Book Review: Everything I Need to Know I Learned in The Twilight Zone

Rod Serling Quote

I understood the gimmick behind this book but I could not resist it. Mark Dawidzkiak’s Everything I Need to Know I Learned In The Twilight Zone is a fabulous read, with references to a myriad of stories that unfolded in Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. I won’t pretend I got all of the references to all of the episodes, but there were enough to jar my memory banks to the crafty stories of Serling’s show.

Broken up into 50 lessons — from Always Keep Your Heart Open to the Magic that Comes Your Way to Don’t Live in the Past to Imagine a Better World to Angels Are All Around You and more —  this book explores the strange terrain of the television show by reminding us of how stories can expose the truth of our lives.

Reading the book had me digging out my old box set of DVDs of The Twilight Zone, to find reference points. It’s pretty amazing how Sterling’s production and his and many other writers’ stories still stand up over the decades. That is probably the result of the stories themselves, and the twists and themes that emerged on the small screen.

Dawidzkiak is a media critic, whose beat has often been television. You can sense the love he has for Sterling’s art, and how these narratives can be grouped around important themes, or lessons that we best learn (or suffer the consequences, as often happens in the twisty ending of the show). Dawidzkiak remind us that Sterling sought to bring to the surface the good of people, yet was never afraid to punish those whose choices damaged the world, those around them, or themselves.

Reading Everything I Need to Know I Learned In The Twilight Zone is sure to draw you back into the Zone. That’s not a bad place to be, as long as your heart is true.

Peace (twists and all),


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