overlooked by mainstream audiences and critics, but The Twilight Zone crossed every boundary to become worthy of the acclaim heaped upon it. Like Star Trek, The Twilight Zone broke new ground on the small screen by tackling stories and subjects that would never be acceptable on most shows. From concentration camps to sexual deviancy and totalitarian government control, Rod Serling's masterpiece of a show defied every convention.

While many younger viewers may scoff at the black and white Twilight Zone as being old and antiquated, the unbelievably powerful writing makes this show hold up fifty years after it originally aired. Creator Rod Serling wrote 92 of the 156 episodes of the original series (it was remade in 1985 and 2002) and ranks as one of the greatest television writers of all time. Serling found the freedom of genre storytelling gave him the ability to tackle stories that would never work in a conventional format. Instead, we are left with a show that has barely any filler or weak episodes. It also boasts a cast of famous names including Art Carney, William Demarest, Buddy Ebsen, Jack Elam, Buster Keaton, Kevin McCarthyBurgess MeredithAgnes Moorehead, Bill Bixby, Charles Bronson, Donna Douglas, Robert Duvall, Anne Francis, Mariette Hartley, Earl Holliman, Dennis HopperElizabeth MontgomeryLeonard NimoyRobert RedfordBurt Reynolds, Don RicklesWilliam ShatnerTelly Savalas, Alan Sues, George Takei, and Lee Van Cleef.

Binge Watchin' TV Review, TV Reviews, Science Fiction, Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, Horror

The Twilight Zone is a series that clearly inspired filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller, John Landis, M. Night Shyamalan and authors like Stephen King. Featuring twist endings and shocking reveals, the series still pack a punch today for viewers who may be unfamiliar with many of the classic episodes from the show. It is so popular, SyFy often airs marathons on New Years and Independence Day, each spanning multiple days and giving viewers a sampling of some of the show's top tales. But, The Twilight Zone makes for great binge viewing on non-holidays as well and would serve as a great alternative for fans of American Horror Story, Fargo, and other anthologies currently on the air.

Best season:

Later seasons would feature some of the best episodes of the show like "The Hitch-Hiker", "The Eye of the Beholder", "I Sing The Body Electric", and "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge", but the debut run of episodes is packed with some of the series' best. Season one included the chilling "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street", the brilliant "Time Enough At Last" and the haunting "The After Hours". I have no doubt that if any viewer sits down to watch any number of the first season's 36 stories, they will be glued for the entire series.

Final thoughts:

Few shows are as consistenly brilliant as The Twilight Zone. Despite two attempts to revive it as well as a feature film, nothing comes close to the original run. While you may giggle or joke about the clothing and cost of living displayed in some of these episodes, the writing is so good that you can look past the elements that don't age well. Rod Serling as a writer is one of the best that has ever penned a television episode and his work outside of The Twilight Zone supports that (Serling also created The Outer Limits and penned the screenplay for PLANET OF THE APES). But, The Twilight Zone is Serling's crowning achievement and it deserves to be seen by any movie buff or aspiring author.

Source: JoBlo.com

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