In a time on television when suburbia was idealized in popular shows such as "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Make Room for Daddy," Serling offered a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, suspense, horror — and the show's trademark macabre or unexpected twist.
Serling had already earned acclaim for his television writing ("Requiem for a Heavyweight," "Patterns,") but found himself fighting CBS to get "The Twilight Zone" on the air. Serling would have repeated conflicts with network censors throughout his career.
My favorite episode is "The Shelter." What is yours?
Link via Alphecca | Image: CBS
UPDATE 10/2/09: Via GeekDad, free episodes online from CBS.
2nd UPDATE 10/2/09: io9 presents 6 Important Life Lessons from The Twilight Zone