Imagine the Pitch
You don’t know, man, stranger things have happened…
OK OK, more coffee, OK, so, so get this, it’s, it’s oh, your gonna shit yourself, you’re gonna love it, synergy, balls to synergy this is like like synergy squared, OK OK getting head of myself- it’s, get this ET-meets-Ghostbusters-meets-Altered States-meets-Alien-meets-Stand-By-Me-meets, meets, hell, I don’t know Poltergeist meets the X-Files meets the Boys from Brazil meets, meets, hell, meets [sweating… wipes forehead, drinks more coffee]
OK. OK. Impressive, we’ll take a look, maybe focus group it- say, could we add a dog?!?
So maybe, on one level, the ‘monster’ represents eBay, it represents the ‘devourer of lost childhood dreams’ as in watching your things disappear but they’re still there only you can’t ‘touch’ them literally, so it creates this new sense of fractured ego, they’re not thrown out, not hand-me-down handed down, not preserved (by yourself) with care, not recycled (per se) but also sort of all the above too. Which is, in itself, sort of the feeling the show projects onto you. So in a sense, 011 is the monster, they all are, the show is.
Happy Days is the 50’s in the 70’s, but no one really thinks that Fonzi is anything like a mondo gonzo Hell’s Angel from Altamont or something, he’s the cardboard cut-out, PG, version of Rebel without a Cause. Which was itself a take on Socrates and Plato. The Rebel is, the rebel does, he is the thing, you have to revisit Socrates, through Plato (through the haze of censorship, both inherent and inadvertent) as a sort of postmodern version of a French Existentialist like a John Paul Sartre. He does not write about it, he does not transcribe his thoughts for history, he is history, oui. Yes? Yes? Very good. But the Fonz, Arthur Fonzerelli would then be Socrates to Richie Cunningham’s Plato? Hmm. OK. Fonz doesn’t drink hemlock, though. But he is advocating for treating the ‘kids’ with a degree of respect to make their own decisions. And one conflict, in the series, is that that is sometimes looked down upon by authority, or authority figures.
I’m sure we’ll find out about nth dimension topography and string theory and why this is all wrong, in season two. But if they, the characters, the show itself, is the monster, then they have sort of entered us into the ‘upside-down’ by turning the tables on the subject-object dichotomy. But sure, the Twilight Zone always played with this concept, to give you shivers, what if they’re watching us, common horror trope.
Certainly there are two entrances to the ‘sidhe’ or other side, one in the DOE building, the (‘man-made’ or ‘artificial’) ‘rift’ opened by 011 floating in the isolation tank (surprised I haven’t heard more references to Altered States with all the ET chatter) and the other a ‘natural’ one (perhaps) out in the tree in the woods. Which could either literally be a reference to the Gaelic concept of the Sidhe, a foil to the new, technological, scientific version, also, inside vs. outside, or could represent corruption, disintegration, as woods decay, as opposed to the new birth pods of the DOE, vague reference to Aliens? But then again, there is a rebirth aspect to the ‘rift’ in the tree, if it is a rift. Certainly there are Celtic and Gaelic as well as Teutonic aspects to both Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons, and the Druids were ‘knowers of the Oak’ and it was a tree-centered religion.
But. But the ‘monster’ is the ‘other’ that which is different, and represents to our current time and place some collective fear, unnamed. A lot of the things that go missing represent actual things that are gone, our childhood, rotary dial phones, boom boxes, Ian, literally- oh, that’s another thought, maybe Ian is the ‘monster’ and sort of a catcher in the Rye? Of course, everyone is overlooking the most obvious, the monster is well, duh, simply Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice…