The Twilight Zone Is Back And Incredible!
The Twilight Zone, the venerated and beloved speculative fiction series that inspired other anthology shows in the sci-fi genre, the forerunner for Black Mirror and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, and the benchmark show for twists in television, is back and it’s like it never left.
And, before I go any further, I must tell you to please just watch the first episode. Go see it. Do not read any more of this article. Yes, it really is as good as the original show—at least from that first episode streamed online. I only had the pleasure to watch “The Comedian,” but it made such an impression on me that I’m already willing to say the entire series is going to be a high-quality creation that will swing some people to buy a streaming service just to view it.
The Twilight Zone First Outing Already Shines
Like, as would be expected from any big-profile show in the modern day, the technical specs are impressive and beautiful and done with skill and assurance of vision, but it’s the acting and the stories that make people willing to even go back to black and white television to see the original Twilight Zone and the new version carries on that tradition in almost every character. I’m quite unimpressed with Tracy Morgan’s J.C. Wheeler character but I can look past that because of literally every other person starring in this show’s first episode. Jordan Peele, though jarring to see anyone besides Rod Serling doing the narration, lends the correct energy and grandiose to the role. Amara Karan does a lot with very little character. But it’s Kumail Nanjiani that steals the show and makes it feel like the acting prowess never leaked from the Twilight Zone in its recreation.
The Remake Still Feels Like The Twilight Zone
And let’s touch on that aspect of recreation. Because, yes, the show is set in the modern day. There’s no getting around that and some may find the interjection of modern politics and cellphones and things as jarring, considering the age of the original series, but, I’m here to tell you that if “The Comedian” was any indication, the show doesn’t want to be just topical—it wants to be poignant. The trappings are updated, yeah, but “The Comedian,” and especially the final moments—even before the twist—hits on something somehow both specific and universal. I’m still thinking about it, and what it means, and what it says about comedy as a medium of art.
I’m shocked at how good this show is. Pleased and shocked and excited in equal measure. A lot was riding on making sure a remake of a series this important to pop culture wasn’t terrible or, really, even the least bit disappointing, and they pulled it off with the aplomb of a master showman.
The Twilight Zone Is Too Good To Be So Restricted
But we do have to address the one issue with this: and it’s availability. In the modern day, streaming shows is a very common way to watch stuff, and it’s strange not to have Hulu or Netflix in most media consuming households. But, and rightfully so, complaining about having to pay for too many subscription services is annoying—and such a good show being paywalled behind a service that otherwise doesn’t seem to have that many worthwhile offerings isn’t ideal. I thoroughly recommend that you watch the free episode on YouTube as soon as you have a spare minute—as it is, again, stellar and incredible, but, until perhaps the first season goes on DVD, some people may miss out on it for financial reasons—and that’s a shame.
Because, and I’m so happy to get to say this, The Twilight Zone, the actual Twilight Zone, is back for a modern audience, and it’s such a dream come true. And not even one with some kind of ironic twist attached.
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