Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Twilight Zone (1959) -- Season 1 Episode 4 (The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine)

Everyone has a period of their life that they’d like to go back to.  Maybe things were simpler when you were a small child.  Maybe you had a lot of fun in college.  It could even be that you were really good at something years ago and you long for the days when you got some respect.

Barbara Jean Trenton used to be a big movie star.  She was the leading lady and worked against several leading men.  All Barbara does now is sit in a dark room watching her old movies.  Danny Weiss worries about her.  He’s her agent and would like to see her get out more.  He even tries to set her up with a part, but she becomes offended when the part is age appropriate.  She pushes away anyone who tries to help her  Barbara is a woman obsessed with her own past.

The episode is relatable.  No one likes the idea of not being a young person any more.  There comes a point when we realize that we’re getting older.  And yes, I realize it’s not a pleasant thought.  We all want to live in denial of it.  Some people do get over it.  Not everyone does.

The episode is relatable in this sense.  Granted, not everyone is or was a movie star.  I think most people can look at Barbara and be glad that they can see the value in moving on.  It’s not normal to sit around in a dark room, even if they do want to live in the past.

Of the episodes that I remember, I think this was one of the weaker episodes.  It didn’t quite seem to pack the punch that I’ve seen in other episodes.  In some cases, the truth of the situation is revealed and it all makes sense.  In other cases, you have a twist ending that makes you think.  This just seems to be a regular short story, for the most part.

Barbara gets what she wants in an unusual way.  I don’t want to reveal the ending, as I don’t think it’s really necessary here.  The only reason I remember the ending is that I wondered about the implications of what happened to Barbara.  Although Danny and other of Barbara’s associates are shocked at the outcome, it seems that Danny is happy that Barbara finally got her wish.

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