SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO EPISODES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019)!
My connection to The Twilight Zone before this remake was almost non-existent. I had heard of it, I knew the theme song and I had heard of certain famous episodes like “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” and “Living Doll” but I never came around to watching it. Now with Jordan Peele who is hot off his new movie Us hosting and producing this remake of the iconic show, I had to go back and watch an episode of the original Twilight Zone.
The episode I watched was the one that intrigued me the most which the famous “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” which was fitting in this new remake there is a remake of that episode as well which I’ll discuss later on. The episode was short, straight-to-the-point and it had a claustrophobic and hopeless atmosphere which I really liked it. I love how even the gremlin was a guy in a fuzzy suit and mask, it was still creepy in the setting and the ambiguity only added to it. Yesterday I watched the first two episodes released from the remake, “The Comedian” and “Nightmare At 30,000 Feet”.
EPISODE 1: THE COMEDIAN
“The Comedian” stars Kumail Nanjiani as Samir, a struggling comedian who is using politics in his comedy which bores the audience to death. One night he stumbles into famous comedian J.C. Wheeler played by Tracy Morgan who tells him that in order to get the laughs you need to talk about personal stuff however it will be taken away if he does so. Samir resorts to this after struggling with the same bad jokes and his dog and nephew disappear. This keeps on going for a while until it gets out of hand, he ruins his life in the process and kills himself with his own joke.
With the first episode I thought it had a some really strong aspects but there were some stuff that held this episode back from being amazing. I love the concept, it’s original and intriguing. Nanjiani is great as Samir, he was a stand-up comedian and so this role perfectly fitted him. The acting all around was great.
Now for the negatives. This was a ridiculously long episode, 55 minutes is way too long for this concept. What made it even worse was that it was really predictable, I knew the twist early on and I knew how it ended about 20 minutes in. It was long and easy to figure out and while I do give it props for having on original concept, well now that I’m thinking about it, it is essentially Death Note but with jokes instead of a journal.
EPISODE 2: NIGHTMARE AT 30,000 FEET
The second episode was the remake of the classic “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” episode, only it’s ten thousand feet higher and it doesn’t feature the gremlin. Looking back on it now I am glad that they didn’t do the gremlin thing again, I love the new Nightmare. The idea of a podcast reporting the disappearance of the current plane taking flight was genius.
This episode stars Adam Scott as Justin Henderson. Scott’s performance was great, for such a likeable guy, he really made me hate his character really well. The character is so stupid, he has all of this evidence with him and he doesn’t show it anyone. Instead he decides to investigate on his own. That being said, this episode had me on the edge of my seat. The acting is great for the most part, I did not like Chris Diamantopoulos’s character or performance, he wasn’t bad but he wasn’t great either.
What baffled me the most about this episode was the ending. Eventually all of the passengers end on an island, all of the passengers unite to kill Justin because ironically it’s his fault that the plane crashed. I saw an article somewhere which said that The Twilight Zone doesn’t do justice, there is never justice served. I don’t know if it is a common thing for Twilight Zone episodes to end like this, I’m torn on the idea of killing Justin. It kinda felt like satire, like a sketch from Key and Peele which is a huge compliment but that was humorous on purpose, this felt weirdly placed.
Overall this version of The Twilight Zone stays true to it’s predecessors in the sense that the stories presented are thought-provoking even if they’re not as original. The line-up of stars featured in this show is a reason worth checking this show out. The performances are great, Jordan Peele is an added bonus as the narrator and producer. The best thing a show like this is that you can start at any episode because the only thing keeping them linked is The Twilight Zone.