At the end of every year, two things are for sure: One is that you won’t follow through with your resolution, so don’t bother. The second is that there will be a three day Twilight Zone marathon on the Syfy channel.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the New Year’s Twilight Zone marathon has been going in one form or another since 1980. It’s not hard to see why the show has lasted this long. Within the 150+ episodes of the show are themes of mystery, paranoia and irony that have kept generations of viewers enthralled long past its 1964 cancellation.
Not everyone can pay $50 to troll around a bar all of new Year’s Eve, so if your couch is your bar for the night, there’s no better friend to have than Rod Serling. Below are some choice picks from the marathon and when to view them.
Kathy requests an Uber ride and sees that the driver has the same name as her, how funny! That is until she finds that the driver is her.
— Modern Twilight Zone (@ModernSerling) September 2, 2014
12/31 3:30 PM “Eye of the Beholder”
The Twilight Zone was famous for plots involving the “old bait and switch.” No episode did it better than “Eye of the Beholder,” involving a woman attempting to change her looks through a medical procedure and hoping for the best.
12/31 10 PM “The Invaders”
This one manages to pack in all the thrills of a “Bourne” film while also starring an elderly woman and a tiny, cheesy-looking robot. The episode is almost entirely without dialogue until the end, but the silent dread speaks louder than any words Rod Sterling could have written.
1/1 5 AM “The Obsolete Man”
This episode stars Twilight Zone Hall of Famer Burgess Meredith and for my money, is slightly better than the far more famous “Time Enough At Last.” Meredith plays a librarian who is deemed obsolete in a terrifying future where being deemed obsolete is a real thing. His sentencing is not a surprise, but the cat and mouse act that plays out afterwards is deeply satisfying.
1/1 1 PM “Nothing in the Dark”
The charm of some Twilight Zone episodes is filling in the void with your own imagination. Some conversation-heavy episodes require this, but “Nothing in the Dark” is aided by a sense of unsureness. Is the man at the door really Death coming to take the lonely old woman away? Or is he merely a neighbor come to check on her? Time to find out.
1/1 3:30 PM “Kick the Can”
“Kick the Can” is now likely more famous for its inclusion in the severely ill-fated ‘80s film adaptation of the series, but the original episode still retains its charm. An elderly man discovers the secret of youth is merely playing a spirited game of kick the can. I’m sure it’s as straightforward as that.
1/3 2 AM “Number 12 Looks Just Like You”
This episode is similar to “Eye of the Beholder” in that the series takes a look at body issues decades before they came to the forefront. A girl turns eighteen and decides if she should take part in the “Transformation,” a process that gives the user a beautiful face and an elongated life span.