ORBzine - Twilight Zone (2019) TV Review

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Twilight Zone (2019)

Season 1

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 1] The Comedian (56 min)
Shown 01 Apr 19

Samir Wassan (Kumail Nanjiani - X-Files: M&S Meet The Were-Monster ) is a stand-up comedian, dating the lady cop from Lucky Man . An encounter with Tracey Morgan (30 Rock) gives him a superpower. Whenever he makes jokes about someone he knows, his audience laughs and his online popularity doubles. The cost is that the person he jokes about is erased from reality.

This is basically Death Note with a new spin.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 2] Nightmare at 30,000 Feet (37 min)
Shown 01 Apr 19

A journalist gets aboard a passenger plane, and discovers a podcast that predicts the plane will crash.

This is named after the story from Twilight Zone: The Movie , which features a gremlin on the wing. However, this is a post-9/11 version.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 3] Replay
Shown 11 Apr 19

A middle-aged housewife ( Saana Lathan ) takes her tweenage son to college. The bad news is, they get pulled over by a cop for DWB (driving while black). The good news is, she has a magic video-camera that can turn back time.

Unfortunately, every time the protagonist turns back time the police officer increases the level of violence he uses. If anything, this is because the housewife's strained mental state makes her increasingly agitated, which then escalates the situation.

The twist is that the camcorder is like the magical equivalent of the camcorder that recorded the Rodney King incident in 1992. While the police officer is apparently part of a conspiracy to stop young African-American men from bettering themselves by attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the black community is now empowered because they all have camera-phones. This is actually reminiscent of a scene in Kick-Ass (2010) , when the protagonist remarks that when five guys beat someone up in public the onlookers do not attempt to intervene - they merely record the incident for the benefit of their Internet followers.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 4] A Traveler
Shown 18 Apr 19

Steven Yeun ( The Walking Dead ) is in a jail cell in Alaska, waiting for the Sheriff (Greg Kinnear - Mystery Men ) to give him a Holiday pardon. The more he talks about himself, the more it becomes apparent he is not what he appears to be.

The protagonist is the deputy. She is more than happy to believe the worst of her boss, in the hope that it will get her promoted to his job. This means she will ignore a potential invasion, whether it be by the Russians or even by aliens!

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 5] The Wunderkind (40 min)
Shown 25 Apr 19

A political campaign manager (John Cho - Sleepy Hollow ) teams up with a pre-teen YouTube star to win the US Presidential election. The boy seems to be a cry-baby ...

Cho ends up learning that he should be careful what he wishes for. Winning a popularity contest does not make a person suitable for high office. Especially if that person is childish and immature.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 6] Six Degrees of Freedom
Shown 02 May 19

A spaceship crew is about to set off for a mission to Mars. Like in The Martian , the mission commander is a woman ... but three of the five astronauts are women, and two of those women are African-American.

By incredible timing, at exactly that moment North Korea launches a nuclear strike on the USA. The astronauts fly off to Mars, and spend the better part of a year distracting themselves from the idea that Earth is a post-apocalyptic wasteland and there is nothing for them to return home to.

One of the crew suspects that the timing was too much of a coincidence, and considers the possibility that things are not as they appear. Unfortunately he is a straight-acting white male, so he might just be insane.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 7] Not All Men (43 min)
Shown 09 May 19

Taissa Farmiga is all grown up, and looks a lot more like her older sister ( Vera Farmiga ) than she used to when she played teenagers. She works in an office, and goes on a not-a-date with a male cow-orker to watch a meteorite shower.

Soon, all the males start to exhibit aggressive tendencies. They have been brainwashed by some kind of alien intervention, but the female protagonists do not notice because they think that this is normal male behaviour. Eventually they seek refuge at the gal-pal's house, but her husband Mike (Ike Barinholtz - Suicide Squad (2016) ) turns out to have toxic masculinity as well. The irony is that the women do not need alien intervention in order to display aggressive tendencies - all they need is a friendly young man to suggest that they smile more.

