The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access)

Jason_V

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I don't even know how far behind I am on these episodes. It's funny: I am current on everything else I watch except Twilight Zone. I always forget this is available, which likely speaks to how much I'm actually enjoying the series. I know I'll catch up, but I'd frankly rather rewatch a few episodes of Next Gen Season 1 right now. There's more enjoyment in that show for me than in Twilight Zone.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Just finally watched the one from this past Thursday. Abysmal writing. It’s as if they think they’re being both deeply profound and subtle, but they’re just skimming the surface in the least interesting and most obvious ways.
 

Josh Steinberg

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This probably isn’t the ideal place for this random thought, but...

Having just started a rewatch of the original TZ... I think the season one opening with the Bernard Herrmann music is my favorite. It’s not the most well known one but it was the most effective version for giving me the creeps as a kid and that hasn’t changed decades later.
 

TravisR

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This probably isn’t the ideal place for this random thought, but...

Having just started a rewatch of the original TZ... I think the season one opening with the Bernard Herrmann music is my favorite. It’s not the most well known one but it was the most effective version for giving me the creeps as a kid and that hasn’t changed decades later.
The famous theme song is probably the best but I love the Herrmann one too. Besides being a wonderful piece of Herrmann music, I think part of the reason I love it is because it's only in the first year so absence makes the heart grow fonder.
 
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Wiseguy

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The famous theme song is probably the best but I love the Herrmann one too. Besides being a wonderful piece of Herrmann music, I think part of the reason I love it is because it's only in the first year so absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Agreed. And in the original syndicated (and network repeat) runs all the episodes CBS reran later (mostly in the second season) had the second season opening sequence and closing theme pasted on them making even fewer episodes with the original opening music. (CBS had also done this with some Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Hour episodes. Apparently they just threw away the original opening credits just so they can fool viewers into thinking it was a new episode.) This has finally been fixed on current airings at least on MeTV. Don't know about Syfy, DVDs, Blu-Rays...
 
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Wiseguy

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"The Comedian" was much better for me...but dang. These episodes don't need to be over thirty minutes long.
Here it is almost 50 years after Night Gallery and producers still haven't learned the lesson. You just KNOW that sooner or later these episodes will be seen in reruns where they have to fit in a 30-minute time slot. The atrocious editing done to Night Gallery is legendary. The first Twilight Zone reboot had problems too where longer episodes had to be drastically cut down although the end result wasn't as bad since it wasn't Universal doing the editing. The second Twilight Zone did it right although I don't understand why two episodes had to be shown in reruns just as on UPN. Either do it in 30 minutes (22-24 without commericials) or expand to a two-parter without padding.
 

Josh Steinberg

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You just KNOW that sooner or later these episodes will be seen in reruns where they have to fit in a 30-minute time slot.
I'm not sure if that's the case in this current market. CBS All Access paid to produce the show, and it's their exclusive. As long as it remains exclusive to CBS All Access, it has value to the service, because it can still be used to drive subscriptions. The marketplace for traditional syndication just isn't what it used to be, and if CBS All Access ever decides to market the show in another venue, it seems far more likely to me that it would be to license it to another streaming service, rather than to a traditional linear network.

I actually think that is one of the advantages of streaming, that a show can be as long or as short as its story content requires, and that it doesn't need to be padded or chopped to fit a certain timeslot. My issue with the current TZ remake is that the episodes are longer than their actual story content. I'm not opposed to a 50 minute episode that has 50 minutes of things to say.
 
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Jason_V

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I'm not sure if that's the case in this current market. CBS All Access paid to produce the show, and it's their exclusive. As long as it remains exclusive to CBS All Access, it has value to the service, because it can still be used to drive subscriptions. The marketplace for traditional syndication just isn't what it used to be, and if CBS All Access ever decides to market the show in another venue, it seems far more likely to me that it would be to license it to another streaming service, rather than to a traditional linear network.

I actually think that is one of the advantages of streaming, that a show can be as long or as short as its story content requires, and that it doesn't need to be padded or chopped to fit a certain timeslot. My issue with the current TZ remake is that the episodes are longer than their actual story content. I'm not opposed to a 50 minute episode that has 50 minutes of things to say.
Yes and no. Yes in that 100% agreed about the syndication market not being what it used to be. No in that CBS All Access has shown a willingness to show their product on the CBS network. The first episode of Discovery was shown there on premiere night and they just announced a run of The Good Fight on CBS for this summer. This by no means says it's going to happen, but I think the door has been open to the possibility now.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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In the end, this 'reboot' had little to do with The Twilight Zone.

First, it was because it was a half-hour that The Twilight Zone had the economy of storytelling that it did. Set up the premise, involve some poor schmo, pay off. This was unnecessarily bloated beyond those constraints. Yes, the original experimented with hour-long episodes in its fourth season, but the result lost appeal and pedigree and resorted back to a tight half hour for its last season.And no, there wasn't a lot of character development in the original because the series was almost always about the twist in perspective, the serendipity.... and the whimsical.

