Jordan Peele used his success with Get Out to launch a lot of projects. He’s been producing a handful of TV series over the past few months. The most notable one debuted yesterday, a reboot of The Twilight Zone. Its the third time the series has been remade, but its been hyped. He also had a pretty big success with his new film Us, which I really enjoyed.
The show landed on CBS All Access yesterday. I started a trial of the service so I could check out the show. Then it turned out it wasn’t available on the Canadian version. So that sort of sucked. CityTV (a Canadian network) bought the broadcast rights to the show in Canada, and they weren’t going to air the episodes until Thursday. So I decided to say fuck it and acquire the episodes using a less than reputable method. There were a lot of reactions to the first episodes already and I didn’t want to wait 4 days. Now I’ll probably just watch the rest of the episodes on TV.
Two new episodes were released yesterday. If you’re American you can watch the first one on Youtube for free. That’s probably an effort to try and draw more people into subscribing to the service. I’ll add the link here if you’re American and you want to check it out.
The first episode was an original, called The Comedian. It starred Kumail Nanjiani from The Big Sick. If you watched that terrible Death Note movie on Netflix then you’ll notice the plot is sort of similar. Nanjiani is a bad comedian, who starts erasing parts of his life when he talks about it during his routine. The episode almost clocks in at a full hour and I was surprised that its basically R rated. There are no words held back. I would’ve thought they would’ve kept this series pretty universal, but that’s not the case with either episode.
The second episode is a sort of remake of a classic Twilight Zone episode, Nightmare at 30,000 Feet. The title adds 10,000 feet. The original Nightmare at 20,000 Feet was one of the most popular episodes of the original series. William Shatner starred as a man on an airplane who was convinced there was a monster on the wing of the plane trying to sabotage it. The episode was also redone for Twilight Zone: The Movie with George Miller (Mad Max) directing and John Lithgow playing the Shatner role. This time Adam Scott from Step Brothers and Parks and Recreation leads. The episode takes place on a plane just like the original, but other than that the story is very different. The themes of paranoia are still there though. Scott finds an old MP3 player on the plane and starts to listen to a podcast about a plane that disappeared. Eventually he learns that the plane is actually the plane he is currently on. The plot sounds a little ridiculous now that I’ve written it out, but I actually thought this was the stronger episode of the two. This episode leans closer to a half hour at 37 minutes long. I don’t want to say anything else just in case you may want to see them for yourself. If you want to give the series a try. I’m pretty sure CBS All Access will offer a free trial and you can cancel if you decide you don’t like it.
Jordan Peele replaces Rod Serling as the narrator of the show and I’d say he does a really excellent job of it. His role in the show is essentially the same as Serling’s was. He appears early in the episode and then at the end. Sort of revealing what the moral of the story is.
So, I’ve heard some other people say that haven’t really cared for the show so far, but as a fan of the old series this reboot really hit the spot for me. I even noticed a couple of Easter eggs that throw back to the old show. I will admit that CBS hasn’t done a good job of handling it already though. They should be airing it on the network if they want people to watch it. There have already been several big name actors jumping aboard the project, which gives me the idea that this show could be something special.