History Main / ItsAGoodLife

12th Jan '13 12:42:44 PM JIKTV
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[[redirect:Literature/ItsAGoodLife]]
12th Jan '13 12:40:45 PM JIKTV
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12th Jan '13 12:40:20 PM JIKTV
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A 1953 short story by Jerome Bixby.

The story is set in the small town of Peaksville. The town used to be in Ohio, but it has since been completely cut off from the outside world (assuming the outside world still exists) by the first manifestation of Anthony Fremont's powers.

Anthony Fremont is literally [[TheOmnipotent omnipotent]]. He's also only six years old, and he's had his powers from birth.

The plot of the story shows a day in the life of the town. It does about as well as you would expect under the thrall of a being with the power of God and the moral understanding of a six-year-old who's never been disciplined in his life: pretty crappy.

This story has been adapted several times by ''Series/TheTwilightZone''. The original series did a very faithful adaptation, with Bill Mumy as Anthony and Cloris Leachman as his mother. The 2002 revival series had a sequel episode, "It's Still a Good Life", featuring a grown-up Anthony (played again by Bill Mumy) and his daughter (played by Mumy's [[RealLifeRelative real-life daughter]] Liliana), who also has powers. ''Film/TwilightZoneTheMovie'' gave the story a SettingUpdate to the 80's (with Anthony terrorizing a single mansion rather than an entire town) and the happiest ending that the premise would allow.

The TV series ''JohnnyBravo'' and ''TheSimpsons'' both did episodes which are homages/parodies of this story.

Compare and contrast with ''{{minus}}''. Definitely not to be confused with ''ItsAWonderfulLife''.

----
!!The original story provides examples of:

* {{Autocannibalism}}: The first scene of Anthony shows him making a rat eat its own body.
* TheBadGuyWins: No, Anthony is the ''good'' guy! It's ''good'' that he wins!
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Don't ask Anthony for a favor, ever. Even when he's genuinely trying to help, the results can be horrific.
** Anthony himself learns this lesson after he decides just to send 'everyone' to the cornfield, realising how lonely it is with just him and his daughter as the last people on earth.
*** Or maybe not. As he will do it again if someone makes him angry.
* BerserkButton: For Anthony, it's singing. Any kind of singing, whether ''a capella'' or with music, seems to make him extremely angry.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: [[HaHaHaNo ''Hahahahahaha!'']] Anthony may not be evil per se, purely by virtue of being ignorant of good and evil due to people being too scared to teach him otherwise; this doesn't make him any less dangerous.
** He is innocent in the sense that he can't contemplate the feelings of others nor the ramifications of his actions.
* ClosedCircle: Outside of Peaksville is only a gray nothingness where the rest of the world used to be.
* CrapsackWorld: No, it's a ''good'' world!
* CreepyChild: Anthony.
* DownerEnding: No, it's a ''good'' ending!
* EnfantTerrible: Practically the TropeCodifier.
* HappinessIsMandatory: Because Anthony will lash out at anyone thinking negative thoughts.
* KarmaHoudini: And it's ''good!''
* LostInTheMaize: Where Anthony sends the bodies of his victims.
* MindRape: The opening states that in the beginning, Aunt Amy was the only person who could exercise any control over Anthony, until he noticed her singing and his mind "snapped" at her. She's left as a shell of her former self, smiling vacantly, and no longer watching how she acts or what she says around Anthony.
* NoodleIncident / NothingIsScarier: The fates of Anthony's victims are alluded to but rarely described in any detail. There are hints that Anthony himself does not look human; again, there's no details about what he does look like.
* PsychicStatic: The residents of Peaksville try very hard to fill their heads with nothing in particular whenever they're tempted to think a negative thought, because there's always a chance that Anthony will choose that moment to listen in.
** Dan Hollis tries to invoke this by distracting Anthony, and he begs the others to kill Anthony while Anthony's attention is focused on his outburst. Unfortunately for Dan, everyone is still too afraid to raise a hand against Anthony.
* PurpleEyes: ...well, there's ''one'' detail about what he looks like.
* RealityWarper
* ScaryJackInTheBox: In the original ''Twilight Zone'' episode, this is what Anthony transforms his one on-screen victim into.
* StepfordSmiler: The only way to keep Anthony happy is to think happy thoughts and act like everything's okay.
* {{Telepathy}}: Don't even ''think'' anything bad about Anthony. Really, don't.
* VillainTeleportation / MobileMenace: Anthony is hard to avoid--not that he's any less dangerous when he's far away.

