Courtney Eilhardt

My Man Rod

One of my favorite old tv shows to watch is the original Twilight Zone series. It’s fun to see the corny props and terrible acting. But what isn’t corny is some of the plot lines, and I contribute those to its writer, Rod Serling. The main reason why I adore the Twilight Zone is for him in fact. He was one heck of a guy, for more than just his writing and directing skills. On top of those, he was a boxer, a teacher, and even a war veteran of WWII (earning a purple heart).


Most people who have sat through an episode may brush it off as silly or outdated, but what they may not realize is how revolutionary Serling created the Twilight Zone to be in its time (which spanned 156 episodes in the early 1960’s).


Rod was an extreme protester of the strict censorship in the media and television in those years, so much so that he became known as the “angry young man.” He fought to write and broadcast a show that didn’t glaze over, but explored the controversial and sensitive topics of the time, to get people to think very hard about them, which was many times the sentiment that he left viewers with at the end of an episode.


Though the limits of censorship have changed dramatically since the 60’s, many themes presented in the Twilight Zone are very relevant even today, including prejudice, war, technology, vanity, paranoia, and many others.


In case you’re curious and have an extra 20 minutes, there are many episodes on Netflix to explore, and now you’ll understand why if you hear me humming the iconic notes to the series’ theme song when something strange is going on (:


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