Best New Twilight Zone Episodes 2019

James Smith
• Sunday, 10 January, 2021
• 11 min read

Thus, after the 1983 movie and the 80s and 00s reboots, The TwilightZone returned to the zeitgeist in the form of CBS All Access’ Jordan Peele-hosted resurrection, perhaps the most loyal to Serving’s original vision in terms of both technical execution and narrative tone. Peele, whose two features as a writer/director, Get Out and Us, already promised him as Serving’s successor thanks to his distinct ability to boldly examine society’s ills through the prism of pure genre spectacle.

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But he’s also the perfect host for the new TwilightZone, as his Springlike Stoic demeanor is balanced with a twisted sense of humor, thanks to his time as a sketch show veteran. The premise is intriguing, but unfortunately the metaphor around obsessive gun culture is too obvious, and the morally murky ending flat lines by trying to appease both sides of the debate.

This claustrophobic and paranoid thriller, about the officers of a remote Alaska police station at a loss about how to deal with a mysterious tourist (Steven Yen) who magically appears in a holding cell, starts off promisingly as a slight send-off to original series episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” Essentially, the tourist seems to know every secret of the officers as well as the town’s tiny population, and uses it to turn them against one another during an especially secluded Christmas party. While “Maple Street” opened broad and then tightened its focus to deliver a poignant message, “A Traveler” takes the opposite route and becomes more unnecessarily convoluted as it moves along, to the point where it’s hard to even gauge what the tourist’s motivations and plans were from the start.

The 2019 TwilightZone has a handful of general issues, but its biggest failure is ignoring the clear lesson to be taken from the original series’ misguided fourth season, which doubled the length of the 25-minute format, resulting in pointless filler that turned most of the episodes into chores. Peele and Co. have a lot of fun skewering parallels from the 2016 election, with the electorate defending the “freshness and passion” of the kid while touting his lack of experience as a desperately needed change of pace.

The problem is that once the initial premise is introduced, we know exactly where the story’s heading, and the episode eventually lacks that cynical Serving bite it desperately needs. “The Wunderkind” seems to be a non-supernatural take on the original series’ episode that perfectly exemplifies our current situation: “It’s a Good Life,” about a tyrant child (Bill Mummy) who uses his telekinetic powers to force adults into worshiping him.

This tense chamber mystery about a crew of astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars, who become stuck in space after Earth is destroyed by nuclear holocaust, contains some of the tightest pacing and buildup of the season. This tense nod to the original series’ many apocalyptic tales does such a good job of establishing its many mysteries, it’s almost a shame that we get an underwhelming explanation that also seems to have been influenced by “Maple Street.” This is one TwilightZone that should have done away with the twist.

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As Eve finds out her true identity, she relies on her friends and even her immediate family to look over this revelation, but she’s in for a rude awakening as she gradually faces what it truly means to now be “the other.” With an exciting prison break sequence at its center, this morally pointed episode exemplifies the saying, “Check your privilege.” Annie’s understandably shaken by the experience, but Dylan’s behavior is about to spread into an apocalyptic nightmare, as mysterious pieces of a fallen meteor seem to hypnotize men into acting like monsters.

The IMDB user reviews of the episode shows a heavy load of #notable dude bros bitching about the brilliant final twist, not realizing that their criticism proves its point. This haunting tale, made all the more despairing and socially immediate due to its bitter connection to real life, takes the premise of the original series’ episode “The Hitchhiker” and deftly applies the ongoing tragedy of police brutality against people of color.

This is an especially vital episode for those who find any excuse for abhorrent behavior, and blame the victim for not complying with the police, completely ignoring this country’s ingrained systemic racism in the process. It tells the fourth wall-breaking tale of a TV writer (Marie Beet) being haunted by a hostile blurry figure with telekinetic powers as she struggles with capturing the appropriate tone of the show she’s writing for.

The emergence of a strange, elusive gun changes the life of an anthropology professor whose mind is slowly unraveling. A space crew preparing for the first human flight to Mars is faced with a life-altering decision...and its consequences.

A woman sets out to prevent a racist state trooper from killing her son by using a camcorder with the power to turn back time. A stand-up comic incorporates details about people he knows into his routines, unaware that every joke results in someone being erased from existence.

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A down-and-out campaign manager gets a kid elected President of the United States. Sophie Nelson, a writer for The TwilightZone (2019), is haunted by a mysterious figure.

