Rod Serling is the Devil!

Not literally, of course.

But it occurred to me this morning that Rod Serling’s appeal as a guide to his Twilight Zone episodes is this: he functions as a sublimated devil, the camara darting him into visual consciousness out of nowhere. Serling is a Virgil, but not pious, leading his innocent and bewildered Dantes—his TV viewers—into the inferno of the imagination, “the fifth dimension.” Serling’s whole persona has an undeniable creep-factor at work: he comes across, with those heavy eyebrows, that voice, and his long and grimacing mouth, as a dark man, a man of mystery, a Mephistopheles. And notice that he is rarely seen without a cigarette, and so he seems to be perpetually in the presence of something burning.

I tell you, Rod Serling is the devil!


About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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