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The Twilight Zone

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
The Twilight Zone TV Poster Image
Classic morality tales still make you think.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 64 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Though the tales in this anthology series are all different, many focus on mean, selfish, or generally despicable people getting their comeuppance. A theme is curiosity and exploring the world -- or alternate reality -- around you.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Given the anthology format, it's a mixed bag. But characters usually have complex motives -- and the personalities to go along with them. Some are clearly bad; some are clearly good; many are a little of both.


Most episodes are very eerie, and some are scary, but there's very little actual violence. The occasional fistfights and shoot-outs that do happen are all tame by today's standards. Violence really isn't the point here; creepiness is.


Some characters have relationships, but all are very chaste.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters smoke and drink, but rarely to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that it might be hard to get kids to sit through episodes of The Twilight Zone. This classic TV show has complex, thoughtful scripts that require viewers to pay attention. The pacing is much slower than just about anything on the air today (even some adults who enjoyed the show when it originally aired say that it sometimes seems sluggish by current standards), and there are rarely any big action sequences. To top it off, the show was shot in black and white. But if you can convince your kids to follow an entire episode (and you usually have to watch the whole thing to really get the point), they should find themselves pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it. Bottom line? It's a classic for a reason.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7, 9, and 11 year old Written bysmcummings95 January 14, 2010
My kids love to watch this show, because they know that I watched it as a kid.
Adult Written byMatthew D. May 31, 2017


Rod Serling was a genius. I'm 43 and have recently started watching The Twilight Zone. Obviously I have seen a lot of programs in my life but none of them... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byThe Person Guy October 29, 2011

Classic, but scary

This is a really good classic show. It is quite interesting but many episodes can be scary. I'm 15 and still get creeped out sometimes. If your young kids... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old July 3, 2010

My favorite episode is living doll

in living doll theres violence because tina kills the guy at the end,but theres no blood. This is OK for ages 10 and up and mature kids.

What's the story?

Anything can happen in THE TWILIGHT ZONE: People may actually be aliens, and the characters you thought were aliens may turn out to be human; beautiful people turn out to be ugly; and the characters you're sure are crazy turn out to be the only ones who actually know what's going on. The creation of legendary writer Rod Serling, who also introduced every episode, The Twilight Zone was designed to tweak viewers' notions of reality and present issues from a new, and usually unexpected, perspective. Because each episode was entirely self-contained, these 30-minute morality plays covered an amazing amount of ground. Some were set in the past, some in the future, some in space, some in the then-contemporary era of the late 1950s and early 1960s, but all of them ended with a surprising twist that always managed to shed some light on the human condition. An added bonus are the guest appearances by many young actors who later became major stars, including Robert Redford, William Shatner, and Martin Landau.

Is it any good?

Despite passing the five-decade mark, these stories have aged surprisingly well. That said, today's kids may be put off by the show's black-and-white images, outdated clothes, and rather straitlaced moral conventions. And anyone used to the fast-paced editing of modern action shows or music videos may find The Twilight Zone's pacing overly slow. But don't mistake any of these quibbles for flaws; this show is a true classic, and it deserves to be appreciated by each new generation of viewers. Once your kids watch a few episodes (it should only take a few), they'll be hooked.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ... just about anything. The Twilight Zone is famous for its unexpected twists, which are ready-made for discussions about who saw it coming, who was completely surprised, and how the story made viewers see things from a totally different perspective.

  • The episodes are all different, but many center on common themes, such as selfish people finally getting what they deserve, or the unexpected rewards of doing the right thing. Did the characters merit their punishments? Why or why not? What might you have done in a similar situation? What point is the show trying to make?

  • How does The Twilight Zone inspire curiosity? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love old school sci-fi

Our editors recommend

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