Tuesday, July 7, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 4 “Ovation” (B+)

This episode reminded me a lot of the series premiere, “The Comedian,” where a performer began to realize that they held a special sway over their audience that wasn’t their own doing. I actually had flashbacks to the terrible Natalie Portman movie “Vox Lux” during the first few scenes, and I’m glad that the rest of the episode didn’t feel like that at all. Jurnee Smollett had her last big TV role on “Underground,” and I was happy to see Tawny Newsome from “Space Force” and “Brockmire” playing Zara, Jasmine’s doctor sister. I also recognized Thomas Lennon, who I last saw playing Mr. Mxyzptlk on “Supergirl” as J.J, and Paul F. Tompkins, who played himself on “You’re the Worst,” as Jimmy O’Malley. It was clear almost from the start what was going on, and the challenge for this show was to see where it would go and what would happen in the end. I wasn’t sure if Zara was feeling the influence of the coin by recognizing that her sister might be talented or if she was in just as much disbelief as her, and that scene with her unconscious patient clapping mid-surgery was certainly trippy. Seeing how destitute Jasmine was after she threw the coin away and disappeared into obscurity was unpleasant, and it wasn’t clear that she wanted to do another more than demand the coin back from the new superstar. It was clever that her face wasn’t shown in any of the ads and that Jasmine ended up stabbing her own sister because she couldn’t have fame. Jordan Peele simply taking the coin and putting it in his pocket rather than offering his typical pearls of wisdom was a great way to finish.

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