How ‘The Twilight Zone’Changed the Face of TV

The Twilight Zone
Via WikiMedia Commons

“The Twilight Zone” is one of the undisputed champs of compelling TV. The original debuted in 1959 and ran for 5 seasons. Beyond that, it spawned a movie and three remakes. As a testament to the greatness of the original, no iteration since has been as successful.

The 1980s Twilight Zone came close to matching the tone of the original, but its biggest successes were episodes that were themselves remakes or follow-ups to original episodes from the 1960s.

So What Made The Original Twilight Zone Great?

“The Twilight Zone,” similar to the original “Star Trek,” was far ahead of its time. The series used themes of horror, science-fiction, and fantasy to tell human stories. It was one of the most thought-provoking half-hours to ever air on television. It did not, however, get bogged down and preachy and, instead, remained highly entertaining at every turn.

Our Quick Episode Guide

If you somehow missed out on this classic series, we have some recommendations for first-time viewers. These are essential viewing:

  • The Monsters are Due on Maple Street – This episode could not feel more relevant today. In fact, it’s hard to believe that this was written long before social media. It perfectly reflects society’s current state showing that, in many ways, not much has changed since 1950.
  • To Serve Man – One of the classic twists, this one may not be as socially important, but it is a wild ride.
  • Time Enough at Last – We’re not going to lie. This one is pretty dark. It is, however, a classic.
  • Eye of the Beholder – Another amazing commentary on society. This one deals with social norms and beauty standards with a Twilight Zone twist.
  • The Shelter – Paranoia and social panic has never been presented better. Again, this one feels just as relevant today.
  • It’s a Good Life Often considered one of the best episodes of the series, everything is perfect in this one from the bizarre story to the excellent acting. This one will stick with you.

What do you think of our episode guide? Ready to binge some classic Twilight Zone? If you enjoy this look-back, you should check out our ‘Do You Remember Series‘ and be sure to follow The Greatest Generation on Facebook a