The Twilight Zone against Black Mirror: between raises and heritage
Charlie Brooker, creator of Black Mirror, time ago, said that the influences of the larger, which led him to create the series were: his paranoia, and The Twilight Zone. Here, in the panorama film and tv world, those that have debts, and that you are inspired by The Twilight Zone are many. Lost's J. J. Abrams, for example, you may want to consider a big idea that has at the basis the concepts of The Boundaries of Reality. And the same would be true for The Leftovers.
And then we remember that great directors such as Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg and John Landis have made in the Eighties a real film revival of The Boundaries of Reality as a tribute to the series.
The Twilight Zone, the tv series that Rod Serling invented it in 1959, and aired until 1964 on CBS, was then (after the movie of Spielberg, Dante and Landis) a series revival that was developed between 1985 and 1989. Then there was a new revival of the franchise (which took place between 2002 and 2003), which was not very successful. Immediately after The Borders of Reality has remained for a long time, stop to watch sprout so many ideas born, thanks to his episodes. And one of these shoots is just the Black Mirror.
But this year, CBS all Access has produced a new series of The Twilight Zone, developed by Jordan Peele. And in these days in which were distributed the new episodes of Black Mirror, someone (including myself) has asked a question: does it make sense to see transmitted to The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror, that is, father and godson, at the same time?
Here are some thesis pros and cons of this question. Probably, like these two great series that teaches, to the end of the reading, you might find more questions than answers.
The initial goal of Rod Serling with The Twilight Zone was to try to ask questions on the most contentious issues regarding the times that they ran (and lived in the United States in the late Fifties). All seasoned with a good dose of entertainment: for this genres like science fiction, fantasy, and horror were used in The Twilight Areas to entertain, and at the same time, to communicate something ( not in case Rod Serling did write some of the episodes to genes in the literature such as Richard Matheson).
Since this was the era of the Cold War, clearly the fear of the future and technology were among the topics dominant. The use of the atomic Bomb, for example, was a topic at the centre of some of the most important episodes ever: Time to read, told what she could do as the sole survivor of a nuclear catastrophe with all the time in the World available, and a whole life to dedicate himself to his greatest passion: reading.
In this case, the circuit proposed was: technology against humanism. The progress of the world had led to an imminent nuclear catastrophe, but what of the more solid and healthy (as well as the most overlooked) was left after the devastation, were the books and the pleasure of reading.
Here, however, that due to the presence of Black Mirror, this topic has become off-limits. Because the distorted use of technology is the creative engine in the main series of Charlie Brooker. For this reason, the same Jordan Peele said that one of the strong points of the new episodes of The Twilight Zone is not to focus on technology. “One of the simpler rules that we have imposed– has recently said - was not to explore the technology.“
This, however, did not allow to fully exploit the narrative potential of The Twilight Zone. And this has limited (if not castrated), the series of Jordan Peele a bit limited.
Always Jordan Peele when he listed the main differences between The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror, said:”Black Mirror is cynical towards humanity, while The Twilight Zone, beyond how dark the episode is, it's basically optimistic towards humanity”.
Here, clearly, Jordan Peele has taken advantage of the optimism to try to characterize his the Twilight Zone, differentiating the possible from the gloomy and pessimistic Black Mirror (that's trying to be a little more optimistic with episodes such as San Junipero, or as the most recent, Rachel, Jack and Ashley starring Miley Cyrus). The fact is that even under this point of view, it is as if The Borders of the Reality they both wanted to push forward too, making them the brightest possible, so as not to appear gloomy and pessimistic as the Black Mirror (it Is a short circuit that has characterized the film adaptation of IT, that he has been compared to Stranger Things, which in turn is the son and debtor).
Because to say of betting pessimistic in The Borders of the Reality they have seen several: The Other Place, for example, is an episode in which the criminal Rocky Valentine during an escape attempt she finds herself catapulted into a dimension that looks like Paradise. But it will pass a little time before the outlaws to realize that the place is anything but paradise.
Or still it Is Nice that they Like the protagonist, Janet Tyler, you can still see physically ugly after plastic surgery, that would make it similar to the people around him. But the woman in reality will appear beautiful to the aesthetic standards you hold, but inappropriate in the world in which he lives, inhabited by beings deformed.
Here, in the new series of The Twilight Zone, even the final most pessimistic (see the melancholy in the first episode, The Comedian, which focused on the stand-up comedian, played by Kumail Nanjiani) tend not to fall too far into the pessimistic, probably to not appear so dark as to be juxtaposed to the Black Mirror.
Jordan Peele is one of the creative minds film applied to the most important of the last decade. His Escape – Get Out has become a reference point for the horror genre, and for a certain type of stories distopiche and a strong social message.
Peele is definitely the debtor of The Twilight Zone, and for this reason it was considered the man to bring into the new millennium, the popular series of Rod Serling. The US has once again stressed how Peele is able to instil fear and at the same time convey a strong message of social. And this is the prerogative of The Boundaries of Reality.
But, oddly enough, in the revival of The Twilight Zone, the shot is not released so effect. Also the third episode of the series, titled Rewind, which recalls the themes with which Peele are unable to express themselves better (such as about race), not centered in the middle of the target. The albeit interesting story that involves a mother of color persecuted by a white cop while he tries to bring the son to the college, seems to not want to shake emotionally to the viewer, while remaining slightly on the surface.
On the other hand Charlie Brooker has been criticised for the fifth season of Black Mirror, which for some seemed to be trivial and repetitive, while for others it has veered towards a change in tone unwelcome (in the episode with Miley Cyrus, the protagonist is the main accused).
Then one could ask: at this point, it would be better to merge two heavyweights such as Brooker and Peele for a single project, rather than have them grapple depotenziandoli and making them play chase with one another?
We arrived to the most important of questions: is the sense of a new season of The Twilight Zone (which was already renewed by CBS) in the era of the Black Mirror? Also one of the most seminal ever to release its own narrative power must be able to tell the times that they run. And under this point of view Black Mirror, it seems to have succeeded, becoming in a way or another, The Twilight Zone of the new millennium.
In such a context, with The Borders of Reality and is forced to not go past a few posts (nothing episodes with the technology of the protagonist, an approach that is quite optimistic) it makes sense to recall that powerful name that is part of the history of the television serial of the Twentieth Century? Even a creative genius like Jordan Peele was initially intimidated at the idea of approaching the series, and perhaps, even to awe, not wanted to go over.
So now the question is: what will be left of this new The Twilight Areas in a historical period in which the Black Mirror can put in, effectively, the biggest questions of our times?
Sure is great to live in a time in which two large series in the anthology offer their products with two masterful showrunner to trainarle, but that legitimate and objective doubts on the usefulness of both, at the same time, will continue to pose.
But the answer, as is mandatory in these cases, it is far from our eyes and our minds, and it is in the bottom..to the Borders of Reality.
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