Another Day, Another Reboot

George Kasten, Writer

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While The Twilight Zone hosted by Serling in the 1950s -1960s revolutionized the sci-fi world, this reboot, hosted by Jordan Peele, falls right into every other sci-fi show nowadays.

“The Comedian,” the first episode of the 10 episode season stars Kumail Nanjiani and Tracy Morgan. This story follows Kumail Nanjiani’s character, Samir Wassan, who is desperate for a laugh during his terrible stand-up act. Once he meets Tracy Morgan’s character, J.C. Wheeler, he receives this superpower to make anyone disappear that he makes fun of during his act. Throughout the episode, Samir Wassan uses this superpower as a way to get rid of the terrible people he knows.
While The Twilight Zone is known for its suspense and major plot twists, this episode delivers a very slow pace and an ending that is predictable within the first 20 mins of the hour.

Although it is very slow the actors deliver great performances, especially Amara Karan who plays the girlfriend of Samir. The cinematography is also outstanding, which was one of the mishaps the 1950s version faced.

As per usual, The Twilight Zone has a host and this time around it’s Jordan Peele. His narration during some parts is fantastic because the camera pans over to him brooding in a corner of the room while the scene between the characters plays out. I think CBS made the perfect choice to cast Jordan Peele as the host, but they could have let him be a producer or director on some episodes because of his amazing track record recently.

The other fault that CBS made was putting this iconic series on their obscure streaming service, CBS All Access, which has numerous originals that I don’t think anyone has ever heard of before. Why they wouldn’t put this on their network channel or give it to a more popular streaming service, I don’t know. According to my research, CBS garnered only 2.5 million viewers from its originally predicted 4 million, which means The Twilight Zone is going to fly way under the the the everybody’s radar, except for the hardcore fans who will pay $7 a month to watch it.

Although CBS made many faults with this show, the writers and producers did an amazing job given a message all audiences can relate with. Which proposes the question of how far will someone go for fame and fortune.
While I was hoping for a more original and new look into our society like the 1950s Twilight Zone delivered, I was left with a reboot that relied heavily on nostalgia and didn’t deliver anything different or exciting than all the other sci-fi shows nowadays. Kumail Nanjiani and his cast members delivered outstanding roles that deserve to be seen by more than the few streaming service owners. Although “The Comedian” was intriguing, it doesn’t deliver on the standards of a sci-fi show or live up to the 1950s phenomenon.