I think most of us would agree that 2020 has been a dumpster fire. In a way, it almost feels like a waking nightmare that may never end. That said, what better time is there than now to escape to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. In the new season of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Executive Producer Jordan Peele returns to continue the legacy of Rod Serling with episodes that feature a focus on pertinent issues in today’s society.
Acting as host and narrator, Jordan Peele has rounded up a list of talented people for the new season that includes Morena Baccarin, Kylie Bunbury, Jenna Elfman, Ethan Embry, Sky Ferreira, Tavi Gevinson, Topher Grace, Tony Hale, Gillian Jacobs, David Krumholtz, Thomas Lennon, Sophia Macy, Natalie Martinez, Joel McHale, Chris Meloni, Gretchen Mol, Paula Newsome, Billy Porter, Jimmi Simpson, Jurnee Smollett, Daniel Sunjata, Damon Wayans Jr., and more.
For the release of the new season, I had the opportunity to check out the first three episodes: “Meet in the Middle” directed by Mathias Herndl, starring Jimmi Simpson and Gillian Jacobs, about a lonely bachelor who develops a telepathic connection with a stranger; “The Who of You” directed by Peter Atencio, starring Ethan Embry, Daniel Sunjata, and Billy Porter, about a struggling actor who risks everything in hopes of making his life better only for there to be a surprise twist; and “You Might Also Like” directed by Osgood Perkins, starring Gretchen Mol and Greta Lee, about a stay-at-home housewife who begins questioning the widely marketed “Egg” which promises to make everything better forever.
As with the previous season, each episode focuses on self-exploration, hot topic issues, and the way in which humanity addresses them. Don’t get me wrong, not everything about this show is doom and gloom, but I do appreciate seeing themes surrounding the questioning of authority, loneliness, mental illness, empathy, autonomy and more, being featured at the forefront of a mass-marketed series such as this. Furthermore, the show offers a diverse cast and crew in order to elevate and amplify stories and perspectives from different backgrounds. Additional episodes feature the talents of directors J.D. Dillard (Sweetheart), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walk Home Alone at Night), Tayarisha Poe (Selah and the Spades), Christina Choe (Nancy), Alonso Alvarez Barreda (The Walk), Jen McGowan (Rust Creek) as well as episodes written by Emily Chang and Sara Amini, Jordan Peele, Tananarive Due, and more.
In regards to the presentation of the show, it’s nothing short of stunning. Each episode pays special attention to the details and construction needed to execute, what I consider to be, a beautiful visual payoff. Personally, I was very much drawn to Osgood Perkins episode, “You Might Also Like”, due to my love for symmetrical design as well as the chilling contrast between the blue and white colors. I also felt that this episode, in particular, did a great job of executing a modernized 1950s sci-fi feel. That said, I think one of the strongest aspects of THE TWILIGHT ZONE is its visual appeal and how that falls in line with the story being told.
Overall, Season Two of THE TWILIGHT ZONE once again succeeds in combining thrilling tales with socially conscious storylines. The only critique I have is that I wished some of the episodes would have pushed the envelope a little further in terms of capitalizing on the creepier, unsettling moments. All that being said, from what I’ve seen of this season, this modern re-imagining continues to follow in the footsteps of what Rod Serling created by challenging our thoughts and views of the world while opening our minds to the impossible. THE TWILIGHT ZONE SEASON 2 is now available to watch on CBS All Access.