Janet Tyler is in hospital having undergone treatment to make her look normal. It's her 11th trip to the hospital for treatment and she is desperate to look like everyone else. Some of her earliest childhood memories are of people looking away, horrified by her appearance. Her bandages will soon come off and she can only hope that this, her last treatment, will have done the trick. If not, her doctor has told she will be segregated with a colony of similar looking people. All that to say that truth is truly in the eye of the beholder.Written by
Originally a "The" preceded the title, until television producer Stuart Reynolds threatened to sue Rod Serling for the use of the name because at the time he was selling an educational film of the same name to public schools. Reruns following the initial broadcast featured the title screen "The Private World of Darkness". See more »
Before the post operation surgery is revealed, one of the doctor's faces, even though still in the shadows, is noticeable. See more »
Now there're questions that come to mind. Where is this place, and when is it? What kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? You want an answer? The answer is, it doesn't make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty *is* in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence. On this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out amongst the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson ...
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Syndication prints list the episode title as "A Private World Of Darkness". See more »
"In The Eye Of The Beholder, This Remains An Important Piece With Crucial Messages"
by Dane Youssef
If there is truly any and all episode that best sums up what "THE ZONE" is all about, it's this one. Serling told us at the end of last week's episode to tune in for this episode as he remarks: "... It's called 'The Eye of The Beholder' and it comes recommended."
This time, Serling takes us to an anonymous hospital which could probably be anywhere. He takes us right away head-first into room #307 where a woman with a grotesquely misshapen face is awaiting her last attempt at corrective surgery. Her whole life is just lying in that bed, bandaged from the neck-up like a mummy they've just started work on.
The rest of the medical staff talk about what a poor soul she is. The nurses try their best to accommodate her with the best "bedside manner" physically possible. They certainly sound sympathetic. The doctor asks why such prejudice seems to exist in a society. Aren't we supposed to all be on the same team? Isn't that the purpose of civilization? Our heart breaks right along with hers--and Doctor Bernardi's in one touching speech that takes place in the employee break-room.
Janet Tyler sounds like such a tender soul. The kind of decent person there just isn't enough of in this cold, cruel world. And this world seems more fascist than our own. We hear of "The Apparently this time, Serling has brought us to a hypothetical land where Hitler won. There is only one world leader, one way, one regime. We hear him on the early flat-screen TV's praising "the glory of conformity". The delight of our unified The whole world is one giant united annexed totalitarian dictatorship. We all know what it's like to want to belong, to flourish. To be part of humanity. And we want that for her.
It's true that opposites tend to attract more than they repel. And we do tend to attack and destroy that which is different to us. Even as children. Even this day in age. But as those who opposed fascists like Hitler knew... doesn't conformity limit our humanity rather than strengthen it? Is this form of oppression and de-humanity the only way there will be total world order and peace?
And it's true that anyone with a working brain cell can see the trademark "Big Rod Serling Twist" coming a hundred thousand miles away... from space even, it isn't about whether or not we can guess what the big ironic or karmic ending is--it's about the whole journey there and what it all means. And pop culture has only made the finale more known.
And in the end... what's really ugly and frightening... is how much this world isn't really galaxies away from our own.
Still in the end, Serling's message still remains as relevant as it did about half a century ago.
And this was one of the episodes that was re-made for the re-incarnation of the series in 2002. Technology had improved, particularly the make-up and the TV flat screens. And believe it or not, the re-make followed Serling's original script more faithfully--and the "surprise" (notice that's in quotes) was a little less obvious. The acting was terrible however, with few exceptions.
The cast here is all solid and the acting rarely comes across as campy, with a few exceptions. The two actresses doing "Ms. Janet Tyler," the "Before " and "After" play it for all it's worth. Maxine Stewart does a better job that Donna Douglas, but Donna does exactly what she was meant to. Douglas and Edson Stroll have a moment right out of "Gone With The Wind" that seems appropriately turned on it's director Douglas Heyes does a fine job of capturing the right mood, playing with the light and camera angles to establish the right feel... as well as making the conclusion pretty clear. The make-up is pretty silly and unconvincing by any standards, but in the end--the point remains intact.
One thing's for sure... You'll never think of the labels of "beautiful" and "hideous" the same way again...
--For Rod Almighty... God Serling Himself... And All That Ever Happened In His Almighty Zone, Dane Youssef
NOTE: This review is dedicated to Rodman Edward Serling, a man who not only fought to protect our country and our way of life in WWII and took a fair amount of injury for it. But also fought the censors on TV twice as hard to make sure his vision was seen and heard. When TV was about shows like "Leave it to Beaver" and "Donna Reed," here was a man who wanted to use the box to illuminate serious problems like the cold war, racism, anti-society, paranoia and other destructive elements that come from within us. He was buried with military honors. I hope television honors as well. All he wanted was to remembered as a writer.
Well.... I remember....
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