Saturday, June 1, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Twilight Zone (Season Finale)

The Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 10 “Blurryman” (B)

It seems very fitting that this show should close out its first season with an extremely self-referential hour that involves the elements it’s used to frame other installments within its own storyline. I recognized Seth Rogen by his voice in the opening moments as the writer, though his presence and that of his costar Betty Gabriel, from “Get Out” and “Counterpart,” diminished considerably after that. Jordan’s narration being interrupted and rewritten was a surprise, with the focus shifting to the one recognizable performer not playing themselves: Zazie Beetz from “Atlanta” as Sophie. Ending up as the subject of the narration after Jordan’s existential discussion of what the Twilight Zone rather is and whether the narrator is needed to explain it was an interesting way of flipping our perception. I wasn’t as fond of where things went from there as the Blurryman turned out to be in the back of the frame in every episode, resulting in a relatively standard stalker-horror narrative from then on. Sophie angrily shouting at Jordan because she though that he was doing it to demonstrate that the horror is real as he’s done in the movies he’s directed was a bit more interesting, and I appreciated her opportunity to engage with the narration to truly understand what she was experiencing. I think ardent fans of the original were probably pleased with this trip back in time to its world, which for me felt appropriately weird if not entirely satisfying. I liked the first three episodes of this show a lot, and I’m hopeful that season two will offer more hours like those.

Season grade: B
Best Episode: The Comedian

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