10 Twilight Zone Dystopias That Don't Seem All That Bad Now
New Year's Eve is a time for tradition. For some, it is the tradition of paying an annoying amount of money to have a relatively mediocre and incredibly stressful time squished up against a bunch of other people with loud horn thingies, eagerly waiting to, um, count backwards. Woohoo! My favorite tradition is, rather, avoiding all of those people and watching the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy network.
Sure, fine, I could totally watch it anytime I wanted to, because it's on Netflix, but there is something special about watching it on New Year's and also livetweeting it along with hundreds of other agoraphobics that just makes it special.
It has occurred to me, however, that after this year, the Twilight Zone just doesn't seem that weird anymore. Or all that unpleasant! So, here are 10 Twilight Zone episodes that no longer seem that unpleasant, now that Donald Trump is going to be our president.
Warning, this contains spoilers about a show that stopped airing like over 50 years ago.
1. Planet of the Giant Agnes Moorehead
In "The Invaders," Agnes Moorehead stars as a poor, lonely woman living in a rustic cabin. One day, she finds her cabin being invaded by tiny tiny aliens who attack her, so she freaks out and throws one of them into the fireplace, and then the other one runs back to the UFO and is all like "This planet is not at ALL good for invading, because it is inhabited by giants" and TWIST, the alien is a human person from earth.
Oh gee! A planet where the worst thing is a giant Agnes Moorehead, or possibly tiny aliens depending on your perspective? I am basically OK with that. I mean, come on, she was Endora. That could be a good time. Think of the caftans we'd wear!
2. The One Where Everyone Is a Toy In A Bucket
If there is one Twilight Zone episode I absolutely hate, it is "Five Characters in Search of an Exit." I hate it SO MUCH and I can't even tell you why. Maybe because of the clown? But for real, being trapped in a bucket with a clown, a ballerina, an army guy, a hobo and a bagpiper does not seem like all that terrible of a time now. You don't have to be hungry, you don't have to worry about losing your health insurance because hey, you are a doll and do not need it, also the ballerina will never have to worry about having the bagpiper's baby against her will. All in all, not actually that bad.
3. The One Where Everyone Has A Weird Twisted Pig Face
HO-HUM, you have to live in a world where Ellie May Clampett is not super hot, and everyone has a weird twisty pig face. Big deal! At least they appear to have pretty good medical care? And hey! At least in that dystopia, when they hate people who don't look like them, they have the courtesy to send Ellie May and some hot dude off to a nice island or whatever where no one is going to bother them and they can live out their days in peace.
4. The One With Compulsory Plastic Surgery And Drugs
The downside of the future depicted in "The Number 12 Looks Just Like You" is that everyone has to get some kind of full body surgery when they turn 18 (and pick themselves out of a catalog) so they won't offend anyone with their inferior looks, and then have to spend their lives wearing unitards and drinking something called "Instant Smile" and not reading "banned books" like Shakespeare and whatnot.
You know what? I used to be a giant Shakespeare nerd, and I have not read any since college. I could totally deal with this. Would I like it? No, but at least they give you a constant supply of mood-altering drugs to deal with it. What do we get? Nothing. PASS THE INSTANT SMILE, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
5. The One Where You Fall Off Your Bed And Into Another Dimension
Does the other dimension have Donald Trump in it? No? Sign me up!
6. The One With The Murdery Doll
Talky Tina scared the goddamned crap out of me when I was a kid, and is possibly part of the reason why I did not care for dolls. But you know what? She is like, one doll that is maybe a foot tall and not in charge of anything other than, you know, murdering people. And really, I think that if there were a Talky Tina SITUATION, we would not have that hard a time taking her down. Given a choice between a foot-tall murdery doll, and living through four years of Donald Trump tweeting, I am inclined to take the murdery doll.
7. The One Where You Get A New Face That Matches Your Personality, And Also A Lot Of Money
So some weird rich guy has a family full of jerks, and he makes them all come to his Mardi Gras Party and wear masks, or else he won't leave them any money, but then when they take the masks off, their faces have morphed into their masks, and also the uncle is dead. BIG WHOOP.
OK, first of all, say this were a thing that applied to everyone. If I had a face that matched my sparkling personality, I would be even MORE stunning, if that is even possible. I am fine with this situation.
8. The One With The Obnoxious Spoiled Child Tyrant
WHAT? You say! That is EXACTLY the future we are currently facing. And yes, yes it is! However, those people living Peaksville, Ohio, when they "screw up," Anthony makes them go to the cornfield, and like, eat corn or whatever and probably have a very nice and peaceful life. We have no such cornfield. We have to stay here. How is that even fair?
9. The One Where The Ghost Of Hitler Teaches Asshole How To Be A Leader.
In that episode, the dude does not become president of the United States. WIN.
This, by the way, is Rod Serling's closing narration for "He's Alive":
"Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare – Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami, Florida? Vincennes, Indiana? Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there's hate, where there's prejudice, where there's bigotry. He's alive. He's alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He's alive because through these things we keep him alive."
I am actually really wondering if they will show this one, and if so, if people will start screaming that Rod Serling is being an evil Social Justice Warrior.
10. The One Where You Are Stuck In the Ithaca Bus Station With Your Doppleganger From Another Dimension, Who Is Trying To Murder You In Order To Take Your Place In This One
OK, fine. That one is maybe worse. But that's a happy ending, right? Like, hey, things are pretty bad right now, but probably most of us are not stuck at the Ithaca bus station being stalked by our very own doppelgangers who want to kill us. We have will always have that! Optimism shall prevail!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse