Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director Jordan Peele is helming the third reboot of the serialized television show The Twilight Zone. Like the original series from the 50s (and the ones from the 80s and early 2000s), this new iteration of The Twilight Zone will present supernatural short films with a message — or a warning.
The series will air only on the internet via the CBS All Access service. To use CBS All Access, you’ll need to pay either $6.00 per month for “limited commercials” or $10.00 per month for commercial-free viewing. Either way, the service lets you access thousands of episodes from both the catalog of CBS broadcast shows (such as NCIS, The Young and the Restless, and Madam Secretary) as well as its new crop of streaming-only shows (such as Star Trek: Discovery and this reboot of The Twilight Zone).
However, if you’re interested in checking out what Peele has to offer with this new reboot, you don’t need to sign up for anything: you can watch the first episode, “The Comedian,” on YouTube right now. Just click here to start viewing.
If you’d like to know more about the episode, read on for our spoiler-free review.
Spoiler-free review of ‘The Comedian’ from The Twilight Zone
“The Comedian” is the story of an up-and-coming comic named Samir (played by Kumail Nanjiani) who has a slight problem: he’s not very funny. He believes that comedy is at its best when it makes the audience think hard about tough issues, so most of his material centers on gun control and The Second Amendment. However, he’s growing tired of his failure to progress in the industry and also tired of the heckling he receives from his fellow working comics.
One evening after a particularly bad gig, Samir bumps into a legendary comic (played by Tracy Morgan). The legendary comic dishes some advice which will literally change the course of Samir’s life — but is he really prepared for what that will cost?
The premise of “The Comedian” is simple enough: what will a narcissistic fame-seeker actually sacrifice to achieve their dreams? The episode dwells on this question for quite a while before diving deeper into the consequences of Samir’s actions.
However, “The Comedian” is pretty predictable. By the time you figure out what Tracy Morgan’s legendary comic has cursed Samir with, you’ll likely already know how the episode is going to end.
The Comedian is not bad at all, but in a post-Black Mirror world, Peele is going to have to try a lot harder than this.
This iteration of The Twilight Zone might have the pedigree of Jordan Peele, whose films Get Out and the recently-released Us are like feature-length episodes of this series (Peele also takes the Rod Serling role as host and narrator of these new episodes). While Peele might be a great leader for a reboot of The Twilight Zone, he has to deal with the unfortunate reality that the other serialized supernatural show Black Mirror has significantly raised the bar for a series like this.
If you were to compare “The Comedian” to one of the episodes from previous iterations of The Twilight Zone, it might be able to hold its own. The second you compare it to an episode of Black Mirror, though, you start to see how frail and predictable this episode is.
There are nine more episodes of The Twilight Zone coming soon, so maybe things will get better. However, if “The Comedian” is what Peele chose as the “hook” episode to get us all into the new series, that doesn’t bode well for the quality of what’s to come.
You can watch “The Comedian” on YouTube right now by clicking here, or you can sign up for a one-week free trial of CBS All Access by clicking the button below. Doing so will let you watch this episode as well as the remake of the classic “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.”