A mysterious man's arrival at an Alaska police station's Christmas party prompts a sergeant to investigate his ulterior motives. A meteor shower spreads infection across an entire town affecting some inhabitants more than others.

“Nightmare at 30,000 Feet” sees Adam Scott reacting with relatable horror and alarm when the mysterious true crime podcast he’s listening to on a plane begins to describe his own apparent death/disappearance. Yen and his “Storm of the Century” vibes in “A Traveler” Of the first four episodes, however, “Replay” comes closest to feeling like something Rod Serving would be proud to call his own.

Except Serving, for all of his wonderfully humanistic leanings, wouldn’t have been able to write something quite as informed by experience as “Replay.” Written and directed by two black men (Selwyn Safe Hinds and Gerard Murray), the episode applies the Groundhog Day time loop trope to a case of police brutality. Through the use of her oddly magical video camera, a mother (Santa Nathan) is forced to relive her son’s (Damson Idris) death over and over again.

As a woman who fled from her economically challenged upbringing to become a successful lawyer as well as a mother, this is a fate Nathan’s character thought she had moved past. It is only once Nathan and her son finally reach his all-black college and enter a crowd of African-Americans ready and willing to pull out their cell phone cameras to document injustice that the cop can be truly defeated.

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In the episode’s haunting final twist, we realize a black mother will forever worry about the possibility of her son being killed by cops. It’s not nearly enough to wipe the look of worry off of Nathan’s face as she watches her son walk out the door to do something as innocent as picking up some ice cream for them to share.

The downside: A Girl Walks Alone at Night director Ana Lily Airport, working from a script by X-Files Glen Morgan, beautifully weaponizes tension and dread for the majority of the runtime, turning this into a quasi-horror movie. The set-up : An investigative reporter with a shaky mental health history attempts to save everyone on a plane when a mysterious podcast seems to be giving him a glimpse of the tragic future.

Jordan Peele’s ambitious reboot of Rod Serving’s “The TwilightZone has managed to become one of the most polarizing series of the year, but it’s definitely inspired people to talk and that’s a good thing. The grief and mourning becomes overbearing, allegiances are tested, power structure is managed, and sanity falls apart as one crew member swears that they’re all being watched by an unknown force.

Teeming with a killer soundtrack and a great surprise ending, “Six Degrees of Freedom” is definitely thought-provoking and suspenseful. A Traveler Another very politically relevant statement about our current social and political culture, episode four is a wonderful spin on “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” Focusing on a small jail in Alaska, the group of officers is preparing to ring in Christmas and celebrate the night away.

As they ready the annual pardon of a prisoner, they find a mysterious suited man in the cells asking to be removed. Replay A spin on the classic “A Kind of Stop Watch,” Episode three pits its focus less on personal desire and more on racial relations.

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Santa Nathan is great as mom Nina, a young woman driving her son Dorian to college for freshman orientation. “Replay” is a lot about racial injustice and the challenges faced by minorities in the world, no matter what they do, and it’s also about the fear of letting go of our children and allowing ourselves to come to grips with our inability to control everything.

Jacob Tremblay from “Room” gives a disturbing turn as Oliver, a young boy who becomes a pet project for RAAF (John CHO), a has-been campaign manager after he releases a viral video to become president. What starts as a fun experiment turns in to a nightmare as Oliver reveals himself to not only be spoiled, vain, and immensely temperamental, but also crafty and vindictive.

With Jordan Peele urging her to get it done, and Sophie drawing discontent of her crew, including the episode’s stars. And yes, the Blurry Man does in fact appear in every single episode of the season including the premiere “The Comedian.” It’s a stunning little recurring Easter Egg that brings full circle what Sophie is experiencing.

The finale is a wonderful tribute to the legacy of “The TwilightZone and a fantastic statement about the power of stories and how they can benefit us by expanding our world, and helping us escape what we can’t control in our reality. This entry was posted in TV Tomb and tagged Adaptation, anthology, Jordan Peele, Mystery, Reboot, Rod Serving, Science Fiction, The TwilightZone.

We’ve compiled a schedule, so you can catch your favorites, along with links to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon for all you cord cutters. There’s a little interruption to the marathon when they air two hours of WWE Smackdown on New Year’s Eve.

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But if you’re desperately looking for a way to spend those Amazon BUX™ that your robotic grandmother got you for Christmas, you can pick up the complete set of the TwilightZone on DVD and Blu-ray. The one where a test pilot doesn’t remember where he is and has no idea why the town he’s wandering is vacant.

