August 10, 2022
The Twilight Zone season 2 review: Jordan Peele needs to ‘Get Out’

Twilight Zone Season 2 is now streaming on Voot Select. In late 2017, when Jordan Peele was brought on for the iconic TV-era revival of The Twilight Zone—the sci-fi anthology series created by the late Rod Serling in the fifties—there was plenty of excitement for the announcement. The success and acclaim followed on Peele as his directorial debut: the social satire horror Get Out. Peele’s subsequent win at the 2018 Oscars a few months later suggested that CBS had found the right candidate. But the first season of the new Twilight Zone — which premiered on CBS All Access in the US in April last year but only released in India this March on Voot Select, the subscription-based premium tier of Voot — was a disappointment. Nevertheless, it was renewed for a second season in the middle of its run.

Point them out for continuity: The Twilight Zone Season 2 — available in its entirety on Thursday instead of last time’s weekly release — is still a huge disappointment. It’s worth noting that CBS only gave critics (including us) access to three of the total 10 episodes. The nature of an anthology series, where every episode is completely different – ​​with different storylines, actors, writers, and directors – means that quality can vary widely, but if these episodes are played as a whole, The Twilight To be taken as an indicator of zone season. 2 is not worth watching. One episode shows some possibility that it eventually goes to waste, another is interesting but fails to prevent the landing, and the third doesn’t know what it’s trying to achieve.

The season 2 lot’s biggest failure is titled “Meet in the Middle,” which actress Emily C. Chang and Sarah Amini (Misery Loves Company) and cinematographer-director Mathias Herndl, who wrote last year’s Ginnifer Goodwin-starrer “Point of Origin” episode. “Meet in the Middle” follows the solo single Fella Phil (Jimmy Simpson, from done by) who discovers a telepathic connection with Annie (Gillian Jacobs from the community) while on a date with another woman. As the two get to know each other, they become happier and do things they usually don’t. It’s a typical meet-cute, except that the two are never actually on screen together. We only see Simpson in the flesh, with Jacobs reduced to a voice role.

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Jimmy Simpson in The Twilight Zone Season 2 “Meet in the Middle”
photo credit: Dean Busher/CBS

Those two aspects—a seamless scene-by-scene romantic story, and just one actor’s presence—combine to produce a Twilight Zone episode that’s just as bland. For most of its runtime, you’re just staring at Simpson’s face, who can only come up with so many different expressions. “Meet in the Middle” needs something else to demonstrate the telepathic link between the two; Maybe an animated world inside their head like Pixar from inside to outsideor something like the astral plane from the X-Men series troop, At its heart, it’s about how people can get into our minds – literally here – when we are vulnerable and willing to compromise. But it seems that a short film concept spans 43 minutes, in a disjointed and boring way that makes it a listless and forgettable entry.

Written and directed by Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter), “You Might Say Like”—an episode that sounds like a take-down of algorithmic recommendation engines, but isn’t—is a step up, even though it is For the most part only one actor is occupying the screen. Gretchen Moll (Boardwalk Empire) plays housewife Jane Warren in a modern world that has some elements from the ’70s. Like everyone around her, she’s hoping to get her hands on her family’s “egg,” which is sold with the promise of making everything better forever. The episode attempts to critique materialism, advertising, capitalism, and human nature, all rolled into one package. But it never really manages to top as you might expect.

The story unfolds as one day in a few hours, Jane finds herself repeatedly waking up in her bed, not remembering how she got there. Her dreams seem to be made up of commercials, one of them about something esoteric and unknown which is the “egg”. Jane then begins the investigation with the help of her estranged neighbor (Greta Lee from Russian Dolls). “You Might Like This Too” is mysterious if not entirely captivating, partly thanks to the fact that it’s the most of the three Twilight Zone Season 2 episodes shown to critics. Intrigue runs for two-thirds of the time of the episode, but the unfolding of twists — standard practice for The Twilight Zone — relies heavily on exposition. It’s a shame Perkins couldn’t see it through a “show, not tell” approach.

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Billy Porter in The Twilight Zone Season 2 “The Who of You”
photo credit: Dean Busher/CBS

It drops “The Who of You” from director Peter Atencio (Key & Peele) and The Twilight Zone executive producer Vin Rosenfeld, making his debut as a screenwriter. It is much better than the other two, mainly because it doesn’t forget to have fun with its devices. The episode begins unconvincingly, as unsuccessful actor Harry (Ethan Embry from Sweet Home Alabama) makes a left-wing decision to rob a bank after a fight with his live-in girlfriend, who he believes is completely worth the money. It’s about inability. At the bank, Harry inadvertently swaps his mind with Teller just before the police arrive and arrest him. Except she is no longer in his body. The lead detective (Daniel Sunjata from Graceland) initially thinks Harry is acting, but not when he starts saying things he doesn’t know.

Meanwhile, the real Harry learns that he can swap bodies with anyone only with his eyes closed. This becomes problematic for “which of you” on many levels. It is impossible to imagine that Harry had never closed eyes with anyone before in his life. Alternatively, it is never explained whether he had the powers to swap his body during the robbery. The episode also raises the suspension of disbelief and relies on narrative coincidence at the end. For what it’s worth, there are some interesting twists as the police try to capture Harry, including guest star Billy Porter (Pose), an astrologer. And the body-swap mechanic not only contributes a lot to the humor, but it sits well with the metaphor in the play, about actors getting into the skin of their characters—quite literally.

Upon the arrival of The Twilight Zone in April last year, of the atlantic Sophie Gilbert went so far as to say: “[It’s] It’s hard to imagine how prodigiously talented and thoughtful artists like Peele are creatively involved in this.” Unfortunately, that still seems to be true of The Twilight Zone Season 2. Peele in this second year of the third revival of the famous original There is an episode written by him, his first; it is called “Downtime” and it features Murray Baccarin (dead pool) and Tony Hale (Veep). Maybe it will show what the new Twilight Zone is capable of. But while we keep hoping for a brighter future for The Twilight Zone, it seems to be stuck in the past.

Twilight Zone Season 2 is now streaming on Voot Select in India and CBS All Access in the US.

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