Which brings us to, Two; this series was more like a Black Mirror wannabe with it's dark themes and tones than the often funny, poignant, whimsical original. Rod Serling never blinked in his opening narration (as the takes they use of Peele do here, occasionally), but there was always the hint of a wink about what you were about to see.

Thirdly, this series often paraded it's generous budget in contrast to creativity. It was the confinement of the original series that required the writers do more with dialogue and cleverness in a tight setting. Here, we've got episodes where I suspect the main reason they let them go on longer than the ever needed to was because they had to show off such generous budgets. The "Not All Men" episode went full Purge during that episode showing the whole town go crazy (the original stuck to Elm Street).

Dropping my CBS Access. Glad to see The Good Fight coming to broadcast next week. Won't be looking for the signpost of a second season for this attempted TZ reboot.
 
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EricSchulz

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I watched the first two episodes today. "The Comedian" reminded me of a Night Gallery episode called "Make Me Laugh" where the lame comedian just wants to make people laugh...be careful what you wish for! But this ep was WAY too long and pretty predictable far too early.

The second episode (at a much more manageable 30-some minutes) was OK, but Adam Scott's character was SO ANNOYING. I really didn't care what happened to him! I'm not a big fan of his and he seems to be stuck in the same type of role as he was on Park & Recreation.

Jordan Peele is no Rod Serling (who really is?). It's like remaking "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" without Hitch.

I'll see how many I can watch during my free trial....
 

Matt Hough

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I watched the first two episodes today. "The Comedian" reminded me of a Night Gallery episode called "Make Me Laugh" where the lame comedian just wants to make people laugh...be careful what you wish for! But this ep was WAY too long and pretty predictable far too early.

The second episode (at a much more manageable 30-some minutes) was OK, but Adam Scott's character was SO ANNOYING. I really didn't care what happened to him! I'm not a big fan of his and he seems to be stuck in the same type of role as he was on Park & Recreation.

Jordan Peele is no Rod Serling (who really is?). It's like remaking "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" without Hitch.

I'll see how many I can watch during my free trial....
When you finish, you might want to read my thoughts on the season in my review of the box set. It can be found here.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The second season is live on CBS All Access. The season premiere, "Meet in the Middle", would probably be remembered as a classic episode if the running time weren't so bloated. It would have played a lot better at 25 minutes instead of 45 minutes.
 
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Nelson Au

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I stopped watching the first season after the John Cho episode. I did see the episode where there is a ship going to Mars. But I nodded off part way through.

interesting that a second season started, I read an editorial this morning from an alert from Apple News about the new season, but it mostly talked about the original series and how the current odd Covid situation makes for watching the original series more apt. The original series had episodes that rang true even for today’s world verses the new show that doesn’t always have the same morality tales.

i might give the new season and series another look, or just watch the original.
 
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Doug Wallen

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The second season is live on CBS All Access. The season premiere, "Meet in the Middle", would probably be remembered as a classic episode if the running time weren't so bloated. It would have played a lot better at 25 minutes instead of 45 minutes.
Even at that, much better than almost anything from the 1st season. Still saw the "twist", but an entertaining premier.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Still saw the "twist", but an entertaining premier.
I did too, but I might not have if the build up had taken half as long.

I hope they come out with a black and white version of the second season like they did for the first season. There's something about "The Twilight Zone" that just doesn't feel right in color.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I hope they come out with a black and white version of the second season like they did for the first season. There's something about "The Twilight Zone" that just doesn't feel right in color.
I’m seeing them there on the AppleTV version of the app - but rather than being broken up into separate seasons like the color versions, all of the season one and two episodes are together under the “B&W” header. It’s by sheer dumb luck that I scrolled far enough over to see that.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I’m seeing them there on the AppleTV version of the app - but rather than being broken up into separate seasons like the color versions, all of the season one and two episodes are together under the “B&W” header. It’s by sheer dumb luck that I scrolled far enough over to see that.
Thank you! For whatever reason, the episodes seem to work better in black and white.

Today I watched the second episode ("Downtime") and the season finale ( "You Might Also Like").

"Downtime", the first episode of the series written by executive producer/narrator Jordan Peele, was really good. An interesting concept executed in an interesting way. And at 32 minutes including credits, it feels like exactly the right length -- not draggy and self-indulgent like so many of the other episodes of the revival.

"You Might Also Like" demonstrated writer/director Osgood Perkins's usual strengths and weaknesses: wonderful, atmospheric style but not enough substance to back it up. It's also guilty of trying to be too many things and not succeeding at any of them. The driving force of the episode is a satire of consumerism but the decision to make it a sequel to original series classic "To Serve Man" muddies the waters in ways that work against the episode. Given that humanity is a food source for the aliens, it doesn't make much sense that they would utilize consumerism to exterminate us. There is some brief discussion about how they have grown to fear us because of our capacity to think as individuals, but it's not enough to explain such drastic action.
 

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