Bartlett Finchley is an odd man, a writer who contributes to food magazines and the like. He lives alone and is always it seems in need of a repairman for one piece of household equipment or another. As time has gone by, he seems to be in a constant battle with machines - his typewriter, his television - which all have the same message for him: get out of the house. He has no intention of doing so however and the battle begins. Written by
The arm of the stuntman in the 'driverless car' can be seen as it reverses out of the wall of boxes. See more »
This is Mr. Bartlett Finchley, age forty-eight, a practicing sophisticate who writes very special and very precious things for gourmet magzines and the like. He's a bachelor and a recluse with few friends, only devotees and adherents to the cause of tart sophistry. He has no interests save whatever current annoyances he can put his mind to. He has no purpose to his life except the formulation of day-to-day opportunities to vent his wrath on mechanical contrivances of an age ...
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OK, maybe this isn't the best TZ episode ever. But reviews (including one here) often completely miss the intended tone of this episode.
Take Barbara Stuart's line for example: "In this conspiracy, this mortal combat between you and the appliances... I hope you lose!" The first time I heard that line, I laughed so hard I spit water out my nose.
It wasn't supposed to be anything other than funny.
Of course the shaver is absurd. It's supposed to be. As is the dancing woman on TV, the typewriter etc. Serling doesn't give it away at the end, but clearly Finchley had a much deserved nervous breakdown and was delusional.
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