The one where a traveling salesman makes a deal with Death to live just a little longer. The one where a man sells his soul to the devil in exchange for an incredibly long life which will not backfire on him at all.

The one where a book nerd survives a nuclear apocalypse only to get bullied by God, who apparently hates people that are near-sighted. The one where three astronauts blast into space in an experimental rocket ship but their return timelines are all mixed up.

The one where astronauts from the future land on a weirdo planet where things don’t move like they’re supposed to. The one where a guy just living his life doesn’t realize that he’s an actor doing everything for the camera, but it’s not an exact Truman Show kind of thing.

The one where a young boy wishes so hard he can change the outcome of a boxing match. The one where a big city businessman falls asleep during his commute and dreams of a small town community of the past, then gets a chance to go there if he wants.

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The one where a suicidal trumpet player has no qualms with playing his loud instrument outside in a big city and strangely doesn’t get shot by people annoyed with him. The one where a woman tries to return something to a department store but discovers a floor where the mannequins are creepier than usual.

The one where a couple of antiques dealers find a genie in a bottle but should they be careful what they wish for or nah? The one where a Broadway actor gets so nostalgic that his nostalgia is converted into the power to time travel.

The one where a drunk department store Santa is just trying to spread some Christmas joy but the voice of Piglet is always spoiling his fun. The one where a used car salesman loses his ability to lie, which sounds amazingly similar to a Jim Carry movie that would be released like three decades later.

The one where an old man has a radio that plays programs from long ago, which was novel before the internet allowed you to listen to everything human beings have ever recorded. The one where a really chatty guy takes a bet that he can refrain from talking for a full year which doesn’t backfire at all.

The one where the entire world has destroyed itself and just two people from opposing factions remain and everybody learns that war isn’t good. The one where a dude builds a nuclear fallout shelter and his neighbors make fun of him but then of course they all want to use it because shit’s about to go down.

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The one where a guy who looks an awful lot like Fidel Castro discovers that a magic mirror can tell him where his next assassination attempt might be coming from. The one where Confederates meet a magic man who says he can defeat the Union Army during the Civil War.

The one where a ruthless white American soldier finds himself on the other side near the end of World War II. The one where an elderly woman worries that Robert Redford might be Death, finally coming for her.

The one where an eccentric and bitter millionaire’s nuclear war scare might be all too real. The one where a hunter comes back from a hunt and nobody can see or hear him because he’s probably dead, which is unfortunate because he’d really prefer to be alive.

The one where a TV actor who plays a cowboy goes back in time to find out that the real Old West was a bit more brutal than he thought. The one where an alien race lands on Earth to help humans out and nothing else happens and everybody lives happily ever after.

The one where an average busybody is obsessed with exposing Communists and deviants in his spare time. The one where a ventriloquist thinks his dummy is alive which seems to be a recurring theme in the TwilightZone.

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The one where a man’s attachment to his dead mother isn’t very good for his relationship with his new wife. The one where a US Navy crew from the 1960s think they might have found a sunken submarine from World War II.

The one where a reporter stumbles upon a small town where everybody is acting weird, and they’ve all got magic healing and duplicating technology that they won’t share with the outside world. The one where a young girl loses her parents in a fire, but she was raised to communicate only telepathically, so you can see how her adjustment to living in the outside world might be a bit difficult.

The one where a crew of space explorers find a crashed ship with themselves in it but don’t know if they’re dead or hallucinating. The one where a woman turns to witchcraft to help win the love of her life away from a romantic rival.

The one where Robert Duvall sees things other people can’t inside a museum’s Victorian doll house. The one where a newspaper editor sells his soul to Satan, who’s actually pretty pushy about the whole thing and keeps lighting his cigars with his finger.

The one where an astronaut returns to Earth but there are small details about his life that aren’t quite like he remembered them before he left. The one where a man discovers a genie in a bottle which doesn’t usually turn out well for the protagonist, but it might this time.

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The one where an evil old business tycoon sells his soul to go back in time, return to his hometown, and build his empire all over again, but nothing works out quite the way he thought. The one where a 38-year-old toy designer longs for the simplicity of his youth but discovers by way of time travel that romanticizing your childhood is pretty childish.

The one where a group of humans has been stranded on a distant planet for 30 years but when help finally arrives to bring everybody back to Earth the new settlement’s de facto leader can’t deal with giving up his authority.

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