Friday, October 19, 2012

Beauty, Eh?: The Twilight Zone: "The Eye of the Beholder"

A young woman is in a hospital, for the eleventh time, recovering from plastic surgery that will make her look like everybody else.

In this unnamed country, the State has decided that those who are deformed and ugly to the norm should be segregated to communal colonies away from the others. Janet's (Maxine Stuart) doctor is perplexed, and Janet knows this is her last chance to fit in after all the shunning she has been accustomed to since childhood. And then the bandages come off...

Serling's script has tension to burn, even though I had seen this episode before and knew what would happen. Director Heyes heightens the tension with the show's characteristic small settings. Volumes can be found here, issues that are still relevant today- from what society considers normal to self-image. Stuart must act under bandages for most of the show, and the rest of the cast is usually in darkness, but this does not detract from the talent. William Tuttle's makeup effects are also a plus.

"Eye of the Beholder" is truly one of the best episodes of the show. (* * * * *) out of five stars.