Author Topic: Orthodox thought and the Twilight Zone  (Read 192 times)

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Offline ttcmacro

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Orthodox thought and the Twilight Zone
« on: February 23, 2017, 06:24:50 PM »
I'm just curious, are there any other fans of the Twilight Zone on here? And if so, are there any episodes that seems to highlight ideas consistent with those of the Church?

A couple come to mind for me:
1. The Obsolete Man: This episode takes place in a time in which a fascists government radically oppresses its people. The main character in the episode is sentenced to death for being "obsolete" (he also confesses belief in God which the state has deemed proven to not exist). His death is to be watched on television as his apartment will be blown up with him in it. He tricks one of the government officials to come visit him, and then he locks the door. Now they are both on live television with the timer on the bomb ticking. He ultimately lets the government official out before the bomb goes off, but not before he has embarrassed himself with his fear on live television.
 
2. The Shelter: This episode involves friends in a neighborhood having dinner one evening. A radio broadcast comes on saying that nuclear war may be coming. One family in the neighborhood has a shelter, and the rest of the neighbors try to break into the shelter. To me, it demonstrates that otherwise good people can do terrible things in certain contexts (such as when they panic/fear dying).

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Re: Orthodox thought and the Twilight Zone
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 07:00:38 PM »
*SPOILERS*

An obvious one would be one of the most famous episodes, the one about the patient who had reconstructive surgery to change her appearance, etc. You could imprint lots of things onto that, one of them being about the way the world looks at pious religious people, and even if the religious person tries to fit in they'll ultimately fail in the eyes of many, because their priorities and activities don't sync with that of many other people. So such people will be rejected to some extent for little more than being different, or because the other people simply don't want to have to deal with the religious person. Nonetheless when the surgery "is a failure" and doesn't look like a pig-person, the woman is encouraged to be optimistic in the face of this rejection, and accept who they are. It's sort of absurd in the way it happens, where people who are actually in possession of something good, nonetheless find it necessary to assure themselves that it's worth it to continue as they are, because the reactions of other people put doubts into their head.

Another would be the one where there is a bet that a man can't keep silent for an entire year, and the person takes the bet because he is desperate for money for a reason important to him. In the end it's revealed that the one man can't pay up when the other man fulfills his part of the bet and stays silent. Then the reveal is that the man who'd stayed silent had known he wouldn't be able to do it, so he cut out his tongue (or vocal cords, or something). This is something of an image of certain Orthodox converts. 1) Desperately in need of something, 2) makes important decision too quickly, 3) makes plans that are way beyond what is realistic, 4) because it can't be done he then goes further into extremes to try to live up to what he planned, and 5) he then ends up being hurt and damaged because of his conduct and doesn't even get what he thought he would. I suppose a 6) could also be added: it is shown that the thing which he had hoped, or part of the plan (the other person), was shown to be a fraud all along, and could never have given the silent man what he wanted, even if he had completed his end of the plan perfectly.

I guess the above isn't really ideas consistent with Orthodoxy so much as armchair literary criticisming. Regarding The Twilight Zone in general, I have fond memories of it from childhood/teenage years, but when I re-watched it on Netflix I was let down by how uneven it seemed from episode to episode, Also, the unnecessary plot holes or mistakes they made, like the amount of the bet mentioned in the above episode was at odds with the other money figures thrown around in the show. Still, I'd say that there are a dozen or so episodes that I'll go on revisiting every once in a while. (My favorite is the one about the spoiled boy who can make people disappear)

Offline ttcmacro

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Re: Orthodox thought and the Twilight Zone
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2017, 03:21:19 PM »
I really like the one about the man that can't be silent, and an interesting comparison to Orthodox converts.

The Hunt is another interesting episode. A man dies while coon hunting with his dog. He is about to enter what an "angel" tells him is heaven, but he refuses to because the "angel" won't let his dog enter. He wanders around for a while, until running across a real angel. After telling his story, the real angel tells him that the previous "angel" was actually the devil, trying to get him to enter hell. He tells the man that he and his dog are welcome to enter heaven. While this is not really an Orthodox view of what happens after we die, it is interesting that the love he had for his dog keeps him from entering hell.




Offline Gamliel

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Re: Orthodox thought and the Twilight Zone
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 03:29:40 PM »
I kind of remember one episode in which someone's daughter is lost in another dimension.  The Dad, and I think somebody else, was able to figure out spots in a wall where he could reach through and have her grab his hand.  That kind of reminds me of the Lord and angels who travel from heaven to earth and back.