Story: The mysteries and wonders of The Twilight Zone were revealed once again, this time with filmmaker Jordan Peele at the helm. The formula remains the same, a series of standalone stories that also fit into the general vibe of the series as a whole, devious and sometimes unsettling concepts that stick with you after the credits roll. In this series reboot, we’re shown a host of new tales from within the infamous zone and some classic stories are revisited, which helps form an even deeper link between this new take and the original television masterpiece. A blend of the new, the familiar, and the unknown, this new venture into The Twilight Zone has a lot to offer.
Entertainment Value: The original The Twilight Zone is of course a television classic, so it no surprise that the premise not only inspired countless other programs of similar themes, but was revisited multiple times for new, updated takes on the concept. In this case, Jordan Peele was brought in as host and producer, fresh off the success of Get Out and Us, both of which carried some serious vibes in line with The Twilight Zone. Peele and his colleagues have created a new vision that touches on a lot of current event and hot button topics, but this is Twilight Zone through and through, from the political and social issues explored, to the eerie, often unsettling narratives. The atmosphere is here, the creepiness and the wonder of what twist or revelation lies ahead, while the stories themselves are mostly quite good and the ratio leans much more toward the positive. Of course, not all the episodes will land for all viewers and some are stronger than others, but over the course of these two seasons and twenty episodes, there’s a lot of great stories and characters to explore. As you’d expect from The Twilight Zone, there are also stars all over the place to bring these tales to life.
Jordan Peele himself steps into the host role and while Rod Serling is impossible to follow, Peele is a more than capable guide through this surreal realm. He brings a serious, but knowing presence to the role and is a terrific anchor that the show builds around. Peele only has a few minutes per episode to work his magic, but does he does so with ease and is the foundation of the show. I know some would love if he had a larger role, but between the episodic nature of the series and the importance of the host role, Peele made the right choice. Each episode is likely to have at least one name or face most folks will recognize and for the most part, these performers are on the mark and embrace the Twilight Zone vibe, which is crucial. You can tell some of the cast have a real passion for the material or the series overall, which shines through in their performances. Kumail Nanjiani, Adam Scott, Zazie Beetz, John Cho, Gretchen Mol, Tracy Morgan, Jenna Elfman, Seth Rogen, Greg Kinnear, and Steven Yeun are just some of the folks on this remarkable, sizable cast of all stars. The show assembled an impressive slate of talent that is so deep, giving each episode a nice dose of star power. I think this version of The Twilight Zone is well crafted and filled with interesting, often though provoking episodes, so I recommend this show to anyone with even a casual interest.
The Disc: The Twilight Zone arrives on DVD with both seasons, all twenty episodes, presented in sharp, detailed visual presentation. Of course, this can’t compete with the high definition presentations you can find if you stream the show, but these episodes look fantastic, nonetheless. A lineup of extras have also been included, such as Crossing Over, a look behind the scenes of the show’s production, a gag reel, deleted scenes, audio commentaries on select episodes, and a tribute to Rod Serling, so there’s some solid added value here.
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