A lot of time has passed since the original Twilight Zone. The original was filmed in black and white and ran from 1959 to 1964. It was an anthology science fiction series full of twists, drama, and sometimes comedy.
With the first episode of the 2019 revival having premiered on April 1st, there is a lot of talk as to what to expect out and what fans hope for Jordan Peele's version of the Twilight Zone.
According to Buzzfeed, actors that have already been revealed include Ike Barinholtz (Blockers), DeWanda Wise (She's Gotta Have It), Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Rhea Sheehorn (Better Call Saul), Seth Rogan (Neighbors), Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time), Steve Harris (The First Purge), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), and Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids).
We also know that Ike Barhinholtz, Taissa Farmiga, and Rhea Seehorn star in an episode together that will apparently dive into the theme of toxic masculinity. Also DeWanda Wise accepted the role without reading the script.
Knowing Jordan Peele's work, this is likely going to be a true about the Twilight Zone reboot. In fact, Peele has said that the reboot was important right now because of the current political climate.
The original show was a chance to have conversations about different issues that faced us such as conformity, what makes us human, and how we can be complicit in our own destruction. Some would even call it a form of activism and have written academic papers explaining how the original show was an act of social justice.
However, issues develop and adapt with time. Today there are other demons and perspectives for the Twilight Zone to tackle such as online trolls, gun control, and illegal immigration. Hopefully Peele will not disappoint on that front.
A lot of fans were hoping for their favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone to be remade. However Jordan Peele reflected that he did not want to make a direct replica of work that has already been done so well. So there will be no remakes of the old episodes
However, there is good news for nostalgic fans. There will be plenty of easter eggs such as characters, locations, and objects that will hint at old episodes. There will be moments and even full episodes that pay homage to the old episodes in their own way.
So far the titles of the episode we know are “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet,” “Wunderkind,” “The Traveler,” "Replay," and "The Comedian." Through already seeing "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," it was easy to predict that is was paying homage to the old Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" just from it's title.
All the other titles are too general to make assumptions without seeing them. Through the definition of "Wunderkind," we can say it will probably be about a child prodigy.
The biggest block fans face to watch the Twilight Zone reboot is that it is exclusively on CBS All Access. That means fans and interested parties will have to pay a subscription to CBS to watch the reboot. Due to this, a lot of fans will probably choose to not watch it and just wait it out to see if there will be a way to watch the show for free or for less money. Others will likely wait out until the reboot is over and then binge watch it with an All Access free trial.
Whatever the case, hopefully CBS will decide to make the show a little more accessible.
A lot of critics who watched the premiere have noted that something is missing from Jordan Peele's reboot. This could be nostalgia still coming to terms with the new, but it could also be something more. Few to no critics have called the first couple of episodes "bad" but many of them are saying that they do not live up to the original series.
The Daily Beast has called the reboot a "predictable Dud." The New York Times has written that the series is "trying to find it's dimension," and that the first two episodes of the premiere were the weakest of the four (they loved the episode "Replay"). Newsday's review said that the reboot would make the original director and writer, Rod Sterling, proud.
A couple small differences between the reboot and original series concern maturity rating, length, and budget.
R-rated profanity is going be a key difference to get with the times. After all, characters need to speak like how people realistically speak today. Modern language has become rather more profane compared to in the 1960s. Another difference is that the series will have a much larger budget than the original. So more can go towards the little details like make-up, costume, and setting.
Also the episodes will be longer than the original, ranging from 30 to 60 minutes.
Jordan Peele is no stranger to Black Mirror, which has been noted to be like a modernized Twilight Zone. Entertainment Weekly interviewed Peele on the subject and he said, "Black Mirror is an absolute masterpiece, and we wouldn’t have moved forward with our show if we didn’t identify what is unique to Black Mirror and what is unique to Twilight Zone."
A rule Peele made for himself and the rest of the staff is that they do not need to explore technology. One of the actors, Kumail Nanjiani, mentioned that while Black Mirror has a more cynical view of humanity, the Twilight Zone would show it's dark-side but be ultimately optimistic.
While the original shows writer and producer, Rod Serling, passed away in 1975, his wife, Carol Serling, is still around. The executive producers of the reboot, Win Rosenfeld and Audrey Chon, found it important to get her blessing if they are to recreate the traditional narrator of the show (which was originally the role of Rod Serling).
“The Rod Serling narrator character was omniscient, mischievous and haunting but also avuncular and comforting — someone who anchored you back into this world and told you how surreal it was,” Rosenfeld said. “It broke the conventions of TV and I’m glad Carol was on the same page.”
The baseline is that the world wants to see more of what Jordan Peele is capable of. In fact, one complaint for the Twilight Zone reboot is that there is not enough of that Peele creativity in it and that it is too tame. However, that could be just because he wants to be careful in the beginning. After all, Peele was initially reluctant to take on the Twilight Zone.
People want to like this show. The Twilight Zone and Jordan Peele seem like a good pair. So hopes are that it's just uphill from here and that we will get even more seasons in the future.