In the latest episode of The Twilight Zone, we find out what happens when a kid gets elected as President of the United States. THE WUNDERKIND, which is directed by Richard Shepard and written by Andrew Guest, stars John Cho (Star Trek, Searching), Jacob Tremblay (Room, The Predator), Allison Tolman (Krampus) and John Larroquette (Night Court).
After losing a very important presidential campaign, Raff Hanks (John Cho) finds himself down-on-his-luck while being made to feel like a joke among his peers. One day, while drinking away his sorrows at a local bar, he sees a young kid on TV named Oliver Foley (Jacob Tremblay), a rising YouTube star who is determined to become president at the age of 11. When Raff sees the effect that the kid has among voters, he decides to take a risk and do whatever it takes to get Oliver elected. However, nothing could prepare him for what would come nor the consequences of his decisions.
Though not as effective as some of the previous episodes of this iteration of The Twilight Zone, I still absolutely loved what THE WUNDERKIND was serving up. I could be completely off base here, but I believe that this episode was an allegory on Trump’s America. I believe that due to some of the key phrases used which centered around “Make American Great Again”. This is further insinuated by the absolutely ridiculous notion that a child could be elected into office. But hey, if we were able to elect an incompetent reality star, I guess anything is possible! It was hard not to laugh at the childlike antics of Oliver and not think to oneself, “I definitely could see Donald Trump acting exactly the same way.”
I’m sure some of you reading this are wondering why I’m being so political about a review but it’s because Jordan Peele doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to this new adaptation of The Twilight Zone. Like the original show, each episode dives into issues that are socially relevant to today’s society and THE WUNDERKIND is no different. It shows us how ridiculous our government has gotten and the snowball effect that it has had. Even when people such as Raff, who did whatever he could to get Oliver elected, see the negative impact of their actions it’s at this point that they realize they can’t go back and change what they have done. This episode does a fantastic job of showing the effects of power-hungry individuals and the extent they will go to act as though nothing is out of the ordinary as long as they can keep with the status quo. Because if they were to speak out, they would instantly be labeled as unreliable and someone acting with treasonous behavior.
As far as the acting goes, both Cho and Tremblay shine as usual and I love that Jordan Peele is continuing his trend of using multicultural actors as leads in this series. It was also a welcome surprise to see Allison Tolman who I have fallen in love with since seeing her in Krampus. Of course, Jordan Peele was on hand to give us the narration and warning specific to this episode, and though this is the fifth episode I’ve seen now, he still kills it every single time by embodying the characteristics that Rod Serling made so famous. I think that this episode will get a lot of kickback from the Alt-Right if they are smart enough to realize what the episode is actually saying, and honestly, I’m all for it. I applaud the writers and directors, as well as Peele, for not backing down on any topic, no matter how controversial. I can only imagine what we will see next week! THE WUNDERKIND is now available to stream on CBS All Access.