Will the 2019 ‘The Twilight Zone’ Please Stand Up?


Photo Courtesy of theverge.com

Nearly 60 years later, Jordan Peele, the director behind “Get Out” and “Us”, revives Rod Serling’s role as host in the 2019 reboot, which premiered on April 1.

Jane Zou, Staff Writer

In an abyss between science and imagination lies “The Twilight Zone”, a CBS television series that popularized science fiction and dystopian fiction before its time in 1959-1964. Hosted by Rod Serling, the 156-episode saga centered around cautionary tales; trapped by their ethics or how society functions, everyday people either learned to conform to or rebel against the episode’s setting.

Arguably the most memorable parts of each episode were the twist endings. Letting the audience come to its own conclusion, Serling would show an unexpected villain or the protagonist succumbing to his or her actions.

In 2019, Jordan Peele is a Serling-like narrator who is taking the modern audience through more time-relevant issues.

The pilot episode “The Comedian” stars Kumail Nanjiani as Samir Wassan, a stand-up comic whose political jokes are falling flat with audiences. Wassan begins telling hilarious jokes about his girlfriend’s dog and his high school bullies who mysteriously vanish from existence. The premise stays true to the supernatural, but the ending was not a worthwhile twist for an hour-long episode.

As a remake of “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, the episode “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet” follows Adam Scott as Justin Sanderson, a journalist with PTSD who listens to a podcast about the disappearance of Northern Goldstar Flight 1015, the same flight he is currently on. The twist is the best of the three aired episodes I watched because it is up to interpretation concerning Sanderson’s fate.

In the third episode “Replay”, Sanaa Lathan (Nina Harrison) is driving her son Dorian (Damson Idris) to college, using her camcorder to avoid encounters with racist state trooper Officer Lasky (Glenn Fleshler). Without the camcorder, this episode relied too heavily on social commentary for plot but had an endearing mother-son relationship.

The 2019 “The Twilight Zone” discusses controversial issues such as racism, mental health and political polarization. Lacking the original’s classic feel, the 2019 series is a predictable reimagining of “The Twilight Zone” with expletives. However, Peele is incredible with his storytelling and cinematography of these issues, and if you want to watch a refreshing take on “The Twilight Zone”, it is worth a watch.