Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tales from the Darkside: The Milkman Cometh

The message of "The Milkman Cometh" seems to be less "Be careful you wish for" and more "Be careful how you wish." Of course, you should be careful when the company your milkman works for is called "While You Sleep Dairy" and its logo is a wolf howling at the moon.

Robert Forster plays a family man on the ropes. He badly needs money, he and his wife lost a baby girl some time ago, and while they would like to eventually have another child, they've been told by doctors it's not possible anymore. That's when he learns about the neighborhood milkman. The milkman will apparently grant anyone any wish if they leave him a note, and before you know it, Forster's luck has turned around. Money's rolling in, and his wife is pregnant.

Come on. You know this can't end well. It's Tales from the Darkside. Forster's newfound success changes him for the worse, making him act nasty toward his wife and son, and by the end, we learn a sliver of the milkman's true nature.

We never see the milkman. We see his outline through a window curtain, and at the end, we see his hand. The episode generates unease by keeping him so hidden. What is his agenda? Who is he? Why does he grant wishes? How does he grant wishes? The uncertainty creates dread. We know something is wrong with this arrangement, but we can't be sure what.

The final, perverse yet darkly funny shot of the episode reveals just how much of a pun the title is.

No comments:

Post a Comment