Saturday, August 1, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 8 “A Small Town” (B+)

What I like most about this show is when it takes a simple concept, follows a relatively predictable trajectory of events, and then draws an unexpected conclusion that gives it an entirely deeper meaning. Jason, played by Damon Wayans Jr. from “New Girl” and “Happy Endings,” just wanted to see the town do well. His discovery of that astonishing model that, when turned on, mirrored real life, led him to do things to improve it. It seemed at the start that his undoing would be a need for credit, when in actuality it was just that he couldn’t stand to see the new mayor, played by David Krumholtz from “Numb3rs” and “The Plot Against America,” claim that he was the one doing it when he was responsible for the town being in such bad shape. He didn’t want the clerk at the convenience store to thank him – he just wasn’t okay that a man who had do nothing to improve the town was being showered with praise. And as a result, when he was confronted with the inevitable discovery of the model, he chose to sacrifice something important to him for the benefit of the town, ensuring future prosperity thanks to the giant piece of gold on the main street. I like that message, and this episode ended on a strangely optimistic note. Two additional points: I’m a fan of Paula Newsome from her work on the short-lived series “Women’s Murder Club” and more recently on “Barry,” and it was humorous to me after taking a recent interest in getting to know the U.S. interstate highways, that Interstate 10 was featured when the southernmost cross-country route doesn’t come close to any place that would see that kind of snow.

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