Well, it’s the first day of 2011, and I’ve not really had a ton to distract me from my goals today. I’m already a good way into “Juliet, Naked”, I’m editing the first 5 pages of my first serious scripting attempt, and I’m doing this blog now. All in all a good day. When I think back on the day though, I’m finding that while I think about the book I was reading (which I am enjoying immensely), I’m thinking more of one thing that’s just been padding my entire day. It’s been this:
Yes, it’s been the marathon of the BRILLIANT television classic The Twilight Zone. Rod Sterling doing the opening, having that first act, and then Sterling walking into the set to say that the characters are about to enter The Twilight Zone just gives me chills every time. It’s a truly brilliant show, one that’s not afraid to take on some of the most important moments in culture (the red scare, for example, which I’ll be coming back to later), and can be an extremely intelligent story, but still have a layer of campiness underneath some of them. And honestly, I think I can thank The Twilight Zone for making me even a bit interested in writing.
Middle School for me was the way it was for most, but I was one of those people that when spelling tests weren’t involved, I actually loved my English classes, especially in Eighth Grade. In that class, we read some of the most varying types of writing I’d ever had in a school course, and it was the one that introduced me to a television or film script for the first time. The script that was introduced first in that class? It was for the Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street,” an episode from somewhere in the 1960s.
Reading it back then, I just thought of it as a great science-fiction story, and it truly was. Watching these characters react to a whole situation that begins with something that causes massive flashes falling from the sky late in the afternoon was just an amazing thing to see, especially with it still holding some ambiguity in the end, and not having (necessarily) a happy ending. And then reading into it more years later, realizing that it was a story that was drawing parallels to the Red Scare, which was going on in the United States at the time.
I still remember when we went through the script in that Eighth Grade class, and I was eating up every second of it, though some of the others in class didn’t really share as much of an interest in it. We had to read it out loud and everyone had a role in it. I don’t remember my role anymore, but I do remember that I had finished reading it by the end of the night the first day we read it in class. There was just an excitement for me in a story where things may not be as they seemed, and that they didn’t need to have explosions to make something seem action packed or entertaining. That there was something out that that could really keep me involved in a story of people talking with one another.
Eh, I got rambling there near the end, but still, watching this marathon throughout different portions of the day and catching stories I hadn’t seen before, I just continued to realize the brilliance of the show, and that near each story had something it was trying to say. Now some I think were just there to be stories of intrigue and oddities, and they were great for that. But some had underlying messages that were just great to hear on something like a show of science-fiction. I kinda wish we had more like that these days. Maybe I can get lucky and write something that comes even slightly close to it. Just maybe.