Serling: Your Bad Habit

Rod Serling

- Twilight Zone 1959-1964

- Rod Serling 1924-1975

Mechanisms of the show:
By adopting the habit principle to secure authority and trustworthiness, using that position to then command the audience with supraliminal hypnotic suggestion, and finally housing his message in a defamiliarizing Menippean satire of science fiction and fantasy, Rod Serling hit the trifecta for presenting in a palatable form otherwise uncomfortable and socially conscience topics.

The habit principle and reflexivity

Supraliminal statements:
-statements above the threshold of consciousness; at a conscious level

Menippean satire:

“He was able to do things in the fantasy genre-say things, make points, confront issues-that he couldn’t do on straight dramatic TV. As he put it, a Martian can say things a Republican or a Democrat can’t say.”
Carol Serling on Rod Serling.

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The Twilight Zone Intro (audio)

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…the Twilight Zone.

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