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Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween’s Forgotten Hero: Rod Serling

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It doesn’t matter wither or not you grew up in an era without the Twilight Zone. There’s still a good chance you can identify immediately that tune. I’m talking about the sound that brought millions of baby boomers afternoons of enjoyment and somtimes a major freakout.

But the question I ask, is there still good Science Fiction on TV? Or has that time come and gone? Rod Serling brought thought and from to a new developing art, the TV medium.

When the Twilight Zone went on the air in the 1950’s, America was not used to ideas that maybe we all could be wrong and maybe the good guy can really turn out to be a real rotten person.

Has America lost it’s interest in good un-adulterated Sci-fi?
There is no doubt that we have Sci-fi and in fact a lot of it is really good. But is it to predictable? Are the cast of characters still going to make it to the end for the 200th episode in a row? Will the spaceship make it across the wormhole while loosing all of it’s tails?

Lots of the Science Fiction my merely hold a shock value rather then substance. Goulash monsters and aliens still fill the screen but the big revile is missing. What ever happened to the big “Oh Wow!” modern culture has made it hard to watch good movies. While today most of the baby boomers, my self included want instant gratification.

We want the big bad thing shown to us up front. However there are people standing in the way of this new trend. Like writer and director M. Night Shamalan. who can still pull of the big “Wow!” at the end while still keeping the picture solid and entertaining. Pictures need more big relations. We need controversial movies and TV shows. Or have we just bowed to our corporate masters who just want a picture with a star and can be out by Christmas?

That’s why I think we really need to look back at the masters. Like that of Rod Serling who unlike many of today’s writers was not afraid to stand up and make a mistake. Write something that challenges the system on what they hold to be truth.


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