The Twilight Zone Reviews – Not All Men

Ok, so I get what this series is supposed to be now.

The original series was dedicated to pointing out social norms and the looming threat of fascism (so Serling’s got to be rolling in his grave at the state of American politics). It revolved around Nazi’s, standards about physical beauty, and the loss of identity as an American male. It was poignant and in its day called out for overtly leftist politics, though it’s become known as a show about moral centers. So it makes sense that the current run is being attacked for the same issues, though I predict that one day they’ll be viewed as a representation of the struggles people went through in an era gone-by.

“Not All Men” revolves around Annie (Taissa Farmiga) as a woman working in a lab. She goes on a date with a guy that she’s been flirting with for a bit. Nothing to see here, normal stuff. And yet, it isn’t. They go to watch a predicted meteor shower at his house and he gets overly aggressive. And…nothing to see here? Normal stuff? It’s due to meteors, which he touches as it crashes near the house.

And this is the idea behind the show that crystallize a lot of my understanding on its themes. These events, a man overly aggressive on a first date and an uncomfortable woman, are played out as though they’re a normal occurrence. And I think if you talked to a lot of women you’d find that they are. That’s what the show is getting at. The normality of our less-than-reputable standards as human beings that drives our baser urges to be something we make excuses for.

The modernization of The Twilight Zone has come under fire for politically correct stories, but I think that with “Not All Men” they’ve hit their stride. Underlying male aggression is tied to a lot of issues, particularly in filmmaking/television, and it’s finally had a light shone down on it. This episode aims to challenge these issues on a more domestic scale, highlighting the fright behind the dating scene and the idea of entitlement on a wider scale. It’s one of the best episodes of this reboot so far, and with the consistency the show has had I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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