One of those literary geniuses is Rod Serling. I wasn't alive when The Twilight Zone originally aired in the late 50s/early 60s. I remember watching it in reruns on Saturday mornings in the mid-80s.
The show was sheer brilliance. Many of the episodes were written by Serling himself. He's known for being among the first writer to clash with network executives over issues like censorship and racism.
In my 20s, I finally watched all five seasons of The Twilight Zone, thanks to SyFy. I watched them again a couple of years ago. You can find four seasons on Netflix and all seasons on YouTube.
Recently I noticed Night Gallery among my recommended shows on Hulu. Night Gallery was a later series of Serling's, airing in the early 70s. The pilot for the show aired in 1969 and featured a segment directed by Stephen Spielberg in his directorial debut. Spielberg's segment starred worst-mom-ever Joan Crawford:
Once I saw Night Gallery out there, I had to watch. But only after asking my mom (a Twilight Zone fan) if it was worth it. She said yes, so I started with episode one and just kept going. One of the spookiest was this one, about a woman who keeps having a dream about a certain house:
There was also one about a doll that was scary to look at...even 46 years later! As I was watching the episodes, I thought, "Something tells me this episode was pretty impactful." Sure enough, a basic Google search found that horror director Guillermo Del Toro saw the episode as a child and calls it, "as scared as I've ever been in anything."
Stephen King is said to be a Rod Serling fan, a fact he mentioned in Danse Macabre. In fact, the episode Fright Night (which aired in 1973) seemed eerily similar to the book The Shining (which was published in 1977). Writer and wife isolated in a home where he gradually succumbs to possession...and where he eventually tries to kill his wife. Sound familiar?
Then came the third season, which kicked off with an episode where Vincent Price and Bill Bixby have dinner with a goat. And Vincent Price explains that the goat is his father. Take the goat as a bad omen and stop watching. Trust me on that!
|Dinner with a goat kicked off the very bad third season of Night Gallery.|
What's your favorite classic TV show?