!!The various adaptations provide examples of:
* DerangedAnimation: Played for nightmare fuel in The Movie: Anthony is obsessed with cartoons, so instead of "the cornfield" he sends his victims to "cartoonland", depicted as a technicolor nightmare. And brought a [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Tazmanian Devil]]-like toon character into the real world.
* HairRaisingHare: A rabbit turns into a snarling hellbeast in The Movie.


----
It's good that we have a recap of this episode, [[MadnessMantra it's]] ''[[MadnessMantra real]]'' [[MadnessMantra good]]...

to:

A 1953 short story by Jerome Bixby.

The story is set in the small town of Peaksville. The town used to be in Ohio, but it has since been completely cut off from the outside world (assuming the outside world still exists) by the first manifestation of Anthony Fremont's powers.

Anthony Fremont is literally [[TheOmnipotent omnipotent]]. He's also only six years old, and he's had his powers from birth.

The plot of the story shows a day in the life of the town. It does about as well as you would expect under the thrall of a being with the power of God and the moral understanding of a six-year-old who's never been disciplined in his life: pretty crappy.

This story has been adapted several times by ''Series/TheTwilightZone''. The original series did a very faithful adaptation, with Bill Mumy as Anthony and Cloris Leachman as his mother. The 2002 revival series had a sequel episode, "It's Still a Good Life", featuring a grown-up Anthony (played again by Bill Mumy) and his daughter (played by Mumy's [[RealLifeRelative real-life daughter]] Liliana), who also has powers. ''Film/TwilightZoneTheMovie'' gave the story a SettingUpdate to the 80's (with Anthony terrorizing a single mansion rather than an entire town) and the happiest ending that the premise would allow.

The TV series ''JohnnyBravo'' and ''TheSimpsons'' both did episodes which are homages/parodies of this story.

Compare and contrast with ''{{minus}}''. Definitely not to be confused with ''ItsAWonderfulLife''.

----
!!The original story provides examples of:

* {{Autocannibalism}}: The first scene of Anthony shows him making a rat eat its own body.
* TheBadGuyWins: No, Anthony is the ''good'' guy! It's ''good'' that he wins!
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Don't ask Anthony for a favor, ever. Even when he's genuinely trying to help, the results can be horrific.
** Anthony himself learns this lesson after he decides just to send 'everyone' to the cornfield, realising how lonely it is with just him and his daughter as the last people on earth.
*** Or maybe not. As he will do it again if someone makes him angry.
* BerserkButton: For Anthony, it's singing. Any kind of singing, whether ''a capella'' or with music, seems to make him extremely angry.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: [[HaHaHaNo ''Hahahahahaha!'']] Anthony may not be evil per se, purely by virtue of being ignorant of good and evil due to people being too scared to teach him otherwise; this doesn't make him any less dangerous.
** He is innocent in the sense that he can't contemplate the feelings of others nor the ramifications of his actions.
* ClosedCircle: Outside of Peaksville is only a gray nothingness where the rest of the world used to be.
* CrapsackWorld: No, it's a ''good'' world!
* CreepyChild: Anthony.
* DownerEnding: No, it's a ''good'' ending!
* EnfantTerrible: Practically the TropeCodifier.
* HappinessIsMandatory: Because Anthony will lash out at anyone thinking negative thoughts.
* KarmaHoudini: And it's ''good!''
* LostInTheMaize: Where Anthony sends the bodies of his victims.
* MindRape: The opening states that in the beginning, Aunt Amy was the only person who could exercise any control over Anthony, until he noticed her singing and his mind "snapped" at her. She's left as a shell of her former self, smiling vacantly, and no longer watching how she acts or what she says around Anthony.
* NoodleIncident / NothingIsScarier: The fates of Anthony's victims are alluded to but rarely described in any detail. There are hints that Anthony himself does not look human; again, there's no details about what he does look like.
* PsychicStatic: The residents of Peaksville try very hard to fill their heads with nothing in particular whenever they're tempted to think a negative thought, because there's always a chance that Anthony will choose that moment to listen in.
** Dan Hollis tries to invoke this by distracting Anthony, and he begs the others to kill Anthony while Anthony's attention is focused on his outburst. Unfortunately for Dan, everyone is still too afraid to raise a hand against Anthony.
* PurpleEyes: ...well, there's ''one'' detail about what he looks like.
* RealityWarper
* ScaryJackInTheBox: In the original ''Twilight Zone'' episode, this is what Anthony transforms his one on-screen victim into.
* StepfordSmiler: The only way to keep Anthony happy is to think happy thoughts and act like everything's okay.
* {{Telepathy}}: Don't even ''think'' anything bad about Anthony. Really, don't.
* VillainTeleportation / MobileMenace: Anthony is hard to avoid--not that he's any less dangerous when he's far away.

