Thursday, July 23, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 7 “A Human Face” (B)

This was the second straight episode about an unusual being that may well have been capable of overpowering humanity. Unlike the previous installment’s threat, which was violent in nature and intent on physical domination of what it saw as its enemies, this one was a far more intellectual one. In fact, what was most stirring about it and made it feel most like a true journey into the Twilight Zone was that the protagonists knew that they were being tricked by mind games and had to continually convince themselves that it wasn’t real. It reminded me a lot of “Annihilation,” though there was something that made it happening in a house rather than the dark woods that made it even more eerie and foreboding. The primary cast members were very recognizable, with both having extensive TV histories. Christopher Meloni, most famous for “Law and Order: SVU,” played a much nicer guy than he’s tended to in recent roles on “Happy,” “Pose” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” though it turns out that he wasn’t such a tender father. Jenna Elfman, best known for “Dharma and Greg,” has been on a handful of shows recently, including “Damages,” “Accidentally on Purpose,” and “Imaginary Mary,” and this was a considerably more complex part than the ones she’s played on her short-lived sitcoms. I was most impressed with young actress Tavi Gevinson, who made Mags layered and fascinating. She was difficult to read despite the intense honesty offered when she assessed that she was losing them, and that calculated move worked out very well for her in the end.

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