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The Twilight Zone (2019) Season 1 DVD Review


Rod Serling this is not.

“The Twilight Zone” has once again been revived for a new generation. This time it’s a CBS All Access series shepherded by Jordan Peele (who also hosts the series), Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez. In the 10 first season, viewers can expect stories about a comedian, a child President, a special gun, a podcast, a special camcorder, aliens, male rage, and a mysterious blue figure. Guest stars include the likes of Kumail Nanjiani, Seth Rogen, John Cho, Zazie Beetz, Chris O’Dowd, Steven Yeun, and Adam Scott.

The original “The Twilight Zone” is still one of the greatest television series ever made and is one of my personal favorites as well. When I heard a new incarnation was being made with Jordan Peele at the helm (the writer/director behind “Get Out” and “Us”) it felt like a natural fit as there are so many societal issues and fears that can be mined right now for poignant and eere storytelling. Despite seemingly limitless potential, however, the debut season of “The Twilight Zone” is let down by poor scripts.

From a production standpoint, “The Twilight Zone” is aces. The series has never looked better visually (the cinematography is stunning) and the acting is top notch throughout. The writing, however, is as clunky as can be. Nearly every episode is heavy handed, overstated, overlong, and not remotely subtle. The sci-fi anthology series always worked best as a half-hour show with the best and brightest minds in sci-fi penning stories that were outside the box. The episodes are of varying length (which hampers their quality) and the writing staff (while talented) isn’t all-star caliber. Jordan Peele doesn’t even write an episode here (although he does co-create the story for the atrocious and mean spirited “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” reimagining “Nightmare At 30,000 Feet”). 

The episodes themselves are largely forgettable and one-note. The kid president episode “The Wunderkind” basically writes itself, but it’s probably the best of the lot. The season finale “Blurryman” is arguably the most ambitious, but it doesn’t quite gel as a whole. Still, I appreciate the fact that it pays tribute to the original series in a major way, 

Overall Thoughts: Stick with the original “The Twilight Zone.” Let’s hope the creative staff step up their game in season 2 because it needs to be better than this. 


Presentation: 16:9. Grade: B+ Note: This title is also available on Blu-ray 

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. Grade: B+

* Deleted scenes from episodes 1, 3 and 9
* Extended scenes from episodes 2, 5 and 6.
* Season 1 promo
* Promos from all 10 episodes
* A music video from “The Wunderkind.”
* “Opening The Door To”- Short behind-the-scenes featurettes for all 10 episodes with interviews, story discussions, set footage, etc.
* Commentary by Win Rosenfeld and Selwyn Seyfu Hinds on “Replay,” Win Rosenfeld and Heather Anne Campbell on “Not All Men,” and Alex Rubens and Audrey Chon on “Blurryman.”
* A nearly 3 minute gag reel.
* “Easter Eggs Revealed”- A look at the nods to the original series.
* “Remembering Rod Serling”- A 37 minute tribute to the late great Rod Serling.
* “Crossing Over: Living In The Twilight Zone”- A 60 minute plus 2 part extra that delves into the development and production of this new series. Episode clips, set footage, interviews, and lengthy discussions about story themes and the original series.

February 18, 2020 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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