I really enjoyed this episode as it reminds me of my cousins who are not very different from the family that is represented in this show.
The mother in this family is your hard working type of woman who takes cares of the kids while the father is at work making money while the kids are just being kids. We can see how she is about to snap from all the tension created by trying to keep running this family. Things like making breakfast and serving it, having the clothes clean, answering the phone (all this at the same time each morning it seems), oh i forgot something, they have 4 kids and a dog. When the situation seems hopeless we discover that our hard working mom loves gardening and while she is at it, she finds a beautiful sundial/lock/amulet sort of collar that guess you guessed it can stop time at will.
Well you can pretty much guess from there the ending or not, And oh, they are about to have a world war during this episode so you should add that to the mix. I know I have enjoyed an episode when i cant help wondering what the poor lady chose to do at the end of this episode.
I must have been 12 or 13 years old when I first saw this epesode. I'm in my late 30's now. At the time I was living in Guadalajara, MX & do remember the tensions between the U.S. & The Soviet Union in the media & in movies. ( Rocky )
So when I saw the Soviet missle frozen in the air, It just blew my mind. I remember calling family in the U.S. asking them if any Russian missles had landed in L.A. It just seemed so real & scary at the same time!!! Now that that I have kids myself, I do wish I had a necklace that can freeze time, so that I can take breather to myself!!! LOL.
I remember watching this episode as a kid and being really freaked out by it. We were talking about it at school for years. Man, what a good episode this was.
An overworked housewife (played by the lady who was in A Christmas Story) finds an amulet in her back yard which allows her to freeze time. She just has to say "Shut up!" and everything stops. Imagine the stuff you could get a way with... When she says "Start talking!" everything starts again.
In the particular political climate of the mid 80's, nuclear annihilation was a real threat. They worked the feel of that ethos in quite well. At the end of the show, the woman stops time just as a nuclear warhead is about to explode in the sky. Absolutely chilling. One of my favorite episodes of TV ever.
A Little Peace and Quiet makes for one of the more memorable episodes of the 1980\'s version of the Twilight Zone. Melinda Dillon plays a harried housewife named Penny. Everyone in her house yells over each other and all she wants is a little peace and quiet. Looking at how the family acts, I have to say that anyone in her situation would want that. She gets a godsend when she finds a medallion buried in her yard. The medallion stops time and hence gives her the peace and quiet she craves. Unfortunately, the world is on the verge of a nuclear war and when the missiles start flying she has to stop time in order to save her family and the world. In the end, she wanders aimlessly and alone among people frozen in time. She can\'t restart time because a missile is suspended just over the city, ready to fall.
This episode starts off as a rather light-hearted episode, but foreshadows its dark conclusion throughout. The conclusion is a kicker. The image of the nuclear missile suspended in air is memorable one and Penny predicament at the end of the episode leaves you quite aghast.
The episode is well acted and directed. Her family is a little bit too annoying, but that does not detract from the show as a whole. Its nuclear war theme fits the anxiety of its period incredibly well.
The original Twilight Zone featured an episode called A Kind of a Stopwatch which featured a man who gets a watch that can stop time. At the end, the watch breaks when he is trying to rob a bank and he is stuck for the rest of his life in a time frozen world. Though the episodes end up with protagonists that are stuck in frozen worlds, there is a big difference between the two shows. Penny is something of an innocent. Sure she plays a prank on a few anti-nuclear weapons activists. Sure she doesn\'t concern herself with global politics. But she certainly doesn\'t do anything to deserve the fate that she gets. That\'s one of the reasons why the ending is so memorable and so frightening.
One might wonder about the end. Is it really in the spirit of the original Twilight Zone? Usually people get what\'s coming to them in the Twilight Zone. While that was usually true in the original show, it was not always true. One notable exception is the classic episode Time Enough at Last. Henry Bemis the protagonist of that story has much in common with Penny. Both of them are poor pathetic souls who are harried and pestered by their families. Both of them get a godsend: Penny gets her medallion and Bemis gets a nuclear war that gives him a chance to read. In the end, both of them suffer ironic fates. Bemis breaks his glasses and Penny is stuck in time. In the end, both are alone. This episode is certainly in the spirit of the original. While it might strike some as dark and cruel, the old zone could be just as dark and just as cruel.
Best Scene: The closing sequence of Penny walking through the streets and with a nuclear missile frozen in time above her head.
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