This is a misandrist effort, written by one woman and directed by another. For an earlier, better version of this story check out The Screwfly Solution - adapted in Masters of Horror .

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 8] Point of Origin
Shown 16 May 19

A rich white woman ( Ginnifer Goodwin ) is very upset when her Latina servant is deported to Guatemala. Unfortunately she is not upset enough, so she deserves a karmic some-uppance for being privileged and white.

The rich white woman is arrested by Federal Agents, locked in a secret detention facility without due process and interrogated by a Man In Black (James Frain - Invasion ). Instead of being a Latina refugee from war-torn Guatemala, she is accused of being a refugee from a war-torn alternate universe.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 9] The Blue Scorpion
Shown 23 May 19

A depressed man (Chris O'Dowd - Thor 2: The Dark World ) inherits a mysterious handgun named The Blue Scorpion. As he learns more about it, he suspects it might be alive. Is he halucinating?

Along with the pistol, he got a bullet with his own forename on it. However, every day he meets a different person who also has that name. So who is the bullet meant to kill?

Despite this Season's wokeness, this episode does not hard-sell an anti-gun agenda.

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 1, Episode 10] Blurryman (37 min)
Shown 30 May 19

A writer (Seth Rogan - Your Highness (2009) ) has problems with his post-Apocalyptic storyline. When he rewrites it, he discovers that he has actually altered reality. This is all a metaphor for writers taking social responsibility for their work rather than just treat it as disposable entertainment.

The host ( Jordan Peele ), appears for his opening narration, but then breaks the fourth wall and it all gets a bit meta. He talks with Sophie the screenwriter ( Zazie Beets ), who illustrates the slippery slope from superhero movies to stupid SciFi crap to Idiocracy . She continues that The Twilight Zone isn't about the genre bullshit, it's about the message.

Sophie finds herself being stalked by a mysterious blurry man who appeared in the background of the show. Then she starts to become unstuck in reality, travelling back to her childhood and sideways into the original series.





Twilight Zone (2019)

Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2020

Reviewed in our special supplement Twilight Zone (2019)

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  • Twilight Zone (2019)

    Season 2

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 1] Meet in the Middle (43 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    A lonely batchelor named Phil (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ) discovers that he has a telepathic link with a stranger named Annie ( Gillian Jacobs ). They conduct a long-distance friendship, without speaking face to face or even electronically.

    Eventually Annie agrees to a face-to-face meeting. Unfortunately something goes badly wrong. Some mysterious stranger seems to be stalking her.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 2] Downtime (43 min)
    Shown 25 Jun 20

    Morena Baccarin gets a job promotion at work. Before she can get used to bossing about her cow-orkers, a strange orb appears in the sky. She goes to her husband (Colman Domingo - Fear the Walking Dead ) for help, and he tells her an uncomfortable truth.

    It turns out that the protagonist is a character in a VR game like The Matrix (1999) . People go there for entertainment, like in Westworld . In reality she is married to Serinda Swan . Now she has a choice to make. If she leaves the VR world she might cease to exist, but if she stays she must accept that it is just a simulation.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 3] The Who of You (46 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    The protagonist is a down-on-his-luck actor. He needs money in a hurry, so he tries to rob a bank. Naturally, it all goes badly wrong.

    The wannabe robber discovers he can jump from body to body. First, he possesses one of the bank tellers - then makes his getaway in her body while his original body is arrested. Then he tries to get home with the loot. The cops are onto him quite quickly, so he ends up jumping from body to body. His biggest problem, other than the fact that the cops have his original body in custody, is the fact that he has to keep coming back for the stolen money.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 4] Ovation (41 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    Jasmine ( Jurnee Smollett ) is a busker who wants to become a successful musician. She has a chance encounter with Fiji, the biggest star in the world, who gifts her a strange-looking gold coin.

    Jasmine gets invited on a TV talent show called Ovation. It is an audience choice award, with no panel of Judges to provide feedback. She wins, even though her playing is far below her usual standard. Finally she realises that the coin is blessed ... or cursed.

