After success with his movies Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele and co-creator Simon Kinberg’s The Twilight Zone premiered this spring on CBS All Access. The revamp of Rod Serling’s popular TV series, which ran from ’59 to ’64, Peele’s iteration is both an homage to the original with all of the benefits of 21st Century technology. So before the series closes out its first, ten-episode season on Thursday, May 30, audiences will be happy to know that The Twilight Zone has been renewed for Season 2, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Much like Netflix’s dystopian anthology show, Black Mirror, each episode in The Twilight Zone is unconnected, making room for an impressive number of stars. Season 1 has featured actors like Adam Scott, Kumail Nanjiani, DeWanda Wise, John Cho, Jessica Williams, Steven Yeun, Seth Rogen, and Tracy Morgan, among others.
And while there was certainly hype for the series, especially given Peele’s track record, The Twilight Zone has received mixed reviews. In fact, Entertainment Weekly‘s Darren Franich called the series "one of 2019’s first great disappointments." But hopefully that they’ve been greenlit for Season 2 will allow them to work out the kinks and have a more successful second installment.
And it’s clear that Peele is an unapologetic fan of the original (which you can both watch on Netflix and Hulu), telling the New York Times that the first Twilight Zone episode he watched was likely 1962’s "To Serve Man," in which aliens ate humans. "You tell somebody that and it sounds pretty silly — watch the episode and you’re ready to believe it," the Key & Peele star said.
"All my work is pointed at this idea of humanity’s dark side," he continued. "We have demons sewn into our DNA. Evolution has brought us to a place where we want to be good, for the most part. But we’ll never be all good. We’ll always have this other side." As a result, The Twilight Zone reboot has certainly featured storylines of that caliber.
For instance, Episode 6 of this new season, "Six Degrees of Freedom," which depicts a space mission to Mars and features She’s Gotta Have It star DeWanda Wise. Ironically, the actor’s favorite episode of the original series is the aforementioned "To Serve Man," according to IndieWire. "Most of my favorite episodes are the space episodes," Wise told the outlet. "It’s the final frontier, and it’s about playing around with our fears of the unknown."
In "Six Degrees of Freedom," Wise’s character is the flight commander on the Bradbury Heavy spacecraft. Her team is faced with a Kobayashi Maru-like scenario, in which Korean missiles are launched across the globe, and they have to decide whether to change their plans and help everyone on Earth or follow through with their original mission. "There’s a bit of Greek tragedy inherent in The Twilight Zone. I’ve always thought that," Wise told IndieWire. "There’s no comparable ‘what if’ for an actor. You can’t go back and be like, ‘This is like the time my boyfriend broke up with me.’ There’s none of that."
So while the first installment of The Twilight Zone reboot has left most audiences a bit lukewarm, fortunately there will be another opportunity to fine-tune their approach. According to the Hollywood Reporter, CBS All Access doesn’t release viewership statistics, and that it’s a newer streaming service may have put off casual viewers.
Furthermore, it’s unclear when Season 2 will premiere. Bryan Singer was originally slated to create the reboot back in December 2012, according to Deadline, and it wasn’t until late 2017 that Peele’s involvement was announced (by that point, Singer had dropped out of the project). As a result, it may be over a year before The Twilight Zone Season 2 returns to CBS All Access. After all, each episode is a standalone, high-concept storyline that likely takes time to develop — not to mention all of the time in post-production.
But until then, dystopian sci-fi fans will be happy to know that Black Mirror Season 5 premieres June 5 on Netflix, so there will be a similar show to tide them over until The Twilight Zone returns for more bone-chilling storylines.
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