!!The various adaptations provide examples of:
* DerangedAnimation: Played for nightmare fuel in The Movie: Anthony is obsessed with cartoons, so instead of "the cornfield" he sends his victims to "cartoonland", depicted as a technicolor nightmare. And brought a [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Tazmanian Devil]]-like toon character into the real world.
* HairRaisingHare: A rabbit turns into a snarling hellbeast in The Movie.


----
It's good that we have a recap of this episode, [[MadnessMantra it's]] ''[[MadnessMantra real]]'' [[MadnessMantra good]]...
A
9th Jan '13 4:29:12 PM cullen1jp
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* ChildrenAreInnocent: ''Hahahahahaha!'' Anthony may not be evil per se, purely by virtue of being ignorant of good and evil due to people being too scared to teach him otherwise; this doesn't make him any less dangerous.

to:

* ChildrenAreInnocent: ''Hahahahahaha!'' [[HaHaHaNo ''Hahahahahaha!'']] Anthony may not be evil per se, purely by virtue of being ignorant of good and evil due to people being too scared to teach him otherwise; this doesn't make him any less dangerous.
13th Dec '12 7:03:15 PM colleen4ever
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The plot of the story shows a day in the life of the town. It does about as well as you would expect under the thrall of a being with the power of God and the moral understanding of a three-year-old who's never been disciplined in his life: pretty crappy.

to:

The plot of the story shows a day in the life of the town. It does about as well as you would expect under the thrall of a being with the power of God and the moral understanding of a three-year-old six-year-old who's never been disciplined in his life: pretty crappy.
13th Dec '12 7:01:52 PM colleen4ever
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Anthony Fremont is literally [[TheOmnipotent omnipotent]]. He's also only three years old, and he's had his powers from birth.

to:

Anthony Fremont is literally [[TheOmnipotent omnipotent]]. He's also only three six years old, and he's had his powers from birth.
11th Nov '12 3:51:32 AM erforce
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This story has been adapted several times by ''Series/TheTwilightZone''. The original series did a very faithful adaptation, with Bill Mumy as Anthony and Cloris Leachman as his mother. The 2002 revival series had a sequel episode, "It's Still a Good Life", featuring a grown-up Anthony (played again by Bill Mumy) and his daughter (played by Mumy's [[RealLifeRelative real-life daughter]] Liliana), who also has powers. ''TwilightZoneTheMovie'' gave the story a SettingUpdate to the 80's (with Anthony terrorizing a single mansion rather than an entire town) and the happiest ending that the premise would allow.

to:

This story has been adapted several times by ''Series/TheTwilightZone''. The original series did a very faithful adaptation, with Bill Mumy as Anthony and Cloris Leachman as his mother. The 2002 revival series had a sequel episode, "It's Still a Good Life", featuring a grown-up Anthony (played again by Bill Mumy) and his daughter (played by Mumy's [[RealLifeRelative real-life daughter]] Liliana), who also has powers. ''TwilightZoneTheMovie'' ''Film/TwilightZoneTheMovie'' gave the story a SettingUpdate to the 80's (with Anthony terrorizing a single mansion rather than an entire town) and the happiest ending that the premise would allow.
21st Sep '12 5:37:47 PM Surenity
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Added DiffLines:

** He is innocent in the sense that he can't contemplate the feelings of others nor the ramifications of his actions.
21st Sep '12 4:39:13 PM SharleeD
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* Autocannibalism: The first scene of Anthony shows him making a rat eat its own body.

to:

* Autocannibalism: {{Autocannibalism}}: The first scene of Anthony shows him making a rat eat its own body.
21st Sep '12 4:38:52 PM SharleeD
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Added DiffLines:

* Autocannibalism: The first scene of Anthony shows him making a rat eat its own body.
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