The Twilight Zone Season 2 review: An inconsistent follow-up with hits and misses
This season oscillates between searing highs and desperate lows. The three episodes sent as screeners to the media: Meet in the Middle, The Who of you, You Might Also Like, were the best of the lot.
Despite a barrage of sequels in recent years, few have managed to come close to matching the legacy left behind by the source material, let alone surpass it. The Twilight Zone had its work cut out then, given that the series’ legacy lasts more than 60 years. Back when it was first created in 1959, it captured the mood of the times and managed to explore horror and thriller elements in a sci-fi backdrop. Now many iterations later, the 2019 version developed by Simon Kinberg (writer of many X-Men films) and Jordan Peele, who doubles as the narrator too, come at a time when Black Mirror has taken the concept of sci-fi anthologies to the next level. Season one received mixed reviews for having both interesting and dreary stories, and Season 2 now is pretty much the same.
Cast: Morena Baccarin, Gretchen Mol, Jurnee Smollett, Topher Grace, Gillian Jacobs
Developed by: Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg, Marco Ramirez
Streaming on: Voot Select
This season oscillates between searing highs and desperate lows. The three episodes sent as screeners to the media: Meet in the Middle, The Who of you, You Might Also Like, were the best of the lot. One is about a normal man who finds love when he connects with a woman through telepathy; another is about a robbery where the culprit gets the power to switch his soul with other bodies; and the last is about alien abduction. The rest, now that I have seen them all, are either badly written or not fully explored, and do not deserve to be a part of a show that has some top names associated with it.
I enjoyed that the visual design is fairly consistent across episodes. The blue tone you often see gives you a sense of unease over what’s happening. Another commonality is the well-known faces like Morena Baccarin, Gretchen Mol, Jurnee Smollett, Topher Grace and Gillian Jacobs. It’s still a relief I suppose that even after all these years, there are still some clever ideas left in the series. Over the 10 episodes, the show touches on intriguing topics such as alternate reality, mind-reading, time loop and even something as crazy as sea creatures taking over the rest of the world.
On the downside, the bad episodes feel all to familiar. There are two episodes on alien abduction, for instance. One’s great, while the other is a tedious watch. It is also sad to see a talent like Morena Baccarin get wasted in one of the weakest episodes. There’s also an attempt to address relevant topics like bullying and global warming, which bogs down the stories a bit. If there had to be a Season 3, I’d wish that it were darker and more mind-bending, because that would at least add more heft to the narrator proudly name-dropping The Twilight Zone at the end of each episode.