The Twilight Zone Episode 99: Young Man’s Fancy

General Information

Director: John Brahm

Writer: Richard Matheson

Cast: Phyllis Thaxter, Alex Nicol, Wallace Rooney, Helen Brown, and Rickey Kelman

Composer: Nathan Scott

Air Date: 5/11/1962

Production Code: 4813

 

Overview

The Twilight Zone Young Mans FancyImmediately after marrying his fiancée Virginia (Phyllis Thaxter), Alex Walker (Alex Nicol) prepares to sell the home of his late mother Henrietta—a domineering woman whose treatment of Alex leaves him incapable of living a functional, independent life. Despite loving her husband unconditionally, Virginia reaches her breaking point when Alex—now strangely affected by his childhood environment—refuses to break free of his mother’s influence.

It should be noted that “Young Man’s Fancy” benefits from the combined pathos of Phyllis Thaxter and Alex Nicol. Nevertheless, this offering is marred by sluggish pacing and a predictable twist in the final scene.

 

Pros

“Young Man’s Fancy” deserves praise for portraying both main characters in a sympathetic light. For example, Alex remains unable to let go of his wonderful childhoodThe Twilight Zone Young Mans Fancy experiences and embrace the duties of a husband, choosing instead to surround himself with toys, chocolate fudge, and pictures of his mother—actions that, though quite selfish and unfair to Virginia, will resonate with those who possess a childlike spirit. Virginia, on the other hand, exhibits remarkable patience and understanding when confronting her husband, whose juvenile mental state and attachment to his mother would likely offend the majority of women.

 

Cons

Complementing the narrative premise of “Walking Distance” with the ironic twist ending of “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine,” “Young Man’s Fancy” may evoke criticism for its lack of original content.

 

Analysis

The Twilight Zone Young Mans Fancy“Young Man’s Fancy” should be commended for exploring the consequences of dependent behavior, clinging to the past for comfort, and refusing to accept the responsibilities of adult life—all relevant topics given the infantilized nature of modern society.

 

Concluding Comments

Fans of The Twilight Zone should enjoy this episode for its topnotch performances and emotional subject matter. Casual viewers, however, may wish to forgo “Young Man’s Fancy” in favor of the aforementioned “Walking Distance” and “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine”—two similarly themed installments from season one.

 

Overall Quality: 6/10

 

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