The Twilight Zone returns (+ short review of “The Comedian”)

Last week, I mentioned a Vulture list ranking the best 50 Twilight Zone episodes. It turns out that an episode of Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone reboot, called “The Comedian,” is available for free on YouTube currently.  
Here are some bullet point thoughts on the episode if you have an interest:

  • It’s strange hearing cussin’-type words coming out of a CBS-affiliated show. It’s a CBS All Access show, which is yet another subscription service.
  • Jordan Peele continues to yield great performances from his casts, and often from dynamic comedic actors who play darker material really well. Kumail Nanjiani pulls off the lead role really well, and I was particularly impressed with Tracy Morgan as a shadowy and legendary comedian. Morgan has the potential to be a tremendous dramatic actor — I can’t wait to see him in more things down the road.
  • Can’t say enough good things about Jordan Peele — he has a fine crafted sense for the line between comedy and horror. And really cool to see Peele in the Rod Serling role (a native of Binghamton, New York, the locale of my alma mater) introducing the show. I can’t imagine anyone else being able to pull this off.
  • The episode uses technology appropriately as the story (this one anyway) takes place in modern times, but doesn’t feel like a Black Mirror derivative. In fact, it owes the most, appropriately, to the original Twilight Zone itself, leveraging an intriguing if pretty basic horror concept (I won’t spoil what it is here but you figure it out a few minutes in) and pushes it to its very limits.
  • Aside: I had a weird velvety Twilight Zone poster on my wall as a kid that glowed in the dark. I’ll let you make your own interpretation there.

This post originally appeared in what had originally been called The Eric Berlin E-mail Newsletter. To get a weekly blast of pop culture, digital media, and politics that helps make sense of an increasingly frazzled world, sign on up for The Berlin Files here.

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