The Twilight Zone (2019): The Twilight Zone: Not All Men
May 10, 2019 5:29 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

A meteor shower spreads infection across an entire town affecting some of the inhabitants more than others.

The Twilight Zone Recap: A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Keith Phipps for Vulture)
Imagine, if you can, a world in which women constantly lived in fear of men’s violence and sexual aggression, one where even a seemingly friendly interaction could sour into harassment with little warning and the nightly news was filled with stories of angry, alienated loners taking out their frustrations with semi-automatic weapons. It’s … not hard at all, right? It’s almost harder to imagine a world in which that wasn’t the case, which is part of why “Not All Men,” the latest episode of The Twilight Zone, has to go to such extremes to push the episode into the realm of science fiction, turning a seemingly idyllic small town into a place straight out of a Purge movie after a meteor taints its water supply, giving it the pale look of diluted blood and bringing out the worst in its male residents.
Scripted by Heather Anne Campbell (who co-wrote last week’s space drama “Six Degrees of Freedom”) and directed by Christina Choe (director of the 2018 feature Nancy), “Not All Men” takes place in the same sort of heightened reality as Twilight Zone executive producer Jordan Peele’s Get Out, one in which thoughtless slights become microaggressions that quickly become nightmares, and in which there can be no real parity when one group — here men, (almost) all of them — has so much more power than the other. It also half-reverses “The Screwfly Solution” (Lexal; Wikipedia) by Raccoona Sheldon (a.k.a. Alice Sheldon, but best known by the pen name James Tiptree Jr. [previously]), a 1977 story in which a disease really does drive men insane, and leads them to murder women, murders they try to explain with organized, rationalized misogyny. (Shades of incels to come.) In both cases, the line between whether it’s chemistry or psychology that makes men behave so primitively looks awfully blurry. But whatever the case, it’s women who pay the price.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total)
But whatever the case, it’s women who pay the price.
... yet in this episode, is it really the women who pay the price? It seems like the violence was men going crazy against each-other, to the point that I thought they'd kill each-other off.

Still, Taissa Farmiga, Rhea Seehorn, and Ike Barinholtz were great, and I was into the episode, until the ending. Maybe the kid who played Cole under-sold his lines, or his lines weren't strong enough ("That's the thing. I chose to. I just chose to."), or that end message was just flat compared to the rest, or re-reading "The Screwfly Solution" first made this pan out as the weaker version of the story. But for me, this was another decent episode inspired by The Twilight Zone, but it didn't feel like The Twilight Zone to me.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:36 PM on May 10, 2019

And funny, if it weren't so sad/ tragic/ scary/ rage-inducing: the current IMDb user ratings for the episodes so far --

The Comedian - 6.3
Nightmare at 30,000 Feet - 7.1
Replay - 5.6
A Traveler - 5.9
The Wunderkind - 5.1
Six Degrees of Freedom - 6.4
Not All Men - 4.3

Personal takes: "The Wunderkind" was the weakest of the bunch, so I'm on board with 5.1. "Replay" was stronger than 5.6. Let's look at a 3 star review:
I understand dealing with social injustice, but this was over the top propaganda...just ridiculous. I can take a "message" as well as the next guy, but really I want to be entertained. This episode played out more like a 60's portrait of racism, not today.
One name: Michael Brown. Another name: Eric Garner. Another name: Treyvon Martin. Apparently the "messages" aren't getting through to you.

But back to this episode's 4.3 -- misogyny is stronger than racism, it seems. Another 3 star rating:
Nothing twilight zone about this. More of a poorly written social commentary. "Toxic masculinity" making all men go crazy. The ending was especially pathetic.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:38 AM on May 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

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