    Luckily, Jasmine's sister Zara seems completely immune to the curse. At first Zara just seems like a snob, because she values her career as a surgeon above Jasmine's success as an entertainer. However, Zara's cynicism turns out to be useful.

    Jasmine ditches the coin, and hides out in a Cabin in the Woods . Eventually, Jasmine-fever fades and a new star named Mynx arises. However, Jasmine suffers withdrawl syndrome after losing out on all the adulation she received.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 5] Among the Untrodden (39 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    A nerdy new girl joins a High School class in an all-girls boarding school. As part of a school project she tests the other girls in the class for psychic abilities. It turns out that, somehow, the class bitch actually has psychic powers.

    The nerdy girl is made an honorary member of the mean girls clique, as long as she helps the class bitch to hone her superpowers. Unfortunately all she seems to use those powers for is to bully other girls. But as she develops, she tries to blackmail a member of staff.

    When the girls hang out together, smoking weed and drinking cheap beer, something is bound to go wrong. Somehow the class bitch tries to make it right, but as always in this show there are unexpectedly negative consequences. Suddenly the nerdy girl is popular, and the class bitch is an outcast.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 6] 8 (31 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    This is set in a secret research lab on the coast of Antarctica. The team leader (Joel McHale - Spy Kids 4 ) is writing up the Captain's log, while the others are watching an episode of the original Twilight Zone (1958) . Unfortunately, something starts to kill off the team's SCUBA divers as they try to exit through the ice hole.

    The crew try to work out what is going on as a mysterious monster picks them off one at a time, like in The Thing (1982) . The main suspect is a mysterious octopus. The Americans have a secret agenda regarding the creature. There is also a token Chinese scientist, who only speaks Mandarin - but this is not a problem, because there is a translator app on someone's smart-phone.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 7] A Human Face (32 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    A man (Christopher Meloni - Happy ) and his wife ( Jenna Elfman ) are grieving from the suicide of their daughter ( Tavi Gevinson ). Just then, a strange comet passes near planet Earth. Next thing they know, there is a strange CGI creature in their basement. Worse than that, it starts to look like their dead daughter.

    As the bickering couple start to interact with the stranger, they have to come to a realisation. The question is not one of whether or not she is genuinely their daughter or an alien invader. The question is ... does it matter?

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 8] A Small Town (35 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    A widowed handyman (Damon Wayans Jr - ) discovers a miniature version of the town he lives in. It is magical, and whatever he does to the model also comes true of the town itself. He starts by helping people like the barmaid ( Natalie Martinez ), but ends up just seeking revenge on the lazy corrupt Mayor (David Krumholtz - The Santa Clause 3 ). With great power comes great responsibility.

    The story is a bit basic, but the episode has a great cast. It is nice to see Krumholtz in a more challenging role, although Keegan Connor Tracy has very little to do.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 9] Try, Try (42 min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    Claudia ( Kylie Bunbury ) is on her way to the museum when her life is saved by Mark (Topher Grace - American Ultra ). They meet up again, apparently by coincidence, and Claudia ends up on an unexpected blind date of sorts. Somehow, Mark always knows exactly the right thing to say and do.

    Grace is best known as the boy-next-door protagonist of sitcom That Seventies Show. However, ever since her re-invented himself in Predators (2009) he has been typecast as creepy losers.

    This is basically a modern-day version of Groundhog Day ... from the woman's perspective. This leaves the male character looking like a straw-man, a stalker who is for some inexplicable reason obsessed with the female. Perhaps the story would have been better told if the genders had been swapped, and the female was made out to be an obsessive bunny-boiler.

    Twilight Zone (2019) Twilight Zone (2019) [Season 2, Episode 10] You Might Also Like (41 Min)
    Shown 25th June 2020

    Gretchen Mol has dreams that seem like creepy adverts, for example one that has turned Eyes Wide Shut into a lifestyle brand.

    Eventually our heroine meets some aliens. Like a Karen in outer space, she tells them Take me to your supervisor!

    In all truth, this is a pretty weak episode to end the Season on.