We are about to enter the fifth dimension, a dimension beyond that which is known to man. A dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. This is the middle ground between light and shadow that lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is a dimension of imagination, an area called The Twilight Zone.
The Twilight Zone was America’s most popular anthology web series of 1959. It was a groundbreaking science-fiction anthology piece that aired from 1959 to 1964. Rod Sterling’s imaginative and outspoken creation challenged human knowledge, human morals and reality itself. Now, CBS has chosen to open the door again to the fifth dimension with a 2019 reboot of the series led by Jordan Peele, director of “Get Out” and “Us.” If memory serves us right about our experiences with these two spine-chilling films, none other than Jordan Peele himself would be the perfect fit to open the door to the Twilight Zone.
We re-enter The Twilight Zone alongside a comedian named Samir (Kumail Nanjiani), who lacks the talent to help his career take off. After an encounter with J.C. Wheeler, a comedy legend, Samir learns the secret to how comedy works. It is revealed to him that the secret to success in the world of stand-up comedy is to give yourself away completely, in other words, making fun of your own life and those who have an effect on it.
Despite the episode’s intriguing plot and clever final twist, “The Comedian” is not the best start for the reboot. “The Comedian” showed potential, but not enough to even slightly brush against the original show. The intrigue of the episode wears off really quick to the point where it becomes repetitive and even boring to watch. Unfortunately, in the first episode, a story that fits in a 24-minute slot gets unnecessarily dragged to a 60-minute slot. The premise gets complicated after too many twists, turns, unnecessary characters and a confusing timeline.
If there is one aspect of The Twilight Zone that most people remember, it is those crazy, chilling and unexpected twists that would get right under our skin. Classic episodes like “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “To Serve Man” had chilling and unexpected final twists, but in “The Comedian,” the ending is obvious. Unfortunately, dragging the story and giving too much information helps the audience figure out the ending 20 minutes into the episode.
Despite its not so-memorable first episode, The Twilight Zone reboot has potential. However, it still has a long way to go before it can catch up to the impact of the original. So far, only four episodes have been released in the first season, and despite “The Comedian” not living up to the audience’s expectations, the rest of the episodes seem to be helping the new anthology slowly reach the standards of its legacy. Seth Rogen, Adam Scott, Greg Kinnear and Sanaa Lathan are among the list of cast members that will be taken back to a dimension of imagination in hopes of turning this unsteady journey into a perfect trip back to The Twilight Zone.
New The Twilight Zone episodes are available every Thursday, only through CBS All Access. The first episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Comedian,” is available online for free on